In a special piece for ESPN, Mark Woods takes an in-depth look (link) at all 32 teams vying to win the 2019 FIBA World Cup, which will be decided in Beijing on September 15, two weeks from today.
While recognizing that Team USA is the favorite, Woods does not have the Americans taking home the championship. His group winners include host nation China and the aforementioned U.S., in addition to Argentina, Spain, Serbia, Greece, France, and Australia.
Woods believes that all but two of the group winners will reach the quarterfinals, with Nigeria and Lithuania, finishing second in group play to Argentina and Australia respectively, replacing group winners France and China among the final eight teams.
Ultimately, Woods sees Team USA falling short of the championship game, with Australia falling to Serbia in the final. Be sure to tell us what you think in one of our latest Community Shootaround posts, here.
There’s more news from around the basketball world:
- According to Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium, the Chinese Basketball Association is implementing a new guideline barring a player who is serving a drug or violence-related ban/suspension in another league from signing in the CBA. As Charania notes, the rule would prohibit someone like Tyreke Evans from signing with a team in the CBA.
- After losing their first game in the 2019 FIBA World Cup to Matthew Dellavedova and Australia, Canada head coach Nick Nurse told the media that his team will have to play “extraordinary basketball” to beat Lithuania on Tuesday and advance past group play, per Lithuanian basketball reporter Donatas Urbonas (h/t to Sportando).
- After working out for the Knicks once already (link), former No, 2 overall pick Hasheem Thabeet will continue to play in 5-on-5 scrimmages with the Knicks next week, reports Ian Begley of SportsNet New York. Begley adds that Thabeet will also work out a second time for the Bucks in about a week’s time.