As international basketball teams start preparing for the chance to represent their countries in the upcoming 2014 FIBA World Cup and 2016 Olympics to be held in Rio de Janeiro, it is time to unleash the teams with the highest prospects of winning.
From the analysis, some teams are not quite suited to take on the challenge posed by the Olympics tournament. How do the South American giants such as Argentina and Brazil fair? In terms of the Caribbean Islands, which countries represent them? And what about Russia, the 2012 bronze medalist?
Find out more about these teams as we analyze the top ten best basketball teams in 2014 beginning from the team in the tenth position.
10. AUSTRALIA BOOMERS
The Australia Boomers is among the favorites to win the 2016 Olympics. In spite of Andrew Bogut failing to appear in the 2013 tournaments, the team managed to emerge as winners in the 2013 FIBA Oceania Championship. The team has a number of talented basketball players including Patty Mills, Luke Nevill, Joe Ingles and David Andersen. Patty Mills, best known for his exceptional skills as a point guard, will however miss the 2014 FIBA Olympic Qualifier games due to injuries.
Boomers are taking one of the most skilled and talented teams ever produced by Australia to the 2014 FIBA World Cup, headlined by Aron Baynes, Matthew Dellavedova, Cameron Bairstow and Dante Exum. Out of the twelve players selected for the squad, ten of them have NBA experience, which gives them a major boost in the Olympic qualifiers.
9. THE BRAZILIAN NATIONAL BASKETBALL TEAM
This team boasts of being one of the most successful basketball teams in the world, having won several medals in major international basketball tournaments.
However, the team falls at the ninth position since some of the team’s favorites- Nene, Anderson Varejao and Tiago Splitter will not be playing in the 2014 World Cup games. Therefore, the team will particularly depend on Marcelinho Huertas who has superior skills as a point guard on the NBA level. He will be assisted by Arthur Silva, Guilherme Giovannoni and Vitor Benite.
The Brazilian team will also rely on the energy of young players such as Raul Neto, whose energy might make Brazil more dynamic in the Olympics. With all these skills in play, Brazil becomes a powerful team to watch out for in the medal chase.
8. 12 DEV ADAM
12 Dev Adam is the nickname given to the Turkish National Basketball Team. So far, the team has won a significant number of medals in international tournaments and is known to produce some of the renowned frontcourt stars.
As the squad strives for placement in the 2016 Olympics, Hedo Turklogu will mentor Ilkan Kamaran, Ersan Iyasova and Omer Asik. The team’s main strength lies on their skills and the speed of their skilled power forward. As soon as this team gets Enes Kanter on board, it will be close to impossible to stop them.
7. LOS GALLOS (THE ROOSTERS)
This is the Puerto Rican National Basketball team. Despite having not qualified for the last two Olympics, the team is still one to watch out for in the Olympic qualifiers. The team has brilliant talented players such as the Tuto Cup MVP J.J Barea, shooting forward Ricky Sanchez and backcourt Carlos Arroyo.
Can The Roosters extend their wins to the 2016 Olympics or will they simply settle for the Tuto Marchand Continental Cup Championship? Well let’s wait and see.
Over the years, the Russian National Basketball Team has shown its expertise on the international scale by grabbing several medals in different tournaments. Their most recent win was the bronze medal in the 2012 Summer Olympics held in London. Ahead of the 2014 FIBA World Cup, the team is headlined by Alexey Shved and Andrei Kirilenko. Alexey will be assisted in the backcourt by Vitaly Fridzon, whose talent and skill is notable in their 2012 victory. Another player to watch out for in the team is Sergey Karasev whose youth has not stopped him from exploring the extent of his skills and his shooting skills.
Generally, Russia will pose a major threat to all other competitors with its perfect blend of youth and experience.
Argentina’s prominence in the global basketball society is very notable. The team has also been noted as one of the best basketball teams in 2014, due to its performance in the previous Olympics and international tournaments. In 2014, the team presents a fresh new roster that supports most of its star players.
Point guard Pablo Prigioni will be replaced by 22 year-old Facundo Campazzo who has shown great promise in previous games. Coach Julio Lamas also chose Leo Mainoldi to serve as power forward with the assistance of Juan Guiterrez.
The new team shows great promise and if all parts work together properly, this team will make their country and previous Argentinian teams very proud.
This team is home to two of the best international basketball players; Jonas Valinciunas and Donatas Motiejunas. Despite their youth, the two players, with the support of the rest of the team, are a frightening force that needs recognition. Lithuania has been known to be among the top ten best basketball teams in the world for years now.
In preparation of the upcoming 2014 World Cup tournament, the team has taken on several opponents including Australia, New Zealand and Finland and has emerged as the winner every time. The country knows how to attack in tournaments and is not afraid to take on other echelon countries. This is definitely a force to reckon with in the upcoming games.
Their presence in the 2014 FIBA World Cup is one that every other basketball fan is looking forward to. Can they trample over the other giants to emerge as winners?
With such radiant multidimensional forwards such as Boris Diaw and Nicholas Batum, France poses a major threat to other teams in the upcoming 2014 FIBA World Cup and the 2016 Olympics. Along with Tony Parker, the team shows great prospects of winning the World Cup and proceeding on to the Olympics as long as they fine-tune their skills.
France’s performance in previous tournaments has put them at the top three of this list as they have also clutched several medals in different international tournaments. Hopefully, their performance in the World Cup tournament will be similar to, or better than their previous performances. It mights also shed light on how they will perform in 2016.
With Pau Gasol passing on the torch to his brother Marc Gasol, the team is virtually unstoppable in the forthcoming World Cup tournament. Marc leads a team of unique players such as Jose Calderon, Ricky Rubio, Rudy Fernandez and Sergio Llull. What makes Spain unique in their basketball is that the team can play different styles and execute them accurately.
If their previous performances on the international scale are anything to go by, basketball fans are assured of interesting and adrenalin-rushing games by the Spaniards in their quest for the World Cup Championship title. Most eyes are on this team as it attempts to dethrone the current FIBA World Cup Champions, USA. Hopefully, with Marc as the team’s anchor, this will be achievable.
Considering the level of talent in the USA National Basketball Team and the fact that they are the clear favorite, it is no surprise that it holds the number one position as the best basketball team in 2014. Despite losing out on LeBron James and Kobe Bryant, the team still tops this list due to its flexibility and athleticism.
The key players fin the 2014 FIBA World Cup will be Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant and point guard Chris Paul, who will be assisted by Kahwi Leonard and Paul George among other players. The whole team will assuredly terrorize the other challengers in an attempt to clutch the World Cup Championship title.