Last week, the Warriors starting center Zaza Pachulia injured his ankle in a EuroBasket tune-up against the Czech Republic. It was serious enough that the Georgian national team coach thought Pachulia would not be able to play in the tournament. Pachulia himself was more optimistic.
The Golden State Warriors big man had his first full practice yesterday, he is completely healed and despite missing the recent “Acropolis tournament” in Athens, he will be available for the Georgian national team for the start of the official games in the Eurobasket tournament.
Georgia is a long shot to knock off the elite teams of Europe such as Spain or or Serbia, and Georgia is listed at 150-1 or longer odds to win the tournament. It won’t be easy for Georgia to be in the top four and advance out of their group that also includes the Ukraine, Israel, Lithuania, Italy, and Germany. However, it’s possible and looks a little more realistic with Pachulia in the paint.
Even with Pachulia back, EuroBasket is missing a lot of top players due to injuries or other concerns. Not taking part include Giannis Antetokounmpo, Rudy Gobert, Marc Gasol, Nikola Jokic, Danilo Gallinari, Enes Kanter, Marcin Gortat, Ersan Ilyasova, Omar Asik, Andrea Bargnani, Nicolas Batum, Tony Parker, Serge Ibaka, Nikola Mirotic, and Sergio Llull, among others.