The French team falls to an indecent Luka Doncic (47 points)

The French team falls to an indecent Luka Doncic (47 points)

Opposed to the reigning Slovenian European champion for his last match in the group of death, the French team wanted to play a bad trick on Luka Doncic and thus finish at least in second place in their pool. But in the end, it was rather Luka Magic who played a very bad trick to the Blues, who fell arms in hand against the offensive explosion of the Ljubljana phenomenon.

Since the start of the Euro, EDF has blown hot and cold. And Wednesday’s clash against Slovenia was a great test to see where the Blues really stand as they head into the knockout stages. Test passed successfully… despite the defeat. Yes, the Blues fell at the start of the evening in Cologne. Yes, Vincent Collet’s men will have to settle for third place in Group B, synonymous with confrontation against Turkey in the round of 16. But above all, they looked the European champion straight in the eye for 40 minutes, a European champion who needed a pro-Slovenia arbitration Simply historic Luka Doncic (47 points) to go snatch the win 88-82. And the signals for the future are encouraging.

First, we liked this start of the match in very serious mode, where the Blues took a 14-3 lead behind an applied attack and locked-in defence. When you know the usual difficulties of EDF in the first minutes, it’s a very positive sign. Terry Tarpey who puts pressure on Luka, Evan Fournier who warms up in attack, zero baskets conceded in five minutes, in short, typically the kind of start we like. Second point that we would like to underline: the perfs of the role players who were thrown into the fire tonight. Behind the old Vavane (15 points), Rudy Gobert (19 points, 8 rebounds, 1 post on Luka, 9/10 shooting) or Thomas Heurtel (10 points, 10 assists, 3 steals), we saw a Amath M’Baye take advantage of the absence of Guerschon Yabusele (thigh) to show that we can always count on him. Virtually not used by Collet in recent games and established against Slovenia, Amath was present during his 34 minutes on the floor (13 points, 4 rebounds, 5 assists, 3/7 from afar). Ditto for Elie Okobo, in the hard on this beginning of Euro but author of his best match in the competition (11 points in 22 minutes) despite some air pockets which ended up being expensive in the money time. Obviously a good omen for the future. Vincent Collet said it himself in the locker room after Lithuania, “We will need everyone to be champions”the tricolor coach probably has more certainties today than a few days ago.

Despite everything, the turnovers still weighed down the French, a classic among classics. 18 bullet losses, it hurts especially when you have a team like Slovenia penalizing you cash in transition. What to rage because overall, the Blues were there, in the fight and in the intensity. The match was stormy, it heated up quite a bit on several occasions and it already looked like a knockout confrontation, yet EDF never looked down as it did at the very start of the Euro against Germany. With less waste in the management of the ball and especially a better managed last minute, France could have gone for this victory. The score was 82-82 with blue-white-red possession 90 seconds from the end but a terrible sequence caused EDF to plunge : Okobo’s turnover, Dragic’s lay-up, Heurtel’s airball, Vlatko Cancar’s mid-distance shot, Okobo’s failed winning shot then another loss of the ball by Evan Fournier, green with rage against the referee on the spot . 88-82 in the end, it’s obviously hard to swallow but at the same time it’s not every day that Luka Doncic will plant 47 pawns in 39 minutes to keep a Slovenia deprived of Mike Tobey alive. Simply unplayable this Wednesday, Luka Magic was on another planet and when it’s like that, there’s not much to do except bow. Vincent Poirier, several times victimized by Doncic on switches which resulted in several banderillas at 3-points, certainly knocked out (involuntarily) the Slovenian maestro just before the break, but nothing could stop the guy in this final deadline of the group of the death.

After the cruel defeat of the last Olympics, Slovenia by Luka Doncic took a little revenge on the Blues. But the French team can advance conquering in the next round. She did not go far from hitting the European champion despite an unplayable Luka, and we feel that she is gaining momentum after the ups and downs of the start of the tournament. A rise in power that will now have to be confirmed against Turkey in the eighth round, otherwise they will go home much earlier than expected.

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