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September 2022
Semi-Finals Preview: Germany hungry for revenge for big game losses to Spain
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Semi-Finals Preview: Germany hungry for revenge for big game losses to Spain

BERLIN (Germany) - The second FIBA EuroBasket 2022 Semi-Final will be an intriguing matchup of one of the major up-and-coming countries in the basketball world - hosts Germany - facing off against one of the weakest editions of one of the absolute superpowers of the game - three-time continental champions Spain. And the teams go into the game almost with swapped big picture mentalities.

Germany have lost just one game - to Slovenia in the group stage - and have one of the strongest teams in decades. Whereas most teams might feel the massive weight of expectation and pressure being the hosts in a Semi-Final, Germany will not have that extra burden thrusted upon them. The home fans are more euphoric about the team's magical win over Greece to reach the Semi-Finals for the first time since 2005.

Spain, on the other hand, beat Finland 100-90 to lock up their 11th straight top-four finish but have done so with a team featuring three players born 2000 or later and missing most of their experiened players. The Iberians already have overachieved, and now they are playing with house money and will be looking for another podium finish.

This German team will have a sense of revenge though for Spain. The last time Germany beat Spain was in the Semi-Finals of EuroBasket 2005 with Dirk Nowitzki's big shot late. But more recently Spain eliminated Germany in the Group Phase of EuroBasket 2015 - in Berlin in Nowitzki's final game. And Spain also ended Germany's strong run at EuroBasket 2017, winning 84-72 in the Quarter-Finals. 

Germany v Spain - Friday - 20:30 CET

Key Matchup: Germany get a lot of production from Franz Wagner, who ranks second on the team in scoring with 16.3  points while shooting 51.5 percent from long range. This will be a major test for Xabi Lopez-Arostegui to keep the emerging NBA star in check.

X-Factor: Spain rely so heavily on the Hernangomez brothers - Willy and Juancho combine to average 28.6 points and 12.4 rebounds - that slowing them down in the post will be big for Germany's chances. And that means Daniel Theis will need to have a strong game without getting into foul trouble.  

Stats Don't Lie: Germany are the top scoring team in the competition at 93.6 points per game while Spain average 90.4 points. Germany rank third in three-pointers at 40.4 percent  while Spain are sixth worst at 32.8 percent - with Germany allowing opponents to shoot just 31.1 percent from long range. Spain do dominate on the offensive glass with 14.7 offensive rebounds per game - tops in the tournament and 32 total offensive rebounds more than Germany. Spain also commit the fewest turnovers in the competition at 8.6 including an outstanding 2.4 assists to turnovers ratio. 

They Said: "I know the Hernangomez brothers really well, (Usman) Garuba is with the Rockets. A physical team. We have to be ready. They don't have a Giannis (Antetokounmpo) but they have a lot of role players who can score 20 points. So we have to have the right mindset and come out like we did against Greece." - Dennis Schroder, Germany

"We owe Spain from EuroBasket from five years ago in Turkey." - Daniel Theis, Germany

"To be in the top four of a championship like this, where big teams are already left behind with for sure more talent and size and experience, it is something great. Which doesn't mean we don't want to keep competing. This is within our nature. It's our identity." - Spain coach Sergio Scariolo