In the past few days of the World Cup in Okinawa, Japan, the German basketball players were confronted with one question even more often than with the current success. How do you stop Luka Doncic?
The duel with the Slovenians, who have also been flawless so far, this Sunday (1:10 p.m. / Magentasport) is reduced to an encounter with the Dallas Mavericks star player. The Germans praise the 24-year-old in the highest tones. "He makes a lot of difference, he can do everything and has dominated for years," said Moritz Wagner when asked about Doncic.
In 2021 Germany clearly lost at the Olympics, in 2022 narrowly at the European Championships - in between there was a clear victory in the World Cup qualification. So Germany is used to duels with the Slovenians led by Doncic.
"He's extremely physical"
Franz Wagner is also impressed by the exceptional talent. "He has extremely good ball handling and can throw well. He's extremely physical. He knows how to pull fouls. You can't stop him alone. I think he can also pass extremely well," said Wagner, who Doncic knows from the NBA. "He's one of the best players in the world, we have to look good together as a team against him."
The Olympic bronze medalist, Australia, tried to double Doncic early and take his rhythm away. The playmaker then used his teammates, who used the space and punished Australia. The result was a 91:80 victory for Slovenia, in which Doncic shone as a preparer despite foul problems.
"He has incredible quality," said Maodo Lo. Doncic is not only a phenomenon on the pitch. He is also known for constantly talking to referees and opponents on the floor. "You can't let whistles, fans or other variables influence you too much," Lo noted.