Germany‘s summer just got a whole lot better. Dirk Nowitzki‘s induction into the Basketball Hall of Fame coincides with his homeland’s rise to the pinnacle of the FIBA World Cup 2023.
Dennis Schroder, the tournament’s MVP, contributed 28 points, while Franz Wagner added 19. Germany’s remarkable unbeaten run through the World Cup culminated in an 83-77 victory over Serbia in the final on Sunday night. This victory marked Germany’s first-ever World Cup title, a significant achievement considering their previous best showing was a bronze medal back in 2002.
Germany’s path to glory included eight straight wins in the tournament, a feat that continued a streak of five consecutive unbeaten World Cup champions. The jubilant postgame news conference of Dennis Schroder was briefly interrupted by his exuberant teammates, who showered him with water and celebrated with joyful chants.
On the other side of the court, Aleksa Avramovic scored 21 points, and Bogdan Bogdanovic added 17 for Serbia, which found itself in the title game for the second time in the last three tournaments. Their previous experience ended in a resounding defeat to the U.S. with a score of 129-92 in the 2014 gold-medal match. Expectations for Serbia this summer were relatively modest, given that their standout player, Nikola Jokic of the NBA champion Denver Nuggets, chose to rest for the upcoming season rather than represent his country.
Nevertheless, Serbia embarked on an unexpected journey, spurred on by the team’s determination following the loss of reserve forward Borisa Simanic. Simanic suffered a severe foul during an early-round victory against South Sudan, necessitating immediate surgery for internal injuries. A subsequent surgery was required to remove one of his kidneys, making their journey even more remarkable.
Germany seized control of the game with a 22-10 run in the third quarter, breaking the deadlock that had defined the opening half. Serbia mounted a valiant effort but couldn’t retake the lead in the crucial moments. They narrowed the gap to 79-77 after Marko Guduric made a pair of free throws with 39.5 seconds remaining. However, Schroder’s decisive layup on the next German possession reestablished a four-point lead, securing their victory.
Germany: A Commitment to Excellence
Germany’s triumph was the result of a well-thought-out plan that involved asking their top players for a three-year commitment to the national team, with a focus on this World Cup and the upcoming Paris Olympics. This plan, now in its second year, has transformed a team that struggled in the past three World Cups, finishing 17th in 2010, failing to qualify in 2014, and ending up 18th in 2019. Now, they hold the prestigious Naismith Trophy, a symbol of their excellence in the sport, for the next four years.
Germany vs. Serbia Sports Betting Odds
Point Spread (ATS): Germany -1
- The game was essentially a toss-up, but Germany’s size and physicality in the frontcourt, along with strong perimeter defense, gave them an edge.
- Germany remained undefeated in the tournament (7-0) and was favored to win the gold medal.
Over/Under: Under 174.5
- Expectations were for a lower-scoring game.
- Germany had a strong defensive record, limiting opponents to an average of 74.3 points per game in their last three matches.
- The focus was likely on containing Serbia’s Bogdanovic and forcing difficult shots, resulting in a lower-scoring contest.
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