When the 2023 FIBA World Cup started late final month, 32 groups represented their respective counties in one of the crucial anticipated basketball occasions of the yr. Amongst these 32 groups, three featured members of the Thunder as 5 gamers on the Oklahoma Metropolis roster competed within the occasion. Because the begin, 24 groups have been eradicated by means of the primary two rounds of group play.
One in all these squads was Australia, who was basically eradicated following a loss to Slovenia on Friday. As such, each Josh Giddey and Jack White are achieved enjoying on this match. For Giddey particularly, this occasion was yet one more datapoint that implies he’s a future star. He was the headliner for the Boomers and among the best gamers in the whole match regardless of being 20 years outdated.
The 2 remaining groups with Thunder illustration are Canada — with Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Lu Dort — in addition to Latvia, who Davis Bertans has helped make it this far.
There’s solely a handful of video games left on this occasion, however the Thunder will proceed to be nicely represented down the stretch of the match.
- Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (Canada)
- Lu Dort (Canada)
- Davis Bertans (Latvia)
It took a comback win over Spain, however Gilgeous-Alexander was capable of rating 11 factors within the last two minutes of the competition to get Canada to the quarterfinals. He continues to show that he’s among the best gamers in the whole world and might take his recreation to a brand new stage when a clutch efficiency is required. In the meantime, Dort’s manufacturing has been inconsistent on this match, however actually has what it takes to get the workforce over the hump on each ends.
One of many extra stunning groups nonetheless on this occasion is Latvia, largely because of the play of Bertans. It’s been an unbelievable workforce effort, however he has been one of the crucial vital items on the roster.
As the sector of groups has been diminished from 32 to eight, the chances of every workforce to win all of it has fluctuated. With that in thoughts, the one fixed has been the USA being the clear favourite.
Given Spain was eradicated over the weekend, a brand new winner will probably be topped this yr as they received’t be capable to win back-to-back championships. Behind the USA, Canada has the second highest odds to win all of it, whereas Latvia continues to be very a lot a longshot in accordance with the odds.
- Canada: +450 (#2)
- Latvia: +6500 (#7)
Though Latvia is seventh out of eight groups to win this match, they shouldn’t be counted out. It is a workforce that’s already defied odds and has the expertise to proceed successful video games in opposition to anybody. Canada has a ton of NBA expertise, however might want to put collectively extra constant performances in the event that they need to transfer on and preserve an opportunity to win the occasion.
At this level within the match, each single recreation issues much more. With lower than per week remaining, the eight groups nonetheless standing will start to be eradicated rapidly.
On Wednesday, all three remaining members of the Thunder will take the court docket in two separate video games through the quarterfinals.
- Sep. 6: Germany vs Latvia – 3:45 AM CST
- Sep. 6: Canada vs Slovenia – 7:30 AM CST
From there, the semifinals will happen on Friday, then the ultimate video games to find out medal order will happen on Sunday.
Germany has a number of present NBA gamers and is undefeated up to now. As such, Latvia will as soon as once more be an underdog on this contest.
Whereas Canada would be the favourite in opposition to Slovenia, by no means rely out a workforce with Luka Doncic. It is a group that already beat Australia earlier within the occasion and performs nicely as a workforce. The matchup of Gilgeous-alexander and Doncic will arguably be one of the best of the whole match.
There’s lots at stake long run for these international locations, as the highest two groups from every of the Americas and Europe, and the highest workforce from every of Africa, Asia and Oceania, will qualify alongside the host nation (France) within the upcoming Olympics.
NBA coaching camp is roughly a month away, which means this is a chance for a number of members of the Thunder to maintain enhancing with on-court reps and keep in recreation form. As soon as October comes round, the main focus will probably be totally on enjoying for Oklahoma Metropolis and preparing for the 2023-24 marketing campaign.