Image courtesy of North Pole Hoops
Canada basketball is coming.
Everyone can see the young talent preparing to enter the NBA. Andrew Wiggins is the envy of every NBA team figuring to miss the Playoffs this year. Then there is first overall pick from this year's Draft, Anthony Bennett, the breakout rookie star of the Orlando Summer League in Kelly Olynyk and a host of other young players.
That group includes Magic forward Andrew Nicholson who is starting at power forward for Canada in the run up to the FIBA Americas Championship beginning Friday in Venezuela as Canada takes on Jamaica at 11 a.m. on ESPN3. He averaged 15.0 points per game, 2.5 rebounds per game, shooting 54.8 percent from the floor and a surprising 6-for-7 shooting from beyond the arc in the four-game tournament in Puerto Rico.
These are not just NBA players but impact NBA players. But Olynyk, Wiggins and Bennett are not part of Team Canada this summer as the team tries to qualify for the FIBA World Cup for the second straight time. Canada has, in fact, only missed the FIBA World Cup three times since 1950.
That might be more of a reason for Canada fans to worry not only about the absence of those nice young stars who could make Canada a medalist contender at the 2020 Olympics if not sooner, but also worry some about the disappointing 0-4 showing at the Tuto Marchand Cup in Puerto Rico.
LISTEN TO ADAM PAPAGEORGIOU OF ORLANDO MAGIC GREEK PREVIEW FIBA AMERICAS ON THE ORLANDO MAGIC DAILY PODCAST
You have to take these exhibition games with a grain of salt however. FIBA coaches like to hold back players or hide strategy in this pre-tournament friendlies. That is never something the U.S. does, but, then again, the U.S. tends to use its talent to beat everyone.
Canada though is in a difficult group and does not have its best players.no comments