The German national basketball team won’t be with NBA star Dennis Schröder at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. The 27-year-old point guard, who is under contract with the Los Angeles Lakers was reportedly eager to play for his home country. Germany, led by Moritz Wagner won the FIBA qualifying tournament in Croatia earlier this month.
Schröder, who is on a player’s option and eligible for free agency on August 2nd, was unable to get insurance coverage since his contract with the Los Angeles Lakers expiring, making it difficult for him to join the German national team.
“I would have loved to have been there in Tokyo. It’s the Olympic Games, that’s pretty much the greatest for an athlete and I’ve always dreamed of participating in the Olympics. I’m of course very disappointed that I didn’t attend this important tournament can come up and fight together with the team” – Dennis Schröder
Schröder averaged averaging over 32-minutes and 15.4 points per game for the Lakers and the German team would likely be a lot more competitive with him in the line-up.
Germany finished 1-2 in group play losing to Italy and Australia. They held a fourth-quarter lead over Italy but was outscored 24-10 down the stretch and lost 92-82. They then beat Nigeria 99-92 despite Milwaukee Buck Jordan Nwora scoring 33 points. Germany then lost to Australia 89-76, backing into the quarterfinals as one of the two best third-place finishers due to a superior point differential.
Germany vs. Slovenia
Germany faces Slovenia in the opening matchup of the quarterfinals on August 2nd. BetMGM Indiana has Slovenia, led by Dallas Maverick star Luka Doncic, a 14 point favorite. Slovenia has been one of the biggest surprises of the tournament. The team went 3-0 in the group stage to earn the top spot over Spain and Argentina.
Germany is led by starting guard Maodo Lo who leads the team in scoring averaging 14.3 points and 6.0 assists per game. Orlando Magic forward Moritz Wagner is averaging 11.7 points and 3.3 rebounds, and Washington Wizard’s center Isaac Bonga has been providing the team with NBA-level interior defense.
A strong 3-point shooting team, Germany has shot 41% from beyond the arc this tournament. If they can get those shots to drop they can hang with anyone. However, if they can’t find that rhythm from the perimeter, this team could fade fast. The oddsmakers have the team losing by double digits as it did against Italy and Australia.
Expectations were low for a Slovenia team making its first appearance in the Olympics, with the sportsbooks predicting the team would finish behind international powerhouses Spain and Argentina.
In its first Olympic game, Slovenia defeated Argentina 118-100 behind Doncic’s 48 points, 11 rebounds, and 5 assists. They followed up that win with a 35-point blowout over Japan on July 28 and then beat Spain in a thrilling 95-87 win in which they overcame a 12-point second-half deficit. Slovenia finished 3-0 in Group C, tied with France and Australia for the best records in group play.
Slovenia has been winning games by playing tight defensively. Opponents are shooting just 37.7% shooting from the field against them. Doncic has been the most dominant player in the Olympics, averaging 28.3 points, 10.7 rebounds, and 7.0 assists per game. It’s difficult to see Germany getting past this team.