mcege Posted September 6, 2013 Share Posted September 6, 2013 France - Israel Israel was my candidate to be the team which covers such big handicaps before the tournament. But, now I feel, I was deeply wrong and I'm glad I touched only one of their games and won money out of it. I know, after losing to Great Britain and Ukraine, this game became a do, or die game for them, but France is a terrible opposition for them. They played an overtime against GB, therefore O.Casspi and Y.Ohayon played two 30+ minutes game for consecutive days. Whereas, France had kind of off day against Great Britain and most of the starters got well rested throughout the game. France has physically bigger players in every position except PG and they have an incredible athleticism difference overall. Despite, French coach Vincent Collet is not of my favourites definitely, I must say France has coaching advantage as well, after watching Israel's first two games. I had no idea about coach Arik Shivek before EuroBasket 2011, but as I inspect his career, I had the feeling not to expect anything special and he didn't surprise me not in 2011, but also this year, too. Israel team looked clueless in the offensive end, Yotam Halperin is far from his old good days, which leaves Israeli team without any solid offensive threat from perimeter. (They shot 10/33 behind the arc, in first two games.) They don't have a solid finisher around the rim, as coach insists on using players like Y.Green, or E.Kadir and not using A.Tyus at all. That leaves all teams to focus heavily on L.Eliyahu and O.Casspi, and this results as two losses in two games where they were medium-big favourites. Losing to Germans was a wake up call for French team, who probably saw their group as the easiest one and didn't care for it at all, as they're known their ability to get complacent, very easily. But, they're in a must win situation also, not crucial like Israel, but they can not afford to lose to an another team, which still has chances to advance from group. That may make them to carry 0 point to the upper stage. They're definitely a good team, but not one of my favourites to be in final game, like they did back in 2011, as I believe they have some obvious vulnerabilities. But, I don't expect them to have a hard day, today. They are fresh, they are at least couple levels better then current Israel and they have perfect material to attack Israel's weaknesses. Whereas, Israel is more tired side, morale of the team is definitely very low, I don't think they'll put a proper fight, as if things go bad for let's say three quarters, that'll prevent a backdoor cover, as well. In 2011, these two teams were in same group, again. Israel didn't have O.Casspi, but they had D.Blu, much better Y.Halperin and G.Mekel, it was definitely a better Israeli side. Whereas, Frenchmen had J.Noah, but now they have A.Ajinca as his replacement and a more maturized N.De Colo, which makes me to rate those two teams, more or less same. France won that game 85-68, despite both T.Parker and B.Diaw played 34+ minutes in the previous game. France to win 80-62. France(-14) 5/10 @ 1.926 I also kinda like Serbia to cover against Macedonia, but something prevents me to take couple high-heavy favourites in a tournament with so many surprises, against couple teams in do, or die situations. The game is in night session anyway, so there's enough time for me to feel good about that situation and from evening session, I like under at GB-Bel game and Latvia to cover the spread. But, I don't feel extremely confident about them as well, it might be the best not to force. I'll see tomorrow when I wake up... Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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