FIBA World Cup 2019 - Canada vs Lithuania: Predictions, Odds and Roster Notes

How to Watch

What: Group H – Canada vs Lithuania

Where: Dongfeng Nissan Cultural and Sports Centre, Dongguan, China

When: Tuesday, 3 September 2019, 7:30 AM EST

How (TV): ESPN+

Canada (Away)

Head Coach: Nick Nurse {Toronto Raptors}

Assistant Coach(es): Nate Bjorkgren {Toronto Raptors}, Gordie Herbert {Skyliners Frankfurt}

Record: 0-1

Projected Starting Five: (G) Cory Joseph – (G) Kevin Pangos – (F) Melvin Ejim – (F) Khem Birch – (C) Kyle Wiltjer

Last Match versus Australia:

Top Performers:

  • (F-C) Khem Birch – 18 PTS | 5 REB | 2 BLK
  • (G) Cory Joseph – 16 PTS | 4 AST | 4 REB | 2 STL
  • (G) Kevin Pangos – 14 PTS | 8 AST | 2 STL

Team Canada did not receive a favorable draw when they were announced as a member of Group H. Going up against Lithuania, Australia, and Senegal is a monumental task for any nation. One as crippled talent-wise as Canada, particularly difficult.

When Canada faced off against Australia, it was projected to be one of their most difficult tests. It was the case, as Canada struggled to initiate their offense as Australia dominated from all over the court.

Canada lacks strength in the paint and it showed. They lost the rebounding battle by seven and were outscored in the paint by fourteen. They’ll face similar problems against Lithuania.

Lithuania (Home)

Head Coach: Dainius Adomaitis {BC Rytas}

Assistant Coach(es): Benas Matkevicius {Boston Celtics}, Ramunas Siskauskas {Lithuania}

Record: 1-0

Projected Starting Five: (G) Marius Grigonis – (G) Mantas Kalnietes – (F) Jonas Maciulis – (F) Domantas Sabonis – (C) Jonas Valanciunas

Last match against Senegal:

Top Performers:

  • C Jonas Valanciunas – 13 PTS | 11 REB | 2 STL
  • F Domantas Sabonis – 13 PTS | 7 REB | 3 AST
  • G Mantas Kalnietis – 13 PTS | 8 AST | 2 REB

Lithuania projected to be one of the strongest teams in the World Cup tournament. When they faced off with Senegal, their quality showed.

Lithuania is a big side, with ability from all parts of the court. They dominated the paint against Senegal, resulting in a 60.5% shooting night from two-point range.

The Canadians are stronger in the paint than Senegal, but they lack the strength in the paint. Lithuania will have to keep up with the Canadians athleticism though, as they play a fast pace.

What’s At Stake?

Canada currently sits in third place of Group H. With one point and a 0-1 record in one game, a loss would eliminate them from reaching the second round.

Lithuania is in the driver’s seat when they face off against Canada. With two points from a 1-0 record and a point differential of 54, a loss won’t be wholly devastating. A win would secure their movement into round two though.

Canada Needs to Fight on the Glass

Nick Nurse assembled a pro-style team to face-off against the rest of the world. They have many capable shooters and athletes that can get out in transition. Unfortunately, it has left their roster rather thin in the paint.

While everyone chipped in for the red and white against Australia, it wasn’t enough. Khem Birch and Melvin Ejim led the team on the glass, as expected, but ultimately failed to compete with the likes of Aron Baynes, Andrew Bogut, and Jock Landale.

They face off against a similarly talented side on the glass in Lithuania’s star NBA-pair Jonas Valanciunas and Domantas Sabonis. Both are incredibly physical and versatile on both ends of the court. Birch will have his hands full, so the likes of Ejim and Wiltjer will need to step up.

Paint Dominance is Key

Lithuania blew out Senegal by epic proportions. A 54 point win over one of the top African teams is something to be proud of.

The key to their success was their dominance in the paint. Lithuania scored 52 points in the paint and event went to the line a shocking 31 times.

