Women’s Olympic Basketball: U.S. Tops Group B Challenger Canada

Outlook for the Field 

We are now through seven full days of play of preliminary rounds of Women’s Olympic Basketball and the standings are starting to look more definite in regards to which teams stand a chance at playing in the elimination rounds.

Australia continues to win and now looks like a lock to finish at the top of the Group A final standings. They only have one more game on their preliminary schedule and they will face off against Belarus, who is currently sitting at fifth place in the Group A standings. Assuming Australia does win that game over Belarus, the top four in Group A will likely be Australia, France, Japan and Turkey.

Elizabeth Cambage and Penny Taylor are still leading Australia to basketball success. Cambage is averaging 23.8 points per game, up from the 19.3 points she was averaging as of the last update article. Taylor is now averaging 16.5 points, down from the 17.7 points she was averaging as of the last update article.

Three Group B basketball games were played today with Serbia, the United States and Spain walking away victorious. The big matchup today was between the Americans and the Canadians because the two teams were tied atop the Group B basketball standings heading in to this game. Team USA won handily with a thirty-point difference.

The current Group B standings have the United States in the lead with eight points and Spain and Canada tied for second with seven points each. The final schedule for Group B is a little more interesting than the final games for Group A. China and Serbia are tied for fourth with five points each and Senegal is in last with four points. On Sunday, China will challenge Team USA so the likely fourth place finisher will be the winner of the Senegal versus Serbia game on Sunday.

Team USA Focus

While Canada was able to stay ahead of the rest of Group B in their matchups, they really never stood a chance against Team USA. Sticking to the old adage of “if its not broken, don’t fix it,” Team USA stuck with the same starting lineup for their basketball squad.

Diana Taurasi still leads Team USA in scoring, but a nice improvement over the past two games was seeing Maya Moore raise her scoring average to 9.8 points per game, up from 8.5 points per game at the time of the previous Olympic update. Her outside shooting has only improved slightly as she has gone 1-for-6 from outside since August 9th.

The improved scoring might be a result of a more aggressive playing style, getting to the free throw line with more frequency. In the first two games, she had only shot and made one free throw. Over the past two games, Moore has now gone 5-for-5 from the charity stripe.

In the last update article, it was mentioned that Tina Charles was leading the team in defensive stats with seven combined steals and blocks. Things have changed dramatically since then. Britney Griner has passed Charles with seven blocks and three steals. However, her ten combined defensive stat units is only second on the team. Breanna Stewart has been an absolute thief on defense in the past two games. Stewart had one steal and zero blocks in the first two games. She is now up to seventeen steals and one block in four games off the bench.

John Sill