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The first match of the quarter-final round is between two European powerhouses, Lithuania and Serbia! Lithuania is undefeated through five games, most recently upsetting tournament-favorite United States in their last game. Even without first-option Nikola Jokic, Serbia has reached the quarter-finals behind the contributions of both veterans and rising stars!
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|O 168.5 (-112)|
|U 168.5 (-108)|
Our Pick: Spread Lithuania +1.0 (-115)
Both Serbia and Lithuania are some of the tournament's top-performing offensive teams. When they face off on Tuesday, the team that can consistently establish the pace of play will win. On their current shooting form, Lithuania projects to overcome their European rivals.
|Kazys Maksvytis||Head Coach||Svetislav Pesic|
|Won 5||Form||Won 1|
Leaders (Per Game)
|J. Valanciunas (13.6)||PPG||B. Bogdanovic (18.4)|
|J. Valanciunas (9.2)||RPG||N. Milutinov (9.6)|
|R. Jokubaitis (5.6)||APG||S. Jovic (7.0)|
|R. Jokubaitis (1.2)||SPG||B. Bogdanovic (2.2)|
|J. Valanciunas (1.2)||BPG||N. Milutinov (1.0)|
|J. Valanciunas (.615)/J. Valanciunas (5.4)||FG%/FGM||N. Milutinov (.711)/B. Bogdanovic (5.6)|
|R. Jokubaitis (.667)/E. Bendzius (1.8)||3P%/3PM||D. Ristic (.833)/ B. Bogdanovic (2.8)|
Lithuania has reached the quarter-finals of the 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup after going undefeated through their first five games. First, they went 3-0 in the first round by defeating Egypt, Mexico, and Montenegro. In the second round, Lithuania defeated Greece and upset tournament favorites the United States in their two games.
The success of the Lithuanian team comes from their inside-out game. They are the top three-point shooting team in the tournament, with 11.6 per game on 46.4%, and the top rebounding team with 44.2 per game.
Lithuania's shooting doesn't seem sustainable, but they've succeeded in every match. Establishing their play inside against a competitive Serbia team will be the first step to Lithuania pushing for the semi-finals!
Lithuania are one of the hottest shooting teams in the tournament to add to their already impressive frontcourt offense. Through five games, they are averaging 96.4 points on 53.8% from the field and 46.4% from three on 11.6 made per game.
Lithuania is led by center Jonas Valanciunas with an equally distributed offensive effort, averaging 13.6 points, 9.2 rebounds, and 1.2 blocks per game on 62.8% shooting efficiency. Guard Rokas Jokubaitis is second in scoring for Lithuania with 12.8 per game while also leading Lithuania with 5.6 assists per game.
If they can maintain their shooting form, Lithuania's biggest weapon in this matchup is their ability to convert from three-point range. With the power to punish Serbia from range, Lithuania has been successful in its attempts to score at the rim.
Despite entering the tournament without their best player, 2023 NBA Finals MVP Nikola Jokic, Serbia confidently worked to a 4-1 record en route to the quarter-finals. Serbia comfortably defeated China, Puerto Rico, and South Sudan. Despite losing just two points to Italy in their first game of the Second Round, they bounced back to enter the quarter-finals after a 43-point victory over the Dominican Republic.
Serbia has been one of the tournament's best-scoring teams, averaging 100.4 points per game while getting to the free throw line 24.6 times. Their success has come from their ball movement and efficiency, resulting in having five players averaging double-digit scoring numbers.
Maintaining the quality of their offense is paramount for Serbia to find victory over a red-hot shooting team in Lithuania. Against one of the tournament's best rebounding teams, Serbia can't afford to be wasteful on offense.
Serbia is second in scoring through the 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup, averaging 100.4 points per game on 55.0% from the field and 37.6% from three on 10.6 per game. They're best in the tournament at scoring inside the arc, averaging 24.4 two-point field goals per game on 68.9% efficiency. Key to Serbia's offensive success is their passing, where they average 26.8 assists per game to only 10.0 turnovers.
Leading Serbia's scoring effort has been guard Bogdan Bogdanovic, who is averaging 18.4 points per game on 45.2% efficiency and 35.9% from three on 2.8 made threes per game. Center Nikola Milutinov's presence in the paint has been crucial, supporting Bogdanovic's effort with 14.0 points and a team-leading 9.6 rebounds per game.
Serbia's inside-out game has helped them become the tournament's most efficient team through five games. Against Lithuania, Serbia will pit their offense against a similar one to their own.
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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.
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