Boomers World Cup Group Stage Matchups and Outlook

Noah Strang
By:
Noah Strang
24/08/2023
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World Cup Group Stage Examined for Team Australia

What to make of the Australian Boomers group stage matchups against Finland, Germany, and Japan at the FIBA World Cup. 

News Insights

  • Boomers headline a talented group E.
  • Finland will not be an easy out.
  • Germany the main threat to challenge the Boomers atop the group.
  • Host Japanese will look to pull strength from their fans.

The Boomers are in Japan and ready to go for their opening game of the FIBA World Cup this Friday. The aim for the talented Australian squad is gold but first they must qualify through group E. The Aussies are the favourites but their opponents in Finland, Germany, and Japan all feature NBA talent. 

A Look into the Teams in Group E 

The Boomers headline what is one of the stronger overall groups at the FIBA World Cup in group E. 

Ranked number three in the world and coming off a solid bronze medal finish at the Tokyo Olympics the Aussies are expected to qualify atop the group. However, doing so will be no walk in the park as each of Finland, Germany, and Japan have rosters set to put up a fight. 

As well, the Boomers expected starting centre Jock Landale suffered an ankle injury in a pre-tournament matchup with South Sudan and has been ruled out of the tournament. This is a big loss for the team. 

Starting with the most difficult matchup in the group, Germany is ranked 11th in the world and finished eighth at the most recent Olympics. With NBA players like Dennis Schroder, Mo and Franz Wagner, and Daniel Theis, the Germans will be Australia’s biggest competition to finish atop the group. 

Finland, ranked 24th in the world are not to be taken lightly as NBA all-star Lauri Markkanen has the ability to take over a game.

Lastly, the host Japanese headlined by Yuta Watanabe are 36th in the world and finished 11th at the Tokyo Olympics. Though their overall roster leaves much to be desired, Watanabe can fill it up from deep and with the crowd at their backs they will be formidable. 

Matchup with Lauri Markkanen and Finland

As mentioned above, Finland relies heavily on Lauri Markkanen as their lone NBA player. 

As such, the biggest key to the Boomers matchup this Friday with the Finns will be forcing the ball out of the hands of Markkanen and having the other players on the team prove they can create offense. 

Portland Trailblazers’ Matisse Thybulle will play a big part in this likely getting the responsibility of defending Markkanen to begin with. Thybulle is one of the NBA’s best POA defenders but stands at just 6’5. With his 7’0 wingspan however he has a chance at being able to disrupt the 7’0 Markkanen’s rhythm. 

If he’s unable to do so, sending double teams at Markkanen and forcing the ball from his hands is a route the Boomers are likely to go. 

Likely Battle for #1 with Germany

The Germany matchup for the Aussies is likely to be their toughest group stage test and will probably determine the winner of the group. 

Germany has solid NBA talent in Dennis Schroder, Franz and Mo Wagner, and Daniel Theis. Franz Wagner is the most prolific offensive player of the bunch meaning once again Thybulle will likely play a key role. 

The front court of Mo Wagner and Daniel Theis is solid offensively but leaves much to be desired on the other end. Thus, Josh Giddey and co. should look to attack the paint and force switches defensively on the perimeter. 

Japanese Not to Be Underestimated

Japan has just one NBA player in Yuta Watanabe and though he’s not a star by any means he is one of the best three-point shooters in the league. As long as the Boomers are locked in defensively and not blowing assignments, they should be able to keep him in check. 

With the home crowd behind the Japanese however, anything is possible. 

Australia begins their World Cup journey on Friday with a gold medal on their minds. To get there, they must take care of business in group E. The Boomers are the favourites in the group but each of Finland, Germany, and Japan have the ability togive the Aussies a scare.