Greece plays Czech Republic for quarter-finals place; check out the history between them

Spahija Giannis Antetokounmpo

Greece and Czech Republic had not played each other in a major competition since 2001 prior to playing Greece’s win in the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019.

But the Czechs then surprised Greece 97-72 in the Final of the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament 2020 in Canada to reach their first Olympics. Greece have not been beaten thus far with wins over Croatia, Italy, Great Britain, Ukraine and Estonia.

The Czechs lost their first two games to Poland and Serbia at home before finally tasting victory over Netherlands. After a loss to Finland, Czech Republic booked their ticket to Berlin with a big win over Israel.

Key Matchup: Giannis Antetokounmpo cannot really be stopped so the unenviable task of trying to slow him down could possibly be given to Jan Vesely.

But the Czechs will have to throw different looks at the two-time NBA MVP to keep him at least guessing and force his decision-making.

X-Factor: The Czechs will be so worried about trying to slow Giannis on defense that they will need to get energetic boosts at the offensive end and Vojtech Hruban must come up big as not only the leading scorer but also someone who hits 45 percent from three-point range.

Stats Don’t Lie: Greece are not particularly effective on the offensive glass with just 8.6 offensive rebounds but they swipe 10.2 steals per game. The Czechs for their part are tops in three-point accuracy (42.3 percent) and tied for first in assists at 23.8 per game.

FIBA