On Wednesday, teammates squared off as Dennis Schröder and Germany took the floor against Marco Belinelli and Italy in FIBA EuroBasket competition. In the end, it was the young point guard leading his team to victory, as Germany prevailed by a final score of 61-55.
Neither team could really get started in this game as there were a lot of open shots missed and some sloppy passing going around. The first quarter began with Italy winning the tip and not much going on from there. Germany got the first points of the game on a 3-pointer from Karsten Tadda and Italy finally got one to go from new Hawk Marco Belinelli who drained a 3-pointer. Belinelli really carried the Italians through the first quarter scoring 6 of Italy’s 17 points.
Schröder raised some injury concerns at the end of the first quarter when he went out of the game and was getting his hand examined. The lead guard suffered from a cut earlier in the tournament and the Germany coaching staff have reassured that it is not serious. Schröder came back into the game in the second quarter.
The second quarter was not much better than the first as far as pace of play and sloppiness. When Schröder came back into the game in the second quarter he immediately went to the hoop scoring on one of his patented scoop layups.
Schröder had a decent first half shooting line of 3 of 5 and was 0 of 1 from three-point land. Belinelli was good from three per usual at 2 of 4, but had an overall shooting line of just 3 of 10. Both Belinelli and Schröder were a +1 in the first half even though Dennis had four turnovers.
At the end of the second quarter, Schröder was back to his old tricks, beating the shot clock on a layup to end the first half bringing his point total to 9 to match new teammate Marco Belinelli’s 9. The score at halftime was 29-29 and, as you may expect by that score, it was not overly pleasing basketball.
The third quarter began with more sluggish play and Germany finally got the first points of the quarter on a three from Luigi Datome with 8 minutes remaining. Belinelli then came right back for Italy hitting a pull up jumper for 2 more.
Schröder finally had his first points of the third with 4:45 remaining on a layup off a good cut and find from Johannes Voightmann. Belli and Schröder exchanged missed shots for the remainder of the quarter.
Belinelli drew a foul with a minute remaining and went 1/2 from the free-throw line bringing his point total to 12 while Schröder exited the game for rest and went into the fourth quarter with 11 points. With the Germans finally breaking the dead even pace at the end of the third, they took the lead into the fourth 43-38.
As you might have guessed, the fourth quarter also began really slowly with Germany and Italy exchanging missed three after missed three. Italy drew closer on two free-throws from Pietro Aradori. Dennis Schröder reentered the game with 8 minutes to play and a chance for a trip to Istanbul to enter the knockout stage.
Italy, at one point, went without a bucket for seven minutes(!) yet only trailed by two as Germany could not find the bottom of the net as well. Marco Belinelli reentered with 6:30 remaining in the game with the score being 43-47 Germany leading. Then, with 5:31 to play Dennis Schröder picked off a Belinelli pass and the momentum seemed to shift into Germany’s favor.
Schröder drew a foul later with 4:44 to go in the game and knocked down both to bring his point total to 13 and the score to 52-45 with Germany pulling away. Dennis made a two-point jumper with 3:33 remaining to make the score 56-47 for Germany which was the biggest lead of the game for either team.
Germany really clamped down on defense to end the game forcing steals and bad three point attempts. Schröder then added 2 more free throws with a minute remaining to salt away the game at a final of 61-55.
Altogether, this was a grind-it-out, sometimes sloppy game from both sides with Germany coming out the victors on a good game again from Dennis Schroder. He led the way statistically for the victors and finished with 17 points and four assists.
As for Marco Belinelli, the sharp-shooter finished with 12 points and two assists. Italy, usually known for its good three point shooting, shot an abysmal 24 percent from beyond the arc and it seems as though that is what lost the game for them.
Schröder and the German team will have a chance to take first place in group B with a win against Lithuania tomorrow. Stay tuned.