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The last quarter-final match will feature a matchup of star-driven sides as Canada faces Slovenia! This matchup means that fans and bettors will see the top two players, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Luka Doncic, go head-to-head in a win-or-go-home scenario!
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|O 176.5 (-112)|
|U 176.5 (-112)|
Canada and Slovenia sit among the top ten scoring teams in the 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup. Both sides play with pace while also executing in the halfcourt behind the efforts of their superstar guards, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Luka Doncic. It'll be a high-scoring affair.
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|Jordi Fernandez||Head Coach||Aleksander Sekulic|
|Won 1||Form||Lost 1|
Leaders (Per Game)
|S. Gilgeous-Alexander (23.8)||PPG||L. Doncic 26.4()|
|S. Gilgeous-Alexander (6.6)||RPG||L. Doncic (7.4)|
|S. Gilgeous-Alexander (5.2)||APG||L. Doncic (6.8)|
|S. Gilgeous-Alexander (1.6)||SPG||L. Doncic (2.4)|
|K. Olynyk (0.8)||BPG||L. Doncic, M. Tobey (0.4)|
|M. Ejim (.600)/S. Gilgeous-Alexander (7.8)||FG%/FGM||M. Tobey (.722)/L. Doncic (7.6)|
|T. Bell-Haynes (.556)/N. Alexander-Walker (2.8)||3P%/3PM||K. Prepelic (2.6)/K. Prepelic (2.6)|
Canada has been one of the tournament's most exciting teams through their first five games. Despite losing to underdog Brazil in the second round, Canada has won every other game, including upsets over France and Spain.
In their most recent match, a three-point victory over reigning champions Spain, Canada showed their resolve by overcoming a 12-point lead to advance to the quarter-finals and clinch a spot at the 2024 Paris Olympics. Behind a 27-12 fourth quarter and a 36-point night from Gilgeous-Alexander, Canada made history for their basketball program.
On top of their scoring ability, Canada's perimeter defense is one of their strengths. Against Slovenia, they'll have many bodies to throw at the brilliant Luka Doncic. Maintaining their defensive balance will be crucial to their chances of qualifying for the semi-finals.
Despite facing a fair amount of adversity, Canada remains one of the top-scoring teams in the tournament. Canada averages 95.4 points per game on 49.9% shooting from the field and 40.3% from three-point range. They are second in threes made per game, averaging 13.2 per contest.
Canada has been led by their excellent point guard, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, who has averaged 23.8 points, 6.6 rebounds, and 5.4 assists per game. R.J. Barrett has supported him, who has averaged 12.8 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 2.2 threes per game on 37.9% from deep.
Scoring the ball is central to Canada's game, but their efficiency from three-point range has determined the quality of their play. Canada must take control of the match before Doncic can take down Slovenia.
Slovenia have been excellent through their five-game run at the FIBA Basketball World Cup. They went undefeated in the first round against Venezuela, Georgia, and Cape Verde while splitting their second-round matches against Australia and Germany.
In their last game, a blowout loss to Germany, Slovenia learned some tough lessons in what was, fortunately, a non-essential outing. Losing by 29, Slovenia shot just 21.9% from three on 32 attempts while allowing their opponents to shoot 54.7% overall and 48.4% from three on 31 shots.
The odds are against Slovenia when they face Canada. They could have a better defensive record, but their offense can keep up with any team. Slowing down Canada's three-point shooting will be crucial to their success.
Behind the efforts of Luka Doncic, Slovenia has been the tenth-best scoring team in the FIBA Basketball World Cup. They've averaged 88.4 points per game on 46.8% from the field and 31.4% from three on 10.6 made per game. What they lack in efficiency, Slovenia makes up for in volume.
As expected, throughout the tournament, Luka Doncic has been Slovenia's most outstanding player. He's averaged 26.4 points, 7.4 rebounds, and 6.8 assists on 44.2% from the field and 23.8% from three. He's had the support of Klemen Prepelic, who has averaged 14.8 points with 2.6 made threes per game.
It's not quite a one-person show for Slovenia, but their success starts and ends with the production of Luka Doncic. If Slovenia can create efficient opportunities against the tough Canadian perimeter defense, they'll have a great chance to earn an upset victory.
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Christian Jope is a writer, social media strategist, and data analyst. A Queen’s University Alumni, Christian is an author and social media strategist with Raptors Cage, while also working closely with MLSE and Canada Basketball through community-driven events.
Email: [email protected]More info on Christian Jope
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