When you look at the lineup for Saturday's 2014 FIBA World Cup match, it's easy to get excited about Team USA or Spain or one of the other powerhouse teams because you are going to see something interesting.
However, a game between two teams still trying to find an identity is more fun to watch. Argentina and Puerto Rico both fit into this category, coming off two mediocre performances in the preparation games and trying to piece themselves together.
Argentina has had success at the FIBA event in the past, making it to the quarterfinals in 2010 before falling to Lithuania. Puerto Rico has finished outside the top 10 at the FIBA World Cup in 2006 and 2010. Both teams have a lot to prove and need to get off to a fast start.
Where: City, Arena, Sevilla
When: Saturday, August 30
Start Time: 11:30 a.m. ET
Watch: ESPN Deportes
Live Stream: ESPN3.com
Rosters can be found at FIBA.com
This will be the first head-to-head meeting between Argentina and Puerto Rico since 2013, when the countries met twice. Puerto Rico won both of those games by a combined score of 183-161, though their second meeting in August was even until the Puerto Ricans had a big third quarter.
Making things more difficult for Argentina this time around is the absence of San Antonio Spurs superstar Manu Ginobili. He's 37 years old and has been fragile, so the Spurs wouldn't permit him to play for his home country this year (h/t Buck Harvey):
Even with the absence of Ginobili, Argentina is not without talent. Luis Scola, who turned into a valuable bench piece for the Indiana Pacers last year, is the biggest name on the roster, but Facundo Campazzo has the potential to be a breakout star in Group B.
Campazzo is an undersized point guard at 5'11'', but has been a dominant player in the Argentina professional league. According to RealGM.com, the 23-year-old has been named Finals MVP two of the last three years and been on the Argentinian Liga A First Team the last three years.
However, Campazzo will be taking on an established NBA veteran on the other side. J.J. Barea is also an undersized point guard at 6'0" who has had moments of brilliance with some sweet touch on his passes.
Scoring is the key for Barea in this game and tournament for Puerto Rico. Carlos Arroyo's shooting touch has decreased considerably in recent years, dropping to a career-low 44.0 percent field-goal percentage during the 2013-14 NBA season.
You can see the difference between these two teams looking at their results from the preparation games. Even though Puerto Rico was a pedestrian 5-4 in nine games, it outscored opponents by 38 points.
Argentina, on the other hand, did fight its way to a 4-4 record in eight games but was outscored overall by 14 points. Puerto Rico has more explosive athletes and a strong track record in those 2013 games to build off on.
Prediction: Puerto Rico 83, Argentina 77
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