LeBron James, Stephen Curry, James Harden, Anthony Davis and many more NBA superstars - they have all canceled Team USA for Saturday's basketball World Cup. In the squad are only two Allstars. In preparation, the United States conceded their first defeat in 13 years. That's why the 2010 and 2014 World Champions are not the top favorites in the tournament.
This time, the Serbs lost the final against the USA at the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympics. Serbia is close to the top, has been playing for years and also has the individual class to claim the first title since 2002.
Behind it there are still a number of teams who calculate themselves medal chances. These include the Greeks to NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo, France and Australia.
Germany is also qualified and can according to national coach Henrik Rödl "best team that Germany ever had" muster. Rödl himself won at the 2002 World Cup as a player on the side of Dirk Nowitzki bronze. A repeat would be a surprise, because the competition is strong - but see for yourself.
Here is the ranking from first to 32:
The 32 participants in the power ranking
# 32: Jordan (Category: No Chance)
The Jordanians played a lot of preparation games - which they mostly lost very clearly. Not only in the German group G the weakest team.
Place 31: Ivory Coast (Category: No Chance)
The preparation was anything but round, in the meantime, there was no training, because the association could not afford the costs of accommodation and flights. Athletic, the team can probably not compete in a World Cup.
Rank 30: South Korea (Category: No Chance)
One big unknown is South Korea. 2014 was the country penultimate, in this area, it will probably move this year also.
# 29: Angola (Category: No Chance)
In 2006, Angola almost defeated Germany in a thriller with three extensions. However, the former serial African champion is now far from this strength.
# 28: Senegal (Category: No Chance)
Senegal has a very athletic team, but it also hurts a prominent cancellation: Gorgui Dieng (Minnesota Timberwolves). In addition, the team has landed in the toughest group with Australia, Lithuania and Canada.
# 27: Iran (Category: No Chance)
Also largely unknown players are in Iran in the squad - except for the 2.19-meter exception Hamed Haddadi (picture). The center went on for several years in the NBA. In the Asian area very strong, at World Cup level but too weak.
# 26: Venezuela (Category: No Chance)
None of the South American players are familiar to us, the results of the preparation are mixed and there has been no success in past tournaments. An early exit is therefore probable, but in group A much is possible.
# 25: Dominican Republic (Category: No Chance)
In full squat the German group opponent would have been able to muster an impressive big-man duo: Al Horford and Karl-Anthony Towns. But both NBA Allstars have canceled for the World Cup. Without them, the WM-13 is missing. from 2014 the punch.
24th place: China (Category: No Chance)
In the lower third of the ranking and maybe still in the second round? The host had great luck (Group A with Poland, Venezuela and the Ivory Coast). Is also difficult to estimate. The squad is better on paper than the results of the preparation reflect.
# 23: Tunisia (Category: No Chance)
The Africa champion should not be underestimated - but not overestimated. Fixed point is 2.17-man Salah Mejri (pictured) of the Dallas Mavericks, but does not have the offensive class to carry his team alone. And behind it simply lacks quality.
# 22: Japan (Category: No Chance)
Japan also has the best team in its history. It's all about New NBA Pro Rui Hachimura (pictured), who even led his team to a victory over Germany in the preliminaries. A progress in Group E with the USA, Turkey and the Czech Republic would be a sensation.
# 21: New Zealand (Category: Unpleasant Opponents)
The New Zealanders also have to do without their best player (Dennis Schröder's team-mate Steven Adams). Thus, much will depend on the Webster brothers Corey and Tai (picture) and former Bundesliga player Isaac Fotu. The offensive of the team is solid, but defensively she has big problems.
20th place: Philippines (Category: Unpleasant Opponents)
There are few countries where people are as basketball crazy as in the Philippines. The majority of the players is unknown - with one exception: The native American and former NBA pro Andray Blatche (picture) has been playing for the country since 2014 and is the outstanding actor. Sporty, the team is unlikely to play a role, but due to the passionate style of play is no easy opponent.
19th place: Puerto Rico (Category: Unpleasant opponents)
In the preparation Puerto Rico did not convince, but plays in tournaments always very passionate. Maybe the team can increase so. However, the best player is missing with JJ Barea.
18th place: Montenegro (Category: Unpleasant Opponents)
Nikola Vucevic (picture) has the best year of his career behind him. The Orlando Magic Center was one of only five NBA professionals with 20 points and 12 rebounds per game last season. He showed for the first time a reliable throw distance and was chosen for his achievements to Allstar. In addition, the squad is lacking in quality, in Group F, it is difficult to get past Brazil and Greece.
17th place: Poland (Category: Unpleasant opponents)
The Poles had a lot of luck, in Group A they face China, Ivory Coast and Venezuela and are therefore favorites. However, the team is lacking in individual class, this disadvantage they can not make up for against stronger opponents on physique and fight.
16th place: Nigeria (Category: Unpleasant opponents)
The Nigerians could certainly cause a surprise. On the wings and under the basket, athletics is the great strength and with Al-Farouq Aminu (pictured) an excellent defender is available to stop both small and power forwards. In Group B with Argentina, Russia and South Korea, second place is possible.
15th place: Russia (Category: Unpleasant opponents)
The European Championships in 2017 will miss their two best players, Euroleague star Alexey Shved and longtime NBA center Timofey Mozgov. The remaining team is but experienced and combative strong. The Russians should not be taken lightly.
Rank 14: Czech Republic (Category: Unpleasant Opponents)
The Czechs are at the World Cup for the first time and have a very solid team with a strong individual player: Tomas Satoransky (picture) from the Chicago Bulls. Due to the strong group with the USA and Turkey (as well as Japan) it will be difficult to reach the second round.
