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It’s sudden death time for Australia and Japan when they face each other for one available spot in the next phase. The Boomers trashed Finland 98-72 in their opening match. Josh Giddey made history on his World Cup debut too. They then lost 82-85 vs Germany though to leave themselves exposed. Japan also lost to Germany and beat Finland so now in a direct battle on Japanese soil the winner-takes-it-all match is coming. This is our preview of the game, along with some of our favourite betting tips for this duel.
- Date & Time: Tuesday, August 29, 2023, 12:10 p.m. GMT
- Venue: Okinawa Arena – Okinawa, Japan
Australia vs Japan basketball predictions
- 1 Australia vs Japan basketball predictions
- 2 Australia vs Japan preview – Can the Boomers avoid disaster?
- 3 Where to watch Australia vs Japan on TV/live stream
While the two teams are seen as serious contenders during this World Cup, there are some interesting betting markets to explore here. So, let’s take a closer look at our latest Australia vs Germany basketball predictions:
Prediction 1: Nick Kay over 7.5 points @ 5/6 (1.83)
Our first prediction backs Australia’s big man Nick Kay to score at least 8 points in this must-win match. Kay has been somewhat passive so far. He had just 4 points vs Finland when making only 2 shot attempts. He was more aggressive vs Germany with 6 shot attempts but scored only 5 points as the tall Germans made it difficult for Kay.
Despite his struggles and lack of activity in these 2 games, Kay came into the tournament averaging 9.2 points per game over the last 5 friendly matches. This, plus the fact that the Boomers need the win badly, makes us believe that when it matters most Kay will wake up and start scoring.
Prediction 2: Yuta Watanabe over 14.5 points @ 1/2 (1.50)
Japan’s NBA superstar Yuta Watanabe will be the main focus of attack for the Samurais as they try to cause a major upset and eliminate one of the main favourites. Watanabe scored 20 points vs Germany. He was much quieter in the win vs Finland with just 4 points. That was by design though as others got very hot early and Watanabe chose to feed them. He took 19 shots vs the Germans and only 6 vs Finland.
Now, when Japan’s tournament is on the line Watanabe is likely to be an aggressive scorer once more and this is why we back him to score 15 or more points.
Australia vs Japan preview – Can the Boomers avoid disaster?
Now let’s take a closer look at the latest Australia vs Japan team news ahead of their meeting in Group F at the FIBA World Cup:
Australia news, injuries, and starting lineups
The Boomers suffocated Finland in their first game and easily won 98-82. Veteran Patty Mills led the way with 25 points on 11-of-22 shooting. However, the history makers will remember the match for Josh Giddey’s debut. With 14 points, 9 rebounds and 8 assists the OKC Thunder point guard became only the 2nd man in history after LeBron James to have a 10-5-5 FIBA World Cup debut.
Despite, missing their main centre Jock Landale the Boomers made a decent job of protecting their paint with Nick Kay playing well.
Australia have a deep bench too. The roster is also filled with players that can switch and guard multiple positions so the Boomers look like a team on a mission even without the hurt Landale, who will sit out the entire tournament.
Australia looked much more vulnerable in the paint against the taller Germans and this was why they lost 82-85. However, Japan don’t have the same height so Australia should be able to dominate again, just as they did vs Finland.
Australia injury report:
- Jock Landale (C) – ruled out of the tournament
Australia starting lineup:
D. Reath, N. Kay, M. Thybulle, J. Giddey & P. Mills
Japan news, injuries, and starting lineups
Japan started the tournament with a 63-81 loss vs Germany. The Samurais failed to deal with the height disadvantage they had and this was why they lost.
Much improved displays in their second game saw them beat Finland 98-88 with Japan overcoming a 10-point deficit in the 4th quarter to win this match. It was a great team effort and also the crowd helped a lot when it mattered most. Kawamura scored 25 points off the bench, while Hawkinson had his best-ever game for Japan with 28 points, 14 of which came from the free throw line.
Japan play fluid and fast basketball. At times the Japanese are willing to use run and gun approach, which was how they erased the 10-point deficit vs Finland in just under 2 minutes. The crowd is gearing up to help too with the Samurais ready for battle and calm as they have nothing much to lose.
Japan injury report:
Japan starting lineup:
J. Hawkinson, Y. Togashi, Y. Watanabe, S. Hara, Y Baba
Where to watch Australia vs Japan on TV/live stream
If you live in the UK, you can watch all FIBA World Cup matches via FIBA’s streaming service Courtside 1891. Meanwhile, in the USA, the World Cup will be shown on ESPN2 and ESPN+. Australian fans can watch their team also on ESPN from all across Oz.
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