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The final group of the 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup will be Group H, whose favorite to win is 15th-ranked Canada. While the North American nation has qualified for the World Cup just three times in its last six iterations, its golden generation of talent has made them one of the favorites to win it all.
Not ready to concede a place at the top of the group are longtime challengers France. The experienced European nation enters the tournament with familiar and new faces that retain its position as one of the tournament's most versatile teams.
Rounding out the group are World Cup debutants Latvia and Lebanon. Latvia is excited to compete in their first-ever FIBA Basketball World Cup, but they were dealt a blow when star man Kristaps Porzingis pulled out of the tournament with an injury. Lebanon aims to upset their competitors in their fourth appearance at the World Cup.
Odds taken from FanDuel Sportsbook on August 22, 2023.
25 August 2023: Latvia vs Lebanon (5:15 AM EST)
25 August 2023: Canada vs France (9:30 AM EST)
27 August 2023: Lebanon vs Canada (5:45 AM EST)
27 August 2023: France vs Latvia (9:30 AM EST)
29 August 2023: Lebanon vs France (5:45 AM EST)
29 August 2023: Canada vs Latvia (9:30 AM EST)
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FIBA World Ranking: 15
Odds to win the World Cup: +950 BET HERE
Odds to win Group H: -120 BET HERE
FIBA World Cup Appearances: 15
FIBA World Cup All-Time Record: 39-68 (.364)
Best World Cup Finish: 6 (1978, 1982)
Head Coach: Jordi Fernandez
Key Players: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, RJ Barrett, Dillon Brooks
NBA Players: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (OKC), RJ Barrett (NYK), Dillon Brooks (HOU), Lu Dort (OKC), Nickeil Alexander-Walker (MIN), Kelly Olynyk (UTA), Dwight Powell (DAL)
Canada will present a team of some of the world's top young talent at the 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup. After failing to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics and finishing 21st in the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup in China, Canada booked their ticket to the 2023 World Cup behind the guidance of NBA Champion head coach Nick Nurse. Canada was the first team to qualify for the World Cup out of the Americas.
Young talent litters Canada's World Cup roster, and they'll be led by All-NBA point guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. While they'll suffer from Jamal Murray pulling out of the tournament with injury, their wing depth is some of the best in the competition with RJ Barrett, Dillon Brooks, and Lu Dort among those available. Even their frontcourt is led by NBA veterans Kelly Olynyk and Dwight Powell, along with reigning College Basketball Player of the Year Zach Edey.
Canada has a real shot at making some noise in Group H and the tournament. While they went just 3-2 in the pre-tournament exhibition phase, their talent is undeniable. Experience may be the deciding factor for Canada as they aim for the top of Group H.
FIBA World Ranking: 5
Odds to win the World Cup: +1600 BET HERE
Odds to win Group H: -102 BET HERE
FIBA World Cup Appearances: 9
FIBA World Cup All-Time Record: 34-29 (.540)
Best World Cup Finish: 3 (2014, 2019)
Head Coach: Vincent Collet
Key Players: Rudy Gobert, Evan Fournier, Nando de Colo
NBA Players: Frank Ntilikina (DAL), Nicolas Batum (LAC), Evan Fournier (NYK), Rudy Gobert (MIN)
After back-to-back third-place finishes at the 2014 and 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cups, France enters the 2023 tournament with their eyes on first place. France was excellent through the qualifying process, earning their ticket to the World Cup with a window to spare. Through that process, they maintained a core group of contributors who would join the squad in Indonesia.
France sports a roster with some of the brightest talents across the NBA and Europe. While they'll be without young superstar Victor Wembanyama, they'll still be led by veteran contributors like Rudy Gobert, Evan Fournier, and Nicolas Batum. Owning one of the tournament's most balanced rosters, France is a force to be reckoned with.
Expect France to challenge for the top spot in the group. Not only does their talent match up well against favorite Canada, but they have the best interior threat in the group on top of experience at the highest level of international basketball.
FIBA World Ranking: 29
Odds to win the World Cup: +50000 BET HERE
Odds to win Group H: +5000 BET HERE
FIBA World Cup Appearances: 1
FIBA World Cup All-Time Record: 0-0
Best World Cup Finish: n/a
Head Coach: Luca Banchi
Key Players: Davis Bertans, Anzejs Pasecniks, Dairis Bertans
NBA Players: Davis Bertans (OKC)
Latvia will debut at the 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup after failing to qualify in 2019 by mere points differential. After missing out on Eurobasket 2022, Latvia needed a great qualifying run to earn a spot at the World Cup. They stepped up, losing just once through the first five qualification windows while defeating European giants Greece in November 2022 to book their ticket to Indonesia!
While they were without him for much of the qualifying process, Latvia's chances at progressing were made worse when Kristaps Porzingis pulled out of the tournament with an injury. They'll be led by the Bertans brothers, big man Anzejs Pasecniks, and former NBAer Rodions Kurucs.
Latvia is an exciting team with versatile contributors on the offensive side of the ball, having ranked fourth in scoring at the European Qualifiers. Despite their exciting team makeup, Latvia's team doesn't project to have the defensive ability to compete with the top teams in the group.
FIBA World Ranking: 43
Odds to win the World Cup: +50000 BET HERE
Odds to win Group H: +10000 BET HERE
FIBA World Cup Appearances: 4
FIBA World Cup All-Time Record: 3-12 (.200)
Best World Cup Finish: 16 (2002)
Head Coach: Jad El Hajj
Key Players: Wael Arakji, Amir Saoud, Omari Spellman
NBA Players: n/a
Lebanon is in the 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup after failing to qualify for the tournament since 2010. Lebanon was excellent through the Asian Qualifiers, earning their spot at the 2023 World Cup with two windows to spare. Head coach Jad El Hajj helped lead The Cedars to a seven-game win streak that helped them become the first Asian team to qualify for the 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup.
Owning excellent continuity, Lebanon is led by the 2022 Asia Cup MVP and eight-time Lebanese League Champion Wael Arakji. He's supported by Amir Saoud and Ali Haidar, who combined for almost 30 points per game through the FIBA Sia Qualifiers. Rounding out the roster is naturalized and former NBA player Omari Spellman, who currently plays in South Korea.
Lebanon was one of the top-performing teams through the Asia Qualifiers in 2022, but they were dealt a harsh blow by getting a place in Group H. Even with a weakened Latvia, Lebanon doesn't have the talent, depth, or quality to compete with the likes of Canada or France.
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France is the highest-ranked team in Group H, sitting fifth overall in the FIBA Rankings.
Group H will play games in Indonesia, specifically in Indonesia Arena in Jakarta.
France has the highest finish of any team in Group G at the FIBA Basketball World Cup. France finished third in 2014 and 2019.
There are potentially 12 NBA players competing in Group H of the FIBA World Cup: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (OKC), RJ Barrett (NYK), Dillon Brooks (HOU), Lu Dort (OKC), Nickeil Alexander-Walker (MIN), Kelly Olynyk (UTA), Dwight Powell (DAL), Frank Ntilikina (DAL), Nicolas Batum (LAC), Evan Fournier (NYK), Rudy Gobert (MIN), and Davis Bertans (OKC).
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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