The Australian Boomers set off for China on a high, following an inspirational win over Team USA. On Wednesday night in China however, they lost to Germany 74-64, in a final warmup game before they tip off against Canada on the weekend.
The game wasn't close by any measure - Germany took the lead right from the first quarter, winning 24-14, and never looked back. They maintained a 45-29 lead at half-time, and dominated the Boomers on both ends of the court. The Germans were hitting their three-pointers seemingly at will in this game, and like USA, exploited gaps Australia's pick and roll defence, finding mid-range opportunities.
NBA players Dennis Schröder, Maxi Kleber and Daniel Theis all looked ready for the China tournament ahead, and played well. Theis was very active on defence, and Schröder sliced his way into the paint early and often. A minor tussle broke out in the third quarter, when Schröder was on the receiving end of a hard Aron Baynes shove.
The Boomers on the other hand, seemed like they were suffering from the rigours of travel and jet lag. The team struggled to initiate their offensive sets consistently under Germany's smothering defences. Passes were much less crisp, which resulted in the ball being picked off by Germany, resulting in transition offence on multiple occasions.
There were familiar refrains we saw at the last USA game, but with different outcomes. Joe Ingles, who again initiated the team's offences on many possessions, had a tough shooting night from the perimeter, and found it harder to facilitate. Australia applied the same full-court defensive pressure we saw on Saturday afternoon, but this proved to be less effective; Germany broke through, and found their shot opportunities with relative ease.
A run in the fourth quarter led by a Baynes three, and back-to-back Matthew Dellavedova baskets saw Australia close the lead. Despite winning the final frame 21-12, they ultimately could not turn things around, and ended with a 10-point deficit.
Andrew Bogut looked like he tweaked his ankle in the fourth quarter, and left the court. No news has been made available on his status as yet, but the injury did not look serious.
The Boomers went with a rotation featuring the veterans (Joe Ingles, Andrew Bogut, Patty Mills, Aron Baynes, Matthew Dellavedova) and Nick Kay, Chris Goulding, Mitch Creek and David Barlow. Big man Jock Landale did not play in this game.
Update: An earlier version of this article mentioned Nathan Sobey saw action only at the end of game, this is incorrect. Sobey played late in the first quarter as well.
Cam Gliddon saw minutes in the final minutes of the fourth, when the game was all but done.
The Boomers wrap up their warmup games with 2 wins, and 3 losses. They play Canada on 1 September, Sunday at 5:30pm AEST.
Australian Boomers FIBA 2019 World Cup schedule
Sunday, 1 Sep: Boomers vs. Canada, 5:30pm AEST
Tuesday, 3 Sep: Boomers vs. Senegal, 5:30pm AEST
Thursday, 5 Sep: Boomers vs. Lithuania, 9:30pm AEST
September 7 & 9: Round of 16
September 10 & 11: Quarter-finals
September 13: Semi-finals
September 15: Medal games
Games will be available on Kayo and Fox.