2023 FIBA World Cup Preview: Dallas Mavericks Edition

By: Nicholas Gilanfar

October came early this year as basketball fans around the world had the chance to watch their favorite NBA players compete on an international stage starting on Friday at the FIBA World Cup.

The FIBA World Cup takes place every four years recognizing global talent the sport of basketball has to offer. In 2023, the tournament will be taking place in the Philippines, Japan, and Indonesia featuring 32 different countries. This tournament’s structure is complicated as it is not the format we would be used to when it comes to the FIFA World Cup in Soccer.

Tournament Format Explained

Photo via FIBA Basketball

First Group Stage

  • The tournament format will be set up into 8 groups of 4 countries labeled from Group A-H.
  • Each team will be required to play three games in the initial group draw.
  • Each win will earn you 2 points.
  • Each loss will earn you 1 point.
  • The top two teams with the most points in each group advance to the second group stage.

Second Group Stage

  • The Second Group stage will be set up into 4 groups of 4 countries labeled from Group I-L.
  • Group I will consist of the two teams that advanced in Group A and Group B.
  • Group J will consist of the two teams that advanced in Group C and Group D.
  • Group K will consist of the two teams that advanced in Group E and Group F.
  • Group L will consist of the two teams that advanced in Group G and Group H.
  • The top two teams with the most points in each group will advance to the quarter-finals.
  • Each team will play two games in the second group stage as you are not allowed to play the team you already played in the first group stage.

Quarterfinals, Semi-Finals, 3rd Place Game, and Finals

  • Single Elimination for the remainder of the tournament.

Why the FIBA World Cup is a must watch for Mavericks Fans

Photo via Alex Goodlett/Getty Images

The NBA offseason like always has gone drastically slow as we are two months away from NBA regular season play. The FIBA World Cup creates an alternative for those wanting to watch some competitive basketball. Fans of the Dallas Mavericks should be thankful in that regard as they have 4 players who will be participating in the FIBA World Cup. The Mavericks ended the 2022-23 in disappointing fashion so it will be great to see our players again buy with a different mindset this time around.

  • PG Luka Doncic will be representing Slovenia
  • C Dwight Powell will be representing Canada
  • SF Josh Green will be representing Australia
  • SG Dante Exum will be representing Australia

FIBA World Cup Dallas Mavericks Player Profile

Luka Doncic – Solvenia

Photo via Fernando Bizerra/EFE

Mavs fans will be occupied as the European phenom will be representing Slovenia in this year’s World Cup. This will be Doncic’s third international tournament in three seasons coming off a career season with the Dallas Mavericks posting 32.4 points, 8.6 rebounds, and eight assists per game.

In the summer of 2021, Luka Doncic represented Slovenia at the Olympics in Tokyo cementing one of the most prominent performances in Olympic basketball history. He averaged 26.3 points, 10.5 assists, and 10.7 rebounds, being the only active NBA player on the squad at the time. With his overwhelming efforts, Slovenia ended up with fourth place honors ahead of first place United States, second place France, and third place Australia who are all loaded with NBA talent.

After the Olympics, the following summer was the 2022 EuroBasket, Doncic suited up again for Slovenia as he takes a lot of pride in playing for his country no matter the circumstances. This time around he had some NBA reinforcements along for the tournament with point guard Goran Dragic and center Vlatko Cancar joining the squad. Luka averaged 26 points, 7.7 rebounds, and 6.6 assists per game posting yet again an incredible summer for the FIBA circuit. Unfortunately for him and Slovenia, they ended up losing in the quarterfinals to Poland.

The Anticipation is high this time around for Luka Doncic in the FIBA World Cup as the Dallas Mavericks are coming off a losing season. Doncic is in tremendous shape as of late as he prepares for his redemption season. Slovenia will be playing in Group F featuring Venezuela, Georgia, and Cabo Verde.

Slovenia Schedule

Saturday, August 26th vs. Venezuela 6:30 AM (CT)

Monday, August 28th vs. Georgia 6:30 AM (CT)

Wednesday, August 30th vs. Cabo Verde 6:30 AM (CT)

Dwight Powell – Canada

Photo via FIBA Basketball

Entering his tenth season as a Dallas Maverick, Powell will be suiting up for Canada. Dwight Powell has been the Mavericks starting center for the last four years as many see him as the heart and soul of the Dallas Mavericks. Last season, Powell averaged 6.7 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 0.9 assists. Although his stats are not eye-popping, he is still going to do anything needed to put his team in the best position to win.

