Germany disarms France after tribute to Nowitzki
The duel had some preliminaries at the height of this Eurobasket of the stars, an emotional tribute to Dirk Nowitzki in a packed Colonia Arena, with 18,017 spectators what did they see in the place how the Germany shirt with his number 14 was removed from one of the best European players of all time, the great local idol, international between 1997 and 2015. The ceremony, with the presence of Mark Cubanowner of the Dallas Mavericks, delayed the start of the duel almost half an hour. Nowitzki, 44, who hung up his boots in 2019, completed 21 seasons in the NBA, all in Dallas, more than anyone on the same team, where he won the ring in 2011 and was MVP of the final, and in 2007 of the season, in addition to being 14 times all star. Along with Cuban, His ex-partner Jason Kidd was therenow coach of the texan franchise, and Luka Doncić, the heirstill heated after resolving in the final stretch against Lithuania.
The stands arrived in tune at the initial jump and, later, the German team kept the ambient temperature high with their game until closing. A good party in Cologne and a great triumph in the German debut in the group of death against the Olympic runner-up (76-63), a France that, after the defeat against Bosnia in the World Cup window, raises doubts. Only 7 triples holed and up to 17 losses. Bad result and worse image with its NBA stars Evan Fournier and Rudy Gobert wholly inconsequential. In the premises we saw a more solid block with prominence distributed in attack (six players between the 14 points of Johannes Thiemann and the 8 of Franz Wagner and the touched Daniel Theis).
The block led by Gordon Herbert (Olympic as a player with Canada in 1984) pressed in defense at the start and showed a higher rhythm in attack than France. Physique and talent despite some casualties, but with players who do a great job, such as the nationalized Bayern player Nick Weiler-Babb or the MVP of the last German final, Thiemannof the dawn The spotlights are a priori for the NBA Dennis Schröder, Wagner and Theisat times for others like Johannes Voigtmann and Maodo Lo, even this time, occasionally, for forward Niels Giffey. the group works.
In France, Vincent Collet turned to Theo Maledon (Oklahoma City Thunder) Looking for some spark to get out of the jam, neither Andrew Albicy nor Thomas Heurtel nor Elie Okobo had provided it. Impossible not to remember the absent De Colo. Gobert missed the free throws and only the madridista Guerschon Yabusele appeared with strength: 18 points, 10 of them at the break, which was reached with a meager score of 38-31.
France came out resolute after the break, but Germany pushed back again and a brilliant finish by Lo with an assist for Schröder caused a smile from both players and the admiration of the stands. They lit a fuse that would no longer go out. At the end of the third period, +14 (57-43) after another great action by Lo, a new hit by Giffey and a brilliant Thiemann with his back to the basket, and more combative than anyone. France was diluted against a disciplined and at the same time festive Germany. The last quarter did not change anything. Maodo Lo was there to stop him on Nowitzki’s big night.
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