Get ready to witness the pinnacle of international basketball competition as the stage is set with 16 FIBA World Cup 2023 teams still standing! These elite squads have battled their way through fierce challenges and intense matchups, showcasing their skills, determination, and unwavering passion for the game. As the world holds its breath in anticipation, join us on a thrilling journey through the heart-pounding action, as these exceptional teams go head-to-head for global supremacy on the basketball court. The road to victory has never been more electrifying, as these 16 teams are poised to make history in the FIBA World Cup arena. Anthony Edwards wearing Team USA white and red basketball jersey
Bruno Caboclo has been doing a good job for Brazil. He averages 14.3 points, 8.7 rebounds, 1.3 steals, and 1 block per game. But the Cariocas have to face a hot Canadian team that has been playing as well as any other team in this event.
Thomas Walkup first became well-known in 2016 as Stephen F. Austin's March Madness star. Now, he is Greece's physical and emotional leader as a tough point guard who chases down playerswith the ball and can make shots inside the line. Georgios Papagiannis, a former lottery pick for the Kings, has been great as an inside scorer with a soft touch. His partners Giannoulis Larentzakis and Ioannis Papapetrou have also scored from the wings. It's a big deal that they made it to the second round without Giannis Antetokounmpo.
Meet the Cinderella of the Cup. Georgia, which is playing in its first World Cup, came in as the 32nd-ranked team, which means it was last. However, it beat Venezuela on Wednesday and is still in the tournament. Goga Bitadze (11.0 points, 9.3 rebounds, 6th at Cup) and Alexander Mamukelashvili (11.0 points, 6.0 rebounds) both play for NBA teams. Tornike Shengelia, a 6'9" power forward, scores 16.7 points per game and is the team's top scorer. Giorgio Shermadini, the former MVP of the Spanish pro league, also helps. This is by far the hardest second-round group, so the underdog Georgians, who have already come so far, should do their best.
Tremont Waters, who was picked in the second round by the Boston Celtics, makes Puerto Rico a very exciting team to watch. The 5'10 point guard is a bold player with a long shooting range who has kept the offense moving and gotten his team into the second round. Former Iowa State big man George Conditt has added some paint protection and inner finishing, and former Oregon State guard Stephen Thompson Jr. has filled it up from the outside by making 9-of-17 threes. This place has some serious offensive weapons.
Simone Fontecchio, who just finished his first season with the Utah Jazz, scores 16.7 points per game to lead Italy. He hits an amazing eight 3-pointers per game (keep in mind that games only last 40 minutes), but they aren't going in yet. Watch out if they do. The Italians have one of those classic European teams where most of the players have played together for years. This makes them very competitive even though they don't have a lot of NBA players on their squad. Italy is hitting less than 30% as a team from 3-point range.
Montenegro has to play against the United States, which is not an easy task. They do, however, have Nikola Vucevic, a big man for the Chicago Bulls, ready to play, which could give them a chance to pull off an upset. Synergy says that Vucevic has scored the most points in the tournament on post-up plays, and his hook shot was one of the most dangerous in group play.
Kristaps Porzingis, a big man for Latvia, is out with an injury, but the team still won the most impressive game of the group stage without him. The shocking return win by Latvia over France got rid of Rudy Gobert, Nic Batum, and the rest of the team. Latvia's next game, in which they got blown out by Canada, was a sobering reminder of how much skill they were missing without Porzingis. However, this team still has enough shooting to give anyone a scare if they are on.
Jonas Valaninas is fourth in the Cup in rebounds and averages 13.7 points and 10.0 boards per game. Rokas Jokubaitis, a 6-4 guard for FC Barcelona, averages 12.0 points, leads the team in assists with 5.3, and shoots 57 percent from 3-point range (but don't get too excited, he only takes about two shots per game). Mindaugas Kuzminskas is a 6'9" wing player who can do a lot of different things. He averages 12.7 points and blocks 1 shot per game. The Lithuanian team has six players who are at least as tall as Kuzminskas. They are second in the event, behind the USA, in blocks and slam dunks on the glass (48 rebounds per game). If they aren't watched at the 3-point line, where they hit almost 40% as a team, they can be dangerous with their inside-outside game.
Karl-Anthony Towns for Dominican Republic looked like he couldn't be stopped in the group stage. The Minnesota Timberwolves star's ability to rip three-pointers is a huge advantage for a big in FIBA play, and it will be hard for other teams to match up well with him in the future. Towns has a good group of people helping him out. Jean Montero is a point guard who is 20 years old. He can use his speed to put pressure on the other team's defense and open up shots for his partners. Lester Quiones, a wing for the Warriors, hasn't done much so far, but he gives DR a high-volume floor spacer from three. Angel Delgado and LJ Figueroa are both big forwards who are good at controlling the ball and scoring. Everything is built around Towns, which has been a great plan for this team so far.
