Friday, August 31, 2007

Team USA v. Argentina

I had the chance to catch the Team USA/Argentina basketball game last night (this morning, really, since it was on starting at 12:01 am). Two observations from the game:
  • Luis Scola is good. Sure, he was being guarded by small forwards (Tayshaun Prince, Carmelo Anthony), but Team USA really had no answer for him. The only person who stopped him in the game was himself--he picked up some silly fouls early so his playing time was severely limited. It was considered a little puzzling when San Antonio traded his rights to the Rockets earlier this summer for basically nothing. Now, having seen him play, I'd call it downright baffling.
  • Team USA can't take care of its defensive boards. I couldn't find the stats from the game, but I remember at halftime last night Argentina was winning the rebounding battle 20-15, despite shooting 38% from the floor (and with Team USA shooting about 60%). So despite having significantly fewer defensive rebounds available to them (the easier kind to grab), Argentina was winning the rebounding battle. I would love to know what Team USA's defensive rebounding rate (DRR) was last night. I can't imagine it was very good. Against full strength teams at the Olympics, this sort of poor performance on the defensive glass could be a real problem.

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