Lithuania – China
“I was on the third floor and my team was on the ninth floor and when the kid (Huertas) hits the basket at the buzzer to cut it to nine, I walked out my door to the elevator to go tell my team about it and I could hear the screaming on the ninth floor from my players.mI jumped on the elevator,” – Donewald said. “When my elevator doors opened, there were my guys, laying on the floor, crying and hugging, jumping around.”
China players were lucky to enter playoff stage but honestly speaking as a team I like them much more than Puerto Rico and for me they deserved to be here because they respected all their opponents and were fighting until the end in all matches. Ok, there are really young team but they also have have very experienced core of the team which is going to have most minutes today against Lithuania.
Some bookies like Expekt or Bet365 have Lithuania as 16.5 points favorite but I really don’t rate my team as top team at this World Cup. They are coming from the weakest group of this tournament where they won all their games by traling by 10 or more points against France, Canada and Spain. Lithuania has deep bench and higher class for sure as a team but under the boards they will have troubles against tall chinese players this evening. Don’t forget that we have only one real center R.Javtokas and it will be hard to control rebounds. Also I think that bookies overestimating Lithuania defense which is currently allowing only 68.2 points per game but at group stage only Spain and New Zeland were teams who can score 70+ in each game. Canada, France and Lebanon as tournament showed are offensively weak teams.
China scored 70+ points in all their games except last one against Turkey where they played without 3 key players. And China played against very good defensive teams like Turkey, Russia and Greece. They know how to attack rims from distance and paint as well as run fast counter attacks. I expect China to score over 70 points tonight against Lithuanian defense. Weak point of this Chinese team is their defence. They are fast team because they have american coach who is trying to create american system of game with pick-n-rolls, fast attacks and all this leads to fast pace. China is a third team here by pace after USA and Cot d’Ivoire but they have one of the weakest defenses here. All teams score them 84+ points and only africans scored 73..
So what do we have here? First I think that China is capable of scoring around 75 points and second Lithuania’s offensive potential is not unlimited. I doubt that Lithuania is going to score 96 points to cover 16.5 spread easily. For me fair line here is 88-74.5 so my picks here are: China to hold 16.5 handicap and over 155.5 points. By the way Betfair has 153.5 line.
Pick: Over 155.5 @ 1.85 5/10 William Hill
Pick: China +16 @ 1.99 2/10 Pinnacle