# 13: Turkey (Category: Outsider)
On paper, Turkey has a strong team around the NBA pros Cedi Osman (Cleveland, picture), Furkan Korkmaz (Philadelphia) and Ersan Ilyasova (Milwaukee). In preparation, however, the team delivered many weak performances. At big tournaments it was usually either very good or very bad and this time the Turks are perhaps the biggest surprise bag.
12th place: Canada (Category: Outsider)
Of all the national teams, Canada has probably suffered the most from the numerous cancellations from the NBA. As if that was not enough, Power Forward Kelly Olynyk suffered a knee injury in preparation and is now also not available. In full strength, the Canadians could definitely compete for a medal, so it will be hard. After all, Canada has a first-class coach on the sideline with Nick Nurse, the head coach of the Toronto Raptors.
Rank 11: Italy (Category: Outsider)
For a long time, the Italians have been trembling over injuries to the participation of Danilo Gallinari (pictured) and captain Gigi Datome on whether they will be in top shape in China, but it is unclear. Both form together with Marco Bellinelli usually a strong offensive trio, which can always defeat a favorite opponent. Under the baskets, the team is very weak, which should prevent greater success.
10th place: Argentina (Category: Outsider)
The South Americans, Olympic champions of 2004, are on the decline. With the now 39-year-old Luis Scola (picture) is only one player of the golden generation in the squad. Although the team has two strong playmakers (Facundo Campazzo and Nicolás Laprovíttola) and Gabriel Deck about a promising youngster. But in the width of the squad is too weak to get a medal.
9th place: Brazil (Category: Outsider)
Hardly any team at the World Cup is as old as the Brazilians. Five players are over 35 years old, including the performers Anderson Varejao (pictured), Leandro Barbosa and Marcelo Huertas. At least the NBA talents Bruno Caboclo (23) and Cristiano Felício (27) drive to China. In the group stage, second place behind Greece should be in it, but at the latest in the quarterfinals is final for the Selecao.
8th place: Germany (Category: Outsider)
The Germans compete with the possibly best squad in their history. Dennis Schröder (pictured) is the leader of the team and has shown in previous tournaments that he can win games almost single-handedly. In addition there is a top frontcourt around the other NBA pros Maximilian Kleber and Daniel Theis. Only the second guard position falls off a bit. Germany's biggest disadvantage is probably the draw, because even in the quarterfinals, it could go against the US or Greece.
Rank 7: Australia (Category: Medal contender)
The "Boomers" would be a co-favorite on the world title. But in addition to NBA star Ben Simmons have canceled other important players. However, the Olympic fourth still has good chances to win a medal. The team is experienced and experienced, the NBA core from the Guards Patty Mills and Matthew Dellavedova, Center Aron Baynes and Forward Joe Ingles does not have to hide from any team. Biggest difficulty should be to have landed in the better occupied tournament half.
6th place: Lithuania (Category: Medalists)
Under the basket, the Lithuanians are very well staffed. On the one hand there is Jonas Valanciunas (picture) from the Memphis Grizzlies, an old school center that can dominate the opponent with its back to the basket. On the other hand belongs the offensive talent Domantas Sabonis of the Indiana Pacers to the squad. In Group H, however, Lithuania has to pass the Australians and Canada, not an easy draw.
5th place: Greece (Category: Medal contender)
The best player of this tournament is Greek, without question: Gianni Antetokounmpo (picture) is 2.11 meters tall, playing all five positions and was awarded as the most valuable player of the NBA. However, the "Greek Freak" alone will not be enough, even though he has his older brother Thanasis in his luggage. Playmaker Kostas Sloukas threatens to miss the World Cup with a calf strain. That would be a great weakening for the Greeks. In preparation, it put a sensitive home defeat against the Serbs, who did not fill in full.
4th place: Spain (Category: Medal candidates)
Spain is not what it once was. For years, the team was the main competitor of the US, in the past three Olympic Games, there was always a medal. Meanwhile, the squad has aged, the older Gasol brother, Pau, has stopped, Marc (picture l.) Is still there. Serge Ibaka of NBA champ Toronto Raptors has canceled, but the Spaniards are still in good shape. Ricky Rubio and Sergio Lull in the guard positions, Rudy Fernández on the wing and on the bench are ready for a new pair of brothers from the NBA: Willy and Juancho Hernangómez.
3rd place: France (Category: Medalists)
With Rudy Gobert (pictured) in the center position, France has the best defender in the world. NBA pros are also available in other positions: Small Forward Nicolas Batum and shooting guard Evan Fournier, as well as former Euroleague MVP Nando de Colo, can pose a threat on the wings. With victories in test matches against Argentina, Brazil and Montenegro, the German group opponents underpinned his title ambitions. A retirement before the semi-final would be a disappointment.
2nd place: USA (Category: Top favorite)
The Americans would be the number one in the best way and that by far the rest. Since it is a World Cup and not Olympia, the biggest stars have canceled. In the US squad, there is not a single superstar, with Kemba Walker (picture) and Khris Middleton drive only two NBA Allstars to China. That this team, led by coaching legend Gregg Popovich, still wins gold in the end, is quite possible. As vulnerable as this tournament were the US but never, which showed the defeat against Australia in the preparation.
1st place: Serbia (Category: Top favorite)
2014 World Cup silver, 2016 Olympic silver, 2017 European silver - this year gold should finally follow. The Serbs have an incredibly wide and strong squad and have been recorded for years. Nikola Jokic (picture) stands out from the team. The Denver Nuggets Center is a legitimate contender for the NBA MVP and is expected to dominate the tournament. That's why Serbia is just ahead of the US in the ranking. Only the lack of point guard Milos Teodosic hurts coach Aleksander Djordjevic.