Nikola Jokic didn't come with Serbia to the event, but Atlanta Hawks winger Bogdan Bogdanovic and a possible trade chip for the Miami Heat, Nikola Jovic, have both played very well. So far in the tournament, no team has shot better from beyond the hoop than Serbia (44.7%). They have the best offense (1.25 PPP) of any team, thanks to Synergy. This is true both when they are in a set offense and when they are in transition.
The Aussies have a lot of NBA players on the outside, but they aren't very big in the middle. If they want to do well in this event, they will have to make up for their lack of size inside. Patty Mills is one of the best international scorers of all time, and he has been great again in this World Cup. In group play, he scored 25 points against Finland and 21 points against Germany. Josh Giddey will be the face of the school in the future, but he's already a star at 20 years old, scoring, making plays, and getting boards. Josh Green has been on fire from deep, and Dante Exum is a trusted floor general who needs to find a way to score inside the arc in this event. The Aussies will have trouble with teams that have big stars, but only the U.S. and Canada have more attacking firepower.
Despite an injury to potential emerging star forward Franz Wagner, the German national team still went undefeated during group play. Dennis Schroder is running a heliocentric offense for Die Mannschaft and he is currently the leading scorer on isolation possessions during the tournament, via Synergy. If he is able to return from his injury, Wagner could make this team a real threat to win it all.
Slovenia is the only team that really takes on the attitude of its star player. Luka Doncic is the most powerful player in the World Cup. He is a one-man attacking wrecking crew who can do magic every time he touches the ball. Doncic has already taken Slovenia to greatness. In 2017, when he was only 18, he willed his country to a gold medal at Eurobasket. This version of Luka is at the top of his game as a scorer and playmaker, and he can't be stopped. However, he no longer has Goran Dragic as his running companion. Instead, the second and third-best players for Slovenia are Mike Tobey, who used to play for the Virginia Cavaliers, and Dragic's younger brother, Zoran Dragi. Without Luka, Slovenia wouldn't have a chance in this event, but in basketball more than any other sport, having the best player can get you a long way. Doncic is the best player in this World Cup, so Slovenia has a good chance.
Spain doesn't have as many NBA players as it used to, especially since Ricky Rubio isn't going to the FIBA World Cup to focus on his mental health. La Roja, on the other hand, had a perfect 3-0 record in group play, and Willy Hernangomez and Usman Garuba make up a strong frontcourt.
France was second in the Olympics, but only by a few points to the U.S. They were blown out by a Canadian team that has beaten the U.S. twice in the last three summers (so has Australia, to be fair). This showed that what Canada has been working on for two years is for real. Fans of the USA don't want to hear this, but after three games, Canada has looked like the best team in the event. It scores 108 points per game, which is the most in the Cup. As you can see above, two of Canada's wins came against teams that aren't easy to beat. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander has destroyed his opponents (22 points, 8 rebounds, and 5.7 assists). Kelly Olynyk is having a great tournament (14 points and 6.0 rebounds), and RJ Barrett is also doing well (14.7 points per game and 42% from 3-point range).
Lu Dort and Dillon Brooks, the 2023 NBA Rookie of the Year and 2023 NBA Defensive Player of the Year, are two of the best wing players in the world. But there's a catch. So far, Dort has only played in one Cup game due to "soreness." We'll see how hurt he is, but this is a strong team, and Jordi Fernández has done a great job since Nick Nurse let him take over as coach. Jamal Murray showed up for training camp but decided not to play, so all of this has happened without him.
Team USA's first three games against New Zealand, Greece, and Jordan showed why they still have the highest ceiling of anyone in the event. Head coach Steve Kerr's team doesn't have a lot of experience, but they have a lot of players who can make shots, are fast, and can shoot from far away. The stars have had trouble finding their rhythm at times, but the backups, led by Tyrese Haliburton, Austin Reaves, and Paolo Banchero, have been electric when playing against other backups.
The best thing about Team USA is that no one player has to carry them all the time. On any given night, anyone can be the star. As the game comes to a close, the Americans could lose if they don't have enough beef inside. Even though the USA team doesn't look unbeatable, it still has the best lineup from top to bottom in the World Cup.
At the 2023 men's FIBA World Cup, there will be a lot of NBA players. The U.S. wants to make up for coming seventh in this tournament in 2019, which was a disaster, and a young team did well in group play by going undefeated.
Team USA has a chance of winning the title, but are they the favorite? We're trying to figure that out as the tournament goes into the second round of group play, which cuts the number of teams from 32 to 16.