Canada has gone head up with some of FIBA’s best at the World Cup but faces its biggest test yet in sixth-ranked Serbia on Friday.
Here are five things to know ahead of Canada’s semifinal game:
The 15th-ranked Canadian men have shown how things can look when the team is able to gather some of its best talent on one team.
Canada made it to the second round of the tournament for the first time since 1998 after winning its first two games of the group phase. After finishing 3-0, they placed first in the group phase for the first-time ever.
Canada’s win over top-ranked defending champion Spain on Sunday made way for a direct qualification the Paris 2024 Games, ending an Olympic drought dating back to 2000. It was also the first time since 1994 that Canada advanced to the quarterfinals.
Facing Serbia in its first-ever World Cup semifinal (Friday, 4:45 a.m. ET), Canada now has a chance to secure its first-ever medal with a win and entry into the final.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander has been the best player at the tournament. The 25-year-old all-NBA first team guard is the third-leading scoring at the tournament (25.0) and also leads Canada in rebounds (7.2) and assists (5.0).
Gilgeous-Alexander only has one game with less than 20 points — 12 in a 55-point win over Lebanon in the first round — and has been the engine behind Canada’s 5-1 record and historic run through the competition.
Fellow all-NBA first team guard Luka Doncic lauded the Hamilton native as “one of the best players in the world” after Canada ousted Slovenia in the quarterfinals on Wednesday. Gilgeous-Alexander had game highs of 31 points — 18 in the second half — and 10 rebounds on 8-of-12 shooting in the contest.
Bogdan Bogdanovic has only built on his star and legacy on the world stage through this tournament. The Atlanta Hawks guard has climbed from 52nd to 17th on the all-time World Cup scoring list, while averaging 18.8 points per game.
With 404 points to his name and having passed the late great Drazen Petrovic, the 31-year-old Bogdanovic just needs 21 points to surpass German great and Basketball Hall of Famer Dirk Nowitzki next.
Barring any roadblocks in Serbia’s next two games, Bogdanovic could crack the top 12 by the end of the competition, needing 44 points to do so.
Serbia sits only behind the U.S. atop the tournament leaders in scoring — 98.2 and 101.2 per game. And it’s all being done without its best player — and arguably best in the world — centre Nikola Jokic. The two-time NBA MVP sat out to rest after the Denver Nuggets won the NBA title in June.
However, the team has used an offence that thrives on movement — both of the ball and players off the ball — as well as the pick-and-roll game to dominate much of the tournament. Serbia is also second among the four semifinalists, allowing just 74.7 points across six games.
While Serbia has speed, it also presents a lot of size issues. On its 12-man roster, Serbia only has three players shorter than six-foot-six, with the smallest being six-foot-four. Led by seven-foot centre Nikola Milutinov — who is averaging 13.2 points and 8.8 rebounds per game — a small-ball lineup like the one used at points against Slovenia may be more challenging for Canada to utilize.
Canada head coach Jordi Fernandez never shied away from pointing out Canada’s inexperience on the FIBA level. Fernandez — who replaced Nick Nurse on June 28 — has also always made it known Canada would have to get better every step of the process in order to succeed.
But with almost every test, Canada has passed. And it may be attributed to how close the team is.
Multiple players mentioned the ties that exist between them from their younger days during training camp in August. Following the win over Slovenia, forward RJ Barrett said the team has shown it’s a hard-working group and one that competes with a common goal. But he also spoke of the team’s bond.
“It’s been incredible since Day 1,” he said. “All the guys, we all enjoy each other, we all enjoy hanging out. Through every practice, through every game, wins, losses, we always stuck together. It’s a special group of guys and it’s very exciting. It’s an honour to be on this team.”
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 7, 2023.
