Argentina vs Slovenia
July 26, 2021 12:40 am EDT
The Line: Slovenia -5.5
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Argentina and Slovenia meet Monday morning in the 2020 Olympics in a basketball meeting at the Saitama Super Arena. Argentina is in its fifth straight Olympics and has produced a medal in two of its last four trips. Slovenia will participate in its first Olympics since the separation of Yugoslavia.
Argentina is fresh off a silver medal in the 2019 FIBA World Cup and is the only nation in this field outside of the US to produce a gold medal. Argentina has had a lot of success in recent tournaments, including a gold medal in the 2019 Pan American Games. As for the roster, Luis Scola will make his fifth Olympic appearance, which is the most of any Argentinian player. As for current NBA players, Team Argentina includes Lucas Vildoza, Gabriel Deck, Leandro Bolmaro and Facundo Campazzo. Patricio Garino was an elite defensive player during his time at George Washington and Nicolás Laprovíttola is an experienced player who has done pretty much everything on the international level. There’s been more talented Argentina teams in the past, but this club gets after it defensively and landed with experience. I wouldn’t sleep on Argentina, a team that is fundamentally sound and plays together.
Slovenia is on the big stage for the first time and doesn’t have a ton of tournament success overall, but it did go undefeated and won the 2017 EuroBasket. It’s going to be interesting to see how Slovenia handles the nerves of being under the bright lights for the first time. Slovenia is led by superstar Luka Doncic, who is one of the best players in the NBA at 22 years old and capable of winning games by himself at times. Doncic gives Slovenia a punchers chance to beat any team in this field on any given day. Vlatko Cancar of the Denver Nuggets is the other NBA player for Slovenia. The rest of the roster includes five-time Slovenian champion Edo Muric, former Virginia star Mike Tobey and brother of Goran Dragic in Zoran Dragic. Slovenia doesn’t have a ton of house hold names and probably isn’t all that talented. However, with Doncic leading the way, Slovenia is not a team you can look past.
There’s no match history between these two teams.
Argentina has experience, leadership and plays the right way, so they’re worth a look in the underdog role. However, Slovenia has the best player on the floor and that’s usually good enough against teams not stock piled with talent. This isn’t the most talented Argentina team we’ve seen in past years. Doncic should be enough to get the job done.
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I’ll lay the reasonable number with Slovenia.