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|Team||Point Spread||Total||Money Line|
|O 168.5 (-118)
|U 168.5 (-113)
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It should be a closely contested matchup as both Italy and France play at a similar pace and like to exploit the halfcourt. Very little separates these two teams, but we’re giving the edge to the favorites off the back of their ability to get easy baskets in the paint.
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|Italy vs France Information|
|Teams||Italy vs France|
|Location||Super Saitama Arena, Saitama, Japan|
|Time||4:20 AM EST, August 3rd, 2021|
|How to Watch||NBC, NBC Sports, NBC Sports App|
|Meo Sacchetti||Head Coach||Vincent Collet|
|2-1 (2nd in Group B)||Standing||3-0 (1st in Group A)|
|Won 1||Form||Won 3|
Leaders (Per Game)
|S. Fontecchio (18.0)||PPG||E. Fournier (17.3)|
|N. Melli (6.0)||RPG||R. Gobert (7.7)|
|N. Mannion (5.0)||APG||N. De Colo (6.0)|
|S. Fontecchio (1.7)||SPG||N. De Colo (1.7)|
|A. Tessitori (1.0)||BPG||M. Fall (0.3)|
|S. Tonut (.560)/S. Fontecchio (7.3)||FG%/FGM||N. De Colo (.556)/E. Fournier (6.7)|
|G. Ricci (.750)/S. Fontecchio (2.7)||3P%/3PM||N. De Colo, T. Huertel (.455)/E. Fournier (2.7)|
Not known as one of the tournament’s premiere defensive teams, Italy will have their hands full when they face off against France’s aggressive attack. Italy’s organization on the defensive side can’t be underestimated, but they’ll have their biggest challenge against France.
France enters this matchup as the squad with the third most two-point field goals in the tournament, converting on almost 60% of their attempts. Much of it has to do with their drive-and-kick game, and the intimidation of Gobert in the paint.
The Italians have shown that their offence can deal with a variety of opponents, but if they can’t stop France’s penetration they could be paced out of this game quickly.
Italy impressed through their first three games in the group phase. Not having an easy night against any opponent, Baskonia forward Simone Fontecchio showed that his scoring prowess can overcome a variety of defenders.
Through three games, Fontecchio has averaged 18.0 points, 3.3 rebounds, and 2.0 assists per game. He’s been fantastic from the three-point line as well, converting on 50% of his three-point field goal attempts.
Fontecchio doesn’t get to the free throw line very often, so he needs to find good looks early to open up his offence. Against Rudy Gobert in the paint, Fontecchio will see his fair share of opportunities from range.
France were fortunate in their group stage. Not only did they go undefeated, even beating the United States, they had a point differential of +44 through three games. When they take on Italy, they will need to adjust to Italy’s willingness to move the ball and launch from range.
The best weapon on the side of Les Bleus is center Rudy Gobert, as he is a stalwart defender at the rim. However due to Italy’s range and efficiency, France are sure to see their fair share of shots from the perimeter where Gobert doesn’t regularly compete.
Italy convert on over a third of their three-point attempts, but can run lineups where all five players can nail a shot from range. France are sure to get their own offence going, but they need to adjust to Italy’s diversified attack.
While all eyes are on France’s NBA star pair of Fournier and Gobert, it is Fenerbahce point guard Nando De Colo who organizes France’s success. The 34-year-old may not be the most exciting player on the court, but his efficiency on the offensive end has been fantastic.
Through his three group stage matches, De Colo has averaged 13.3 points, 6.0 assists, and 3.7 rebounds per game while shooting 55.6% from the field. He is coming off of his most efficient game of the tournament where he shot perfectly from the field against Iran in just 15 minutes of play.
Due to his size and craftiness, De Colo causes a number of issues for his opponents when he takes the court. He’s shot modestly from three through the tournament, but if he can open up the court to go along with his drive-and-kick game, De Colo can dismantle the Italian defence.
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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