This is a friendly match between Finland and Russia, in Finland, Metro Arena. These teams are not in their best shape right now but are looking to get better. Please review our thoughts about this preparational Finland vs Russia match, here below.
Finland is coming after a tough loss against Lithuania. They lost this game by an astonishing 41 points margin (46:87). Right now things are looking bad for them. This team does not have any offensive power as 3 main finish stars Markkanen, Koponen, and Salin are not in the lineup. They do not have good shooters on the perimeter and their inside game is off as well. In their last game against Lithuania, Finland totally lost it and Lithuanians did whatever they wanted with them.
The defense is also lacking consistency. They are late on rotations, it is easy to get shots for opposing team’s guards. In the paint, they need some more physicality, as long as there is no athleticism Finland’s opponents push bodies as long as they want. The only way for Finland get out of this hole is to get their star players back to the lineup. It looks like in this game we will not see them as well, so Scandinavians chances are very small to show good basketball.
Finland’s leaders in preparation period: Elias Valtonen (9.0ppg, 2.0rpg, 1.0apg), Tuukka Kotti (7.3ppg, 4.3rpg, 1.8apg), Andre Gustavson (6.5ppg, 3.0rpg, 1.5apg)
Russian National team is looking pretty good in this preparation period so far. They won 4 out of 5 games in this preparation period and are looking pretty good as these wins were against World cup caliber teams. The downside of this team is that they lost their best players in Alexey Shved, Dmitriy Kulagin and Timofey Mozgov. But still, they are looking quite decent as there is a veteran player like Vitaly Fridson and Andrey Vorontsevich in the lineup.
Russians are winning games because of their defense. In their last games, they allowed only 60.6ppg. It is very good news for Russia because, as I said earlier. The key to their great defense is that almost all Russia’s players are big and fast which converts into the good post and perimeter defense. They are not shy of physicality and this is the reason for Russia’s success so far.
Russia’s leaders in the preparation period: Sergey Karasev (11.0ppg, 3.3rpg, 1.9apg), Vitaly Fridzon (10.7ppg, 3.3rpg, 1.9apg), Andrey Vorontsevich (10.8ppg, 6.8rpg, 5.0apg).
Finland vs Russia H2H
These teams have seen each other quite recently (in February) in World cup qualification game. Russia won this game after a very strong 4th quarter performance 91:76. But this time things look worse for Finland as many of their star players are not playing. Meanwhile, Russia still has its veteran players who can keep a successful game for them. Russia looks stronger, bigger, faster and should win this game easily.
Article image is taken from www.fiba.basketball