Germany, Slovenia Look To Bounce Back

15.09.2007

By David Hein

Slovenia and Germany both come into their showdown in the 5th-8th classification round wanting nothing more than to forget their last game.

Slovenia saw defending champions Greece use a 14-1 run over the final 2:30 in an absolutly heart-wrenching quarter-final loss and Germany were blown out by Spain, trailing by 37 points in the fourth period.

Jaka Lakovic (Slovenia)
Jaka Lakovic and Slovenia will have to try to recover from a heart wrenching loss to Greece.
Regardless of their last results, Saturday's game has loads of meaning - namely a berth in the pre-Olympic tournament for the winner.

The losers have one more chance to reach the pre-Olympic event in the game for seventh place.

Last Time Out: Slovenia were shocked by the Greece come-back 63-62 while Germany were thrashed by world champions Spain 83-55. The teams met earlier in the tournament as Slovenia pasted Germany 77-47 in the qualifying round on Monday.

Key Match-Up: Matjaz Smodis vs Dirk Nowitzki - this game very well could be decided at this position. Smodis scored 22 points in 20 minutes against Germany earlier in the tournament while Nowitzki has struggled down the stretch of the tournament.

X-Factor: The starting German back-court of Steffen Hamann and Demond Greene have combined for just 8.6 points, 4.1 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game while averaging 2.1 turnovers. Johannes Herber meanwhile has built up his confidence in the past two games off Germany's bench with 22 points in 41 points.

Stats: Nowitzki has scored just 16, 15 and 11 points in Germany's last three games - while averaging 30 minutes - after averaging 29 points over the first three games.

Sounding Off: Slovenia coach Ales Pipan: "We can't give up now. We have to win at least one game to reach our goal. It'll be very difficult for us. We have to play tomorrow like it's a normal game. I told my players in the last time out to play tough defense and switch everything on the screens."

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