Powell has been on the Canadian National Team since 2015 averaging an all-time nine points, 5.8 rebounds, and 1.2 assists. His veteran leadership and resilience will add a great deal to the young and rising team. He will be the starting power forward for the tournament sharing the lineup responsibilities with point guard Jamaal Murray, shooting guard Shai-Gilgeous Alexander, small forward RJ Barrett, and Kelly Olynyk.

Canada will be playing in Group H featuring Latvia, Lebanon, and France. Group H is loaded with talent with just Canada and France alone with those two teams having the most NBA talent besides the United States.

Canada Schedule

Friday, August 25th vs. France 8:30 AM (CT)

Sunday, August 27th vs. Lebanon 4:45 AM (CT)

Tuesday, August 29th vs. Latvia 8:30 AM (CT)

Josh Green- Australia

Photo via Joel Carrett/EPA images

Coming off a career season with the Dallas Mavericks, the 22-year-old wing Josh Green will be making his second international appearance with Australia. Green, coming off his third season in the NBA, proved the doubters wrong by doubling his stats, averaging 9.1 points, three rebounds, and 1.7 assists per game. After year two there were many calling out Green’s ability to be a factor in Dallas but adjusted well to the critics establishing himself as a vital piece for the franchise moving forward.

In 2021, Green had the opportunity to make his international debut for Australia in the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics. Coming off his rookie season he was still unproven and was not provided much wiggle room and playing time due to the experienced build of the 2021 Australian Roster. Green only averaged 1.2 points and 0.8 rebounds per game during the Olympics as he only had a few appearances for the team. Australia ended up winning third place that year beating Doncic’s Slovenia team in the Third-Place game.

Team Australia will be getting a different player in Josh Green this time around as his game has improved in so many levels since his rookie season. Green provides an aggressive mentality for the team as he can fly around and make plays on any end of the court. His athleticism is off the charts as any team can benefit from having players like that. He has also developed a raw shooting ability with his season FG average being 53.7 percent and 3-point percentage at 40.2 which are both tripled since the last time FIBA has seen Josh Green.

Dante Exum- Australia

Photo via Benyam Kidane/Sporting News

Dante Exum is the only first-year Maverick participating in the FIBA World Cup. The signing of Exum came as a shock to many people as he has not played in the NBA since 2020-21. Exum’s last stint in the NBA was with the Cleveland Cavaliers from 2019-21 as he averaged 3.8 points, 2.8 rebounds, and 2.2 assists per game in his final season in the NBA. Due to disappointing performances, Exum took his talents overseas to FC Barcelona from 2021-22 and Partizan Belgrade from 2022-23. Last season with Belgrade, Exum left his mark by averaging 13.2 points, 2.3 rebounds, and 2.7 assists per game while also making the All-ABA first team and winning the ABA League Cup.

This will be Exum’s fourth international appearance for team Australia as he has established himself as a vital role player on the roster over the years averaging 4.6 points, 2.2 rebounds, and 1.6 assists per game. Prior to Exum’s exit in the NBA, the shooting guard had a robust performance in the 2021 Tokyo Olympics tallying nine points, 3.7 rebounds, and 2.8 assists per game fueling a third-place tournament finish. This will also be Exum’s second World Cup as he participated in the 2014 FIBA World Cup where he averaged 2.7 points, 1.5 rebounds, and two assists per game. This time he will be a seasoned vet who has already established himself with the brass of Team Australia.

The incoming Maverick will be playing alongside new teammate Josh Green which is beneficial for the two so they can create familiarity with each other that can then transform into team chemistry. Exum will bring a fiery passion to Team Australia because he has been on the national team for ten years and has gone through the NBA cycle which will bring a level of resilience to the team. Australia will be a part of Group E featuring Finland, Germany, and Japan.

Australia Schedule

Friday, August 25th vs. Finland 3:00 AM (CT)

Sunday, August 27th vs. Germany 3:30 AM (CT)

Tuesday, August 29th vs. Japan 6:10 AM (CT)

Featured Image via Getty Images

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