Everyone agrees, France is the big favorite of the Euro basketball that it will play at home this weekend. The main living forces of the nation are there and in great shape – and not everyone can say the same – eh the Spaniards? -, the last two major competitions have been great successes and the matches of the final phase will be played in front of 27,000 excited people in Lille. HAS 20 minutes, we have still identified eight things that could well bother us during the next fortnight. This is why the Blues must be very careful on the road to the title.
1. Because Spain and Serbia
If you think we’re going to make the Spaniards our thing at this Euro because we beat them in the quarter-finals of the World Cup last year and there won’t be Calderon, Rubio, Ibaka or Marc Gasol, think again. Certainly, the Blues can leave more confident than usual if ever their dear neighbors have the good idea to go through it, but nothing is more vicious than an ill-intentioned Spanish sportsman. If Pau Gasol and his little comrades really want – and we don’t doubt it for a moment – to take revenge, the moment is ideal.
As for Serbia… We don’t do better in cold-blooded dream breakers. Like last year, in the semi-finals, when we were hot as embers after having taken out Spain. You should never forget that they are the only ones who can put baskets like this to cut your legs off when you came back to – 3 to 2 minutes from the end (and they have Teodosi).
2. Because NBA clubs
Encyclopedias have already been written about the NBA’s view of European basketball and the value it places on its doctors. Alexis Ajinça tried to hide his tendon pain all summer, his Pelicans club kindly ordered him to end the joke. Which reminds us of this fabulous story of Tony Parker, summoned to return to San Antonio by text message – “Departure tomorrow from Paris by the plane at 9:25 a.m., the ticket is on your mobile” – for a benign ankle sprain in summer 2009. To sum up, not an NBA franchise will have any qualms when repatriating one of its players injured during the competition, even if it is for a mosquito bite. And France is the only one to field so many American players (Diaw, Parker, Gobert, Fournier, Batum)…
3. Because free throws
The France team has not always been this beast of sex capable of dismantling Spain at home without Tony Parker last year. For a long time, she embodied the French loose as we like it. His speciality ? Slough a game well on board with an orgy of missed free throws. Without going back to the Greek Calends, let’s talk about Greece, precisely, and of these seven points of advance wasted partly because of two failures of Antoine Rigaudeau in 2005. Two years later, against the Russians, it is his highness TP herself who reproduced the bad joke in the quarter-finals, thus eliminating France from the race for the Olympics. It was a long time ago ? We’re talking about it again at 65-66 against Italy in the 8th round, Gobert throws 18 seconds from the end.
4. Because no one ever wins at home in basketball
Don’t ask us why, but home advantage doesn’t exist in basketball. The last time an organizing country won the competition was Schrempf’s Germany in 1993. Since then, everyone has tripped over the carpet. In 99, moreover, France had good hopes of winning its Euro with Tariq Abdul-Wahad and the gang of high socks. It had ended in butchery against those Spaniard bastards, already. Do you want more ? In 2013, Céline Dumerc’s Bleues rolled around Europe before meeting the Iberians in the final at Orchies. Result, a defeat of two points and an eternal frustration.
5. Because we forgot that we had to tell you everything
Undoubtedly Vincent Collet’s most famous speech. October 2010, France plays the World Cup in Turkey. At half-time of a match against New Zealand where they are as smart as 11-year-old kids, the Blues are shot by their coach. The beginning is soft, all in cynicism. “I apologize for not telling you again, on the last timeout, to make a mistake if we were only three points ahead in goal average. I’m sorry…” The result made the walls of the locker room tremble. “I had forgotten that I had to tell you everything!!!!! Like you’ve been playing basketball since this morning!!! “.
And yes, these Blues that we love so much, used to fighting the best in the world in the NBA or in the Euroleague, are also capable of forgetting themselves in a way that defies all logic. Kind of mixing brushes on a resumption of time out and leaving Kahudi alone to mark Nowitzki four seconds from the end in the quarter-finals…
6. Because TP will want to play the saviors
He dreams so much of this title at home… And if possible, it’s human, to lift the trophy as a national hero, after having saved the country in “Michel Platini at Euro 84” mode. This European championship must be the consecration for Tony Parker. The best French player in history, 33, is almost obliged to win. And of course that little bit of extra pressure will bring out the important shots when the Spurs point guard will, as usual, take charge in the final minutes.
7. Because Lille is bad luck
“27,000 people would be unheard of. The European record for basketball is just over 24,000 in Belgrade. The Grand Stade de Lille, it will be great! “. Jean-Pierre Siutat, the president of the French Basketball Federation, is proud as a pope to have recovered part of the Ukrainian Euro thanks to the capacity of the Lille enclosure once the roof is closed. It’s as cute as Jean Gachassin when he explained to us that he was eager to see Tsonga, Monfils, and the others jump on Federer’s back in the Davis Cup final in an atmosphere of madness. The atmosphere was not enough, obviously.
8. Because you have to choose your competitions well
We assume you know you can’t always win in sports? In general, we learn that around 8/9 years old, unless we are supporters of Nadal, the Blacks and the Mannschaft. In 2015, therefore, you have to know how to choose your fights. The Blues won the Euro two years ago. Those of rugby have always been waiting for a World Cup. The choice, frankly, we prefer to hit the English at home at Twickenham thanks to a drop from Michalak in the final. Especially since we have to keep a little win for 2016. The Euro football at home, does that mean anything to you? Every L1 coach will tell you that those who shine in the fall are rarely there in the spring.