Friday, June 24, 2011

FIBA Americas Cup 2011 -- USA Beats Canada, Goes for Gold

USA 113 - Canada 70
Team USA jumped on Team Canada from the opening tip, opening a 10 point lead on their first six possessions, and they never let the Canadians back into the game, building a 31-7 lead through the first period. Team USA extended their lead in each of the next two periods, taking a 63-28 lead into the half, and a 92-44 into the last period. Team Canada exacted a small solace in winning the fourth period 26-21 to soften their losing margin to 43, 113-70. Aaron Gordon led all scorers with 22 points on 11-16 (0-0, 11-16) shooting. Four of his teammates, Jahlil Okafor (16 points), Theo Pinson (15 points), Justin Jackson (14 points) and Kendrick Nunn (10 points), scored double digit points. Canadian Miroslav Jaksic and Aaron Gordon paced the rebounders with eight apiece. Malcolm Duvivier and Anthony Pate paced the Canadians with 10 points apiece. Crunching the game boxscore to develop some possession-based stats for the game...


Team Canada could not solve the USA's speedy pace and efficient offensive (1.19 ppp) and defensive (0.74 ppp) point-per-possession rates, an absolutely killing combination in this tournament. Coach Don Showalter again distributed playing time fairly evenly among the 11 man rotation he used today. Only two players logged 20 or more minutes (50% or greater of the playing time for a single position), the smallest playing time allocation, 15 minutes, equivalent to a 1½ periods or 37.5% of the playing time for a single position. Possessions, shooting and scoring followed the playing time, with nine players getting 19.7% or more of the possessions when each was on the floor, and five taking 20% or more of the shots when they were on the floor. no doubt contributed to evenly distributed shot percentages and possession rates among the five on the court. Five players took 20% or more of the available shots when they were on the court, while nine were credited with 20% or more of the possessions while they were playing.

Team Canada can draw some consolation in their board work today, matching Team USA for number of rebounds gathered, and snagging a higher percentage of their misses (34.8%) than any of Team USA's previous three opponents. Gordon pulled down a jaw-dropping 31.?% of the offensive boards when he was on the floor, while Pinson continues to gather extremely rates on the offensive boards. Okafor and Jon Williams also had a strong outing on the offensive glass. A sign of growing trust on the team perhaps, the assist rates have improved with each game. Against the Canadians it was a very encouraging 65.2%.

Who's Got Next?
Team USA is bound for the Tournament Finals. If the current scoring margin holds, the U16 USA team will play another game against Team Argentina. The Argentines currently hold a 19 point lead (71-52) over Team Puerto Rico with seven plus minutes left in the fourth period. The Gold Medal game will tip at 8:00pm (ET) tomorrow in Cancun.

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