Team USA loss to Lithuania gives Germany a blueprint for the upset
MANILA, Philippines—Germany’s semifinal victory over Team USA was somehow inspired by that one game in the Fiba 2023 World Cup’s second round.
After the Germans’ 113-111 victory over the Americans that carried them into their first final in the global meet, some of the players admitted that seeing the USA lose to Lithuania gave them a huge realization: Team USA is beatable.
“Just to see that they can lose too, showed us that, definitely, we can beat them. Today we did it,” said Johannes Thiemann at Mall of Asia Arena on Saturday.
Thiemann had 10 points and five rebounds in the semifinals win, going perfect from the field after four tries.
According to the 6-foot-9 cager, matching the Americans’ firepower on offense also made the difference, seeing that they got plenty of shooters themselves.
“That’s what we do. We got a lot of scorers, lots of players that can create something. We see a lot of teams being scared and protecting the ball a lot and then they play for 14 seconds so we try to go at them.”
Three players scored 20 points or more for the Final-bound Germany with Andreas Obst leading the cavalry with 24 markers.
Franz Wagner scored 22 while Daniel Theis also had 21 in the win that showed the Germans were not afraid to go back-and-forth with the Americans.
In the Americans’ loss to the Lithuanians, Jonas Valanciunas pounced on the Americans’ lack of size as he finished with 12 points and seven rebounds.
That became a small part of the blueprint for the Germans’ win, according to Niels Giffey.
“I think they (Lithuania) showed it was possible [to beat USA] and they went to the low-post a lot, punished mismatches heavily and went inside,” said Giffey who plays the forward position.
The Germans scored almost half of their points inside with 50 points in the paint while Dennis Schroeder kept attacking the interior with 17 points and nine assists.
“That was something Lithuania did and we kind of saw that that could work for us too, we got a big team with big bodies in there,” Giffey explained further.
Now the Germans will turn to another playbook as they face Serbia, which defeated Canada earlier, 95-86, in the Fiba World Cup final on Sunday at 8:40 pm in the same venue.
‘WE GOT TO GO? WE GOT PRACTICE?’ 😂😂😂WATCH: Germany’s Moritz Wagner poked fun at one of his coaches during a post-game interview after winning over Team USA in the #FIBAWC semis. | via Melo Fuertes, Inquirer SportsREAD: inq.news/Germany-VS-Serbia
Posted by Inquirer Sports on Friday, September 8, 2023