Friday, September 1, 2006

Searching For the Reasons Why

(Boulder-CO) After wrestling with my pillow in a match that my hair would indicate that I lost. I am replaying the game in my mind which saw the USA lose to Greece 101-95. As I search for answers in the box score and what happened in the flow of the game I can only point to one area that I think was the culprit for this devastating loss.
The area to blame is the defense of Team USA. Defensive pressure, defensive rebounding, and the lack of steals are the reasons why I think the USA will now be playing for the bronze medal on Saturday. The USA gave up way too many open looks created by the off ball movement by the Grecians. To their credit they did shoot 62.5% from the field and 44% from down town, but some of the reason why these numbers were so high was the defensive game plan of the USA. I saw too much switching going on during the second half. If you’re going to switch on screens you might as well play a zone.

The on ball pressure wasn’t great either. The USA only recorded four steals the entire game and were led by Carmelo Anthony with two. There was no denial of the first pass from the ball, and this can also be credited to the Grecians outstanding movement without the rock. Something that the NBA needs to study and implement into its often too redundant one-on-one style of play.

The last part of this defensive equation that didn’t add up for the USA was the defensive boards. With a poor defensive pressure on the Greek shooters, not only was the ball being picked out of the net a lot, but when it didn’t go in the USA couldn’t figure out that long range shots create long range rebounds. The defensive box-out on the perimeter players was atrocious. The Greek squad got so many long rebounds that turned into second chances. I had to hold myself back from waking up my whole neighborhood screaming at the top of my lungs.

The USA was led again by Carmelo Anthony whose stat line was full with 27 points, two steals, two assists, and three rebounds. At this point, as a Nuggets fan, I just don’t want to see anything sketchy happen to ‘Melo in the final game. As far as I’m concerned, these FIBA Championships can be filed under the long list of Mission: INCOMPLETE for the USA Basketball Program.

1 comment:

Bobbb - Citizen of Earth said...

Nice comment to anonymous on Aymans blog
I am on the verge of joining you in ignoring the anonymous commenter

or better yet - talking about him but never to him

But poking holes in his logic is so much more fun than my job.

But honestly - I will try

I'm not a big ball fan - so I probably won't be reading to much of your Nugget stuff - but you are sharp minded and write well - keep at it!