Qualified football match: plug the gap on the assembly line (nd-aktuell.de)


Franz Wagner (above) is just a glimmer of hope in a summer filled with bad news for the German basketball team.

Image: IMAGO/camera4+

Gordon Herbert knows that life is unpredictable and even the best laid plans are thwarted again and again, especially in sports. The fact that the summer of 2022 will develop unfavorably for the national basketball coach and the German national team should frustrate Canadians. Once again the team was predicted to be a successful tournament. At the moment, however, the dream of a European Championship medal in your country seems out of reach with less than a week to go. German basketball may be the best collection of good players in its history. However, unpredictable bad luck with injuries has blighted this growing group.

It all started a month ago when Herbert was rejected for this summer by NBA professional Maxi Kleber. Finally, the Dallas Mavericks winger is looking for a cure for several minor ailments that have plagued him over the past few years. Meanwhile, a second NBA player, Isaac Bonga, had to undergo surgery after injuring his ankle during the World Cup. A few weeks later, Moritz Wagner’s ankle also protested. The Orlando Magic center threw Germany at the Olympics last year, and now he’s out.

Most recently, when the German Basketball Association (DBB) announced before the Supercup in Hamburg in mid-August that Daniel Theis, the NBA vice-champion, will participate in the European tournament. Home competition. The national team is immediately understaffed, especially in a large position under the basket, usually the strength of the Germans. This was clearly demonstrated in the finals of the Supercup in Hamburg, when the EM team from Serbia around the NBA superstar Nikola Jokic Germany was a completely superior body and the host missed a bitter defeat 56: 83.

Instead of Theis, Wagner and Kleber from the best league in the world, Jonas Wohlfarth-Bottermann, Gavin Schilling and Leon Kratzer from Hamburg, Limoges and Bonn immediately tried to defend the German basket. Five weeks ago, none of the three got a chance at the European Cup, both were sent home by Herbert from the training camp. Now, however, the coach may take at least two of them to Cologne when France, second in the Olympics, will wait there on Thursday as the first opponent in the European competition. Then comes the duel with Lithuania, and both teams are unstoppable, especially under the basket. If Theis is not on time, a false start is almost inevitable.

DBB Vice President Armin Andres said Thursday evening that Theis will return to team training on Monday at the earliest. But even that is not certain. This Sunday against Slovenia, the Indiana Pacers pro could not be part of the World Cup qualifiers. “Everyone knows that Daniel is very important because of his sport and experience. We thin under the basket, we noticed that against Serbia. Daniel will be the pusher,” said Andres.

National coach Gordon Herbert dreamed of being able to name the “best team” at the end of May. He also wants to get the team together a month before the European Championship so that he can work on the chemistry of the team and the game system without distraction. Now, less than a week before the start of the tournament, he still has to wait for the nomination because he doesn’t know if Theis can play. He had to say goodbye to the idea of ​​making a commitment to grow together as a team in the years that Coming up to the 2024 Olympics. Herbert just needs to work on what’s left, plug the gaps and then hope for less bad luck with injuries in the summer of 2023.

After all, Dennis Schröder returned to the team. The new captain, who is still looking for a new club in the NBA, twisted his ankle during the Supercup and was sidelined for almost a week. He then followed the team to the World Cup qualifier in Sweden to lead them to an unchallenged 67:50 win on Thursday. However, the internal handbrake used is visible in almost every move he makes. The quick first step, which Schröder otherwise tries to stop his opponents, was not seen in Stockholm, and many of his three points fell.

It is assured that the team always has low and medium level opponents such as Estonia, Czech Republic or Sweden under control despite the full hospital. With a current record of six wins and only one defeat, qualification for the World Cup should be almost certain. The second line has enough quality at least to beat Bosnia-Herzegovina in a difficult European Championship group and thus can safely enter the Round of 16 in Berlin in fourth place. After all, that would be more than in the last European Cup in 2015 or the 2019 World Cup in China, when DBB with its best team fell short of its own expectations every time.

The following developments are mainly related to Franz Wagner. Born in Berlin, who is celebrating his 21st birthday this Saturday, is proving that he is the greatest German talent since Dirk Nowitzki. In his first year in the NBA, he exceeded all expectations in Orlando. In the national team, he now relieves Schröder in the attack and thus creates more changes. It was not enough for the opponents to stop Schröder, after all Wagner was Germany’s best scorer three times in his first four international matches in the last few weeks, including against Sweden with 16 points. He’s one of the signs of hope in a summer of bad news – at least as long as he stays healthy.

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