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How to Spot a Trustworthy Online Casino in Canada
Spotting a trustworthy online casino isn’t hard once you know what to look for, but until then, you better hold off on signing up or making a deposit. This quick guide on how to find a reputable online casino will cover five different factors you can evaluate to determine whether or not a casino is trustworthy. While you could just use a site like the trusted source WikiHow that lists the best online casinos Canada, it does help to be able to evaluate the trustworthiness of casinos on your own. Likewise, you shouldn’t believe everything you read on the internet. Casino review sites are a great resource, but it doesn’t hurt to also do a little digging of your own. Without further delay, here’s a quick and easy guide on how to spot a trustworthy online casino.
Checking for Proper Licensing and Regulation
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Never play at a casino that does not have a license or whose license is unverifiable. The easiest way to verify a license is to head to the licensor’s website and cross-check their registry with the name of the casino you’re looking at. If a license does appear in the registry, always double-check the names and domain names associated with the license. Some scam sites use domains that look similar to real casinos and act as if they are operating under their license. When in doubt, head to the URL listed on the license you find in the registry to be sure that you’re at the right site.
Evaluating the Casino’s Security Measures
Examining the Casino’s Game Selection
Game selection is another important factor to consider when choosing from the best online casinos Canada. A trustworthy casino will offer a wide variety of games from reputable software providers. Look for popular titles from well-known developers such as Microgaming, NetEnt, and Playtech. Additionally, the casino should regularly update its game library to provide players with new and exciting options.
Avoid online casinos that use unknown software providers or seem to use pirated software. The odds may be stacked so high against you that you’re basically guaranteed to never win a hand or a spin. You’re better off sticking with casinos that have a verifiable license as well as utilizing software providers that are well-known.
Verifying the Casino’s Customer Support
Good customer support is essential for a positive online casino experience. A trustworthy casino will have a responsive and knowledgeable support team available to assist you with any queries or concerns. Look for casinos that offer multiple support channels, such as live chat, email, and telephone. Additionally, check for the casino’s operating hours to ensure that support is available when you need it. You should also try and give their customer support a test run. By simply asking their 24/7 Live Chat simple questions about the site, you can get a feel for their response time and overall knowledge. Sites with poor customer service will often take a long time to connect to an agent and be unable to answer even the simplest of queries.
Looking for Fair and Transparent Bonus Terms
Bonuses and promotions are a common feature of online casinos, but it’s important to carefully review the terms and conditions associated with these offers. A trustworthy casino will have fair and transparent bonus terms, clearly outlining the wagering requirements, maximum bet limits, and any other conditions that apply. Avoid casinos that have overly restrictive or confusing bonus terms, as this may indicate a lack of transparency.
In conclusion, when looking for a trustworthy online casino, it’s important to consider factors such as proper licensing and regulation, security measures, game selection, customer support, and bonus terms. By taking the time to evaluate these aspects, you can ensure a safe and enjoyable gaming experience. Remember to always gamble responsibly and set limits for yourself to avoid any potential issues.
Canadiens acquire Tanner Pearson, trade Casey DeSmith to Canucks
A third-round pick in 2025 also goes to Montreal in the deal completed Tuesday.
Pearson hasn’t played since suffering a broken hand last November during a game in Montreal.
Pearson, 31, had one goal and four assists in 14 games last season.
In 590 career games with the Canucks, Pittsburgh Penguins and Los Angeles Kings, Pearson has 133 goals and 139 assists for 272 points.
The Kings picked the Barrie Colts product in the first round (30th overall) of the 2012 NHL Draft.
Pearson is in the final year of a three-year contract with a cap hit of $3.25 million.
DeSmith, 32, has been with the Pittsburgh Penguins since 2017-18. He was acquired by the Canadians in a three-team deal also involving the San Jose Sharks last month.
DeSmith was 15-16-4 with a 3.17 goals-against average and .905 save percentage last season.
In 134 career games, the undrafted DeSmith is 58-44-15 with a 2.81 GAA and .912 save percentage.
DeSmith is on the final year of a two-year deal with a cap hit of $1.8 million.
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