After Rudy Gobert decided to withdraw from France’s National Team play this year, the general thought was that Joffrey Lauvergne was bound to see his role increased. He has previously overachieved in a bench role and this year seemed to offer plenty of opportunities for him to provide a steadying presence in the frontcourt alongside veterans Boris Diaw and Kevin Seraphin. Unfortunately, the first game didn’t quite go as planned as France lost in overtime to the Finnish hosts.
Throughout the game, Lauvergne struggled against Finland’s length and ball movement and was mainly stuck on the bench during crunch time. He finished with 4 points on 1/6 FG, with 4 rebounds and France went -15 while he was on court. Youngsters Poirer and Labeyrie proved better partners for Boris Diaw. Despite this unexpected loss, France has a straight-forward group and should qualify for the knockout phase.
This was an off game for Joffrey, but he could still see his role expanded as the tournament progresses. France is still learning to adjust without Tony Parker's leadership, Batum's versatility and Gobert's defensive presence. Coach Vincent Collet is doing a lot of tinkering with his lineups early in the group phase but is expected to lean on his veterans as the team goes into the knockout stage.
I will continue to update you on Lauvergne performance for the French squad as Euroleague continues.