Shortly after his Slovenian national team was blown out Tuesday by Team USA in a FIBA Basketball World Cup quarterfinal match, Phoenix Suns guard Goran Dragic picked Spain as the favorite in the tourney.
Dragic gives the Yanks their props, but ultimately thinks the Spaniards’ dominant front-line will prevail. Per USA Today:
“Uh, I mean so far, (it’s) Spain,” Dragic said (when asked to pick a favorite.)
Dragic is hardly alone in that assessment, as the combination of the Spaniards’ experience and the fact that they boast such an elite frontline in Marc Gasol (Memphis Grizzlies), Pau Gasol (Chicago Bulls), and Serge Ibaka (Oklahoma City Thunder) has more than enough to make them the unofficial favorite in the minds of many. And that appeared to be the basis of Dragic’s opinion, as he noted how the Americans’ ability to dominate the glass against smaller teams like Slovenia will be far more challenging if they meet Spain in the expected finale.
“They’re good, very good,” Dragic said of Team USA. “The big guys under the basket, if they’re going to get offensive rebounds then (their teammates) don’t have pressure when they shoot the ball. They get second offense, but I think … it’s going to be hard against Spain.”