Basketball EM in Cologne: the reason for the victory of Germany against the favorite France

Former Giants Johannes Thiemann (left) is believed to be coming from the bank. Photo: imago//Tilo Wiedensoler

German basketball players wear the favored French jersey at the start of the European tournament – there are two reasons for this.

The acting is perfect. The lights in Cologne’s Lanxess Stadium did not turn down because of the energy crisis, but to pay tribute to Dirk Nowitzki (44) in a sensitive spot. The German basketball player is the first player to receive the honor that his shirt with the number 14 is no longer given to the German national team and instead is pulled up under the roof of the room for the start of the European competition. as a sacrifice. As Dennis Schroder, the most famous player at the moment, said: “It’s a good motivation for us that he took part in the game” which clearly shows that the hosts did not only beat the favorites France in the European Championship. But there is a difference of 13 points at 76:63 immediately set the exclamation mark.

Defense is also the secret of success against the reigning European champions

The extroverted Schröder was also a sought-after conversation partner in the catacombs of Cologne, but others stole the show from him in the evening. For example, Maodo Lo, an option in the position of playmaker. And Schröder admitted honestly: “He carried the team.” Not an NBA career without a current club, but the 29-year-old from Alba Berlin champion. Speaking of Alba: Niels Giffey (still 13 points), former Berliner and recently under contract in Kaunas (Lithuania), also up trumps – not forgetting Johannes Thiemann (14). He had just entered the national team in the MHP giants in Ludwigsburg, and the center was taken seriously into the often forgotten importance of defensive work in basketball under self-defense fan John Patrick as coach.

He is benefiting from that now. Because the key to success, in addition to the power that comes from the three bench players, as if they want to produce every kilowatt hour by themselves in the hall, containing 18,000 fans, precisely this aggressive defense that wore down overwhelmed. France. Keeping the Olympic silver medalist at less than 63 points speaks volumes. And it’s not a coincidence. Just four days ago, the German team defeated Slovenia with a similar comfortable score of 90: 71 in an important World Cup match. “Something like that builds self-confidence,” Thiemann said. Even against the reigning European champions, the defense is the secret of success or, as Thiemann puts it: “our determination.”

The former Ludwigsburg Wohlfarth-Bottermann was surprisingly in the starting line

Then you can overlook the fact that not everything works well in the DBB team on offense for a long time. Hope Schröder only hit 29 percent of his shots, Daniel Theis almost 33 percent, and the third NBA professional, Franz Wagner, still has some room for improvement. what the hell It may just be the breadth of the squad that makes the difference as the tournament progresses. Because while a team like Slovenia depends on superstar Luka Doncic plus one or two pairs, things are different with Germany.

Schröder even said: “We need all twelve players” – although not all of them were used. Important: the former Ludwigsburg player Jonas Wohlfarth-Bottermann was surprisingly in the starting lineup, but only 88 seconds of play, in which he literally made himself 3 fouls. But as the saying goes: One for all, all for one. Lo emphasized clearly: “It was a cool evening for us and the team got along well. We have to keep building it to have fun.”

Maybe there is a chance to win the European Championship?

As in this Thursday evening, which was memorable not least because of Nowitzki’s performance, although Schröder said: “We still have 4 group games ahead of us.” The next one this Saturday (2: 30 pm) with Bosnia-Herzegovina. A reporter asked national team coach Gordon Herbert what he knew about the next opponent. The Canadian admitted: “Nothing.” His focus is 100 percent on France. It’s good that Friday is a day off, time for research. But the players themselves know best that they have not achieved anything yet, but are on the right track. For example, Thiemann said: “If we continue to play like this, we still have a lot of chances in the competition.”

Maybe even the title of European champion, although Dirk Nowitzki did not make it (“only” money in 2005). In any case, in the evening it is tolerable that the forced lighting of the prominent sky above the Lanxess Arena remains closed due to the energy saving ceremony. Basketball shines!

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