Canada was unable to manage Australia inside and Lithuania boasts talent equal or even greater than theirs at the same position. If Canada can’t adjust, Lithuania may see similar success.

Range Is Canada’s Strength

Nick Nurse unsurprisingly built a squad that can succeed with a drive and kick offense. They struggled against Australia because the Aussie paint defenders were individually capable enough to allow their permitter defenders to sit on Canadian shooters.

Despite having skilled shooters in Kevin Pangos, Brady Heslip, and Kyle Wiltjer, the team failed to convert on more than 33.3% of the teams attempted threes. Heslip, in particular, was efficient, going 2-2 from the field, but only saw nine minutes of action.

While Lithuania is strong in the paint, they have shown weakness recovering to shooters. For Canada to initiate their outside game though, they will have to threaten in the paint. Something they haven’t shown an aptitude for to this point.

Lithuania’s Depth Is Impressive

The green were dominant in their win against Senegal. A large portion of that was due to the success of their bench contributors.

In their win against Senegal, seven of their twelve players scored in double digits. All but two players who converted on field-goals shot over 50% from the field for the game.

While their performance was impressive, such hot shooting can’t be expected to continue. The Canadians are a more capable defensive side than Senegal, so Lithuania will have to maintain a diversified attack in the paint and from range.

Canada Roster Notes

Canada has no roster changes of note.

Lithuania Roster Notes

Lithuania has no roster changes of note.

X-Factors: Kyle Wiltjer (CAN) vs Jonas Valanciunas (LTU)

The key matchup lies in the paint when Canada and Lithuania face off. Former Toronto Raptors teammates Wiltjer and Valanciunas affect the game in different ways but are polar opposites when matched up.

(F-C) Kyle Wiltjer

 

 

SeasonAgeTeamGamesMPPTSREBASTFG%3P%
18-1926Unicaja3419.511.62.50.8.492.438

 

Kyle Wiltjer is a modern-day pick-and-pop threat. He impressed Nick Nurse during preliminary play, but his first match in the world cup was anything but impressive.

In 21 minutes of play, Wiltjer posted six points, three rebounds, and 2-4 shooting from the field. He has been a regular offensive threat for the Canadians in the past but failed to impact the game against Australia.

Canada thought they’d have an advantage against bruising international threats with Wiltjer, but his play has failed to inspire. Lithuania will be more of the same, so Wiltjer will need to prove he’s the weapon that Nurse though he’d be.

(C) Jonas Valanciunas

 

 

SeasonAgeTeamGamesMPPTSREBASTFG%3P%
18-1926Memphis Grizzlies4922.315.68.61.4.559.292

 

Jonas Valanciunas is the definition of a bruiser. With the Lithuanian side, he is rarely the focal point, but he is the benefit of a number of drop-offs and offensive rebounds.

Against Senegal in their first match, Valanciunas was dominant. He scored 13 points and 11 rebounds on 6-7 shooting.

Valanciunas’ foot speed will be tested against Wiltjer. He’s struggled in the past with other big men with a shooting ability. If he can close out capably, Lithuania is unlikely to be exposed.

Canada at Lithuania Predictions and Odds

If you are in New Jersey and want to bet on the FIBA World Cup, you can do so with 888Sport and FoxBet NJ. Check the latest odds for Canada vs Lithuania match below.

Point Spread

SportsbookCanadaLithuaniaLink
888Sport NJ+10

-113

-10

-108

BetStars NJ+10.5

-120

-10.5

-105

* 21+ | NJ only | If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, call 1-800-GAMBLER

Total Points

SportsbookCanadaLithuaniaLink
888Sport NJOver 168.5

-110

Under 168.5

-110

BetStars NJUnder 166.5

+110

Over 166.5

-137

* 21+ | NJ only | If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, call 1-800-GAMBLER

Money Line

SportsbookCanadaLithuaniaLink
888Sport NJ+410-560
BetStars NJ+400-650

* 21+ | NJ only | If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, call 1-800-GAMBLER

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