Serbia is becoming the joke of international basketball. Not because of the loss to Italy (86-94) at the FIBA Eurobasket 2022 but of the way it went down.
It is the same recipe as always. The opponent focuses on 3-point shooting, and if the percentage is high enough, then Serbia loses. Against ANY opponent. When a team faces Serbia, they have an easy task. No need to scout the Serbian team or come up with complicated tactics. Because one recipe works every time; shoot 3-pointers!! As many as possible. Italy made 16 three-pointers yesterday against 42,1%. Practically every team that plays Serbia has a higher 3-point percentage against the Serbian team than their average in that particular tournament (Italy, for example, averages only 36 % at Eurobasket 2022).
When a team starts to connect a couple of 3-pointers in a row against Serbia, they enter a trance in which they can’t miss anymore. Over the years, we have seen it so many times with the Serbian national team. The picture is always the same. Serbia comes to a FIBA tournament as one of the favorites but exits after they lose another game due to a barrage of 3-pointers. The worst thing is that the Serbians don’t seem to learn from their lessons. They fall to the same thing over and over again. Italy is a formidable team, but any team on the planet that decides to focus on 3-pointers will have a good chance of beating Serbia.
Yes, Serbia has the best player in the world (Nikola Jokic), and usually, the rest of the team will have either NBA or Euroleague experience. However, the backcourt is slow and can’t guard anybody. We already predicted that Serbia would not win any medals at any FIBA tournament. No matter how many stars they have on the team. There is something fundamentally wrong with Serbian basketball.
Italy’s quest for their third European crown – and first since 1999 – continues on Wednesday, September 14, when they take on France. Italy has now reached the Quarter-Finals for the fourth straight EuroBasket. Serbia, for their part, missed the Quarter-Finals for the first time under the Serbia flag since 2007.