Canada have gone pretty small up front.
No hamblin, bulgak, potter, Alexander etc. no player over 6'3.
Very good energetic team though. Could definitely beat Australia, Spain etc.
6'0 Nurse/5'8 Langlois/5'9 Thorburn
6'1 Gaucher/5'7 fields
6'1 Tatham/6'1 Murphy
6'3 Plouffe/6'3 plouffe/6'2 ekunwe
6'3 Achonwa/6'3 ayim
5'8 Phillips/5'5 Mitchell/5'8 lavey
6'1 Taylor/5'10 ebzery
6'1 Talbot/6'1 jarry
6'3 hodges/6'4 George/6'4 burton
6'8 cambage/6'5 tolo
Opals - Canada box score:
Looks like we blew them away in the first quarter and maintained it the rest of the way.
The Phillips-Mitchell backcourt went +21 and +16 respectively.
Cambage with a very poor A:TO ratio this game. Probably should be benched I think :p
The team won well and Burton had a great +/- of 10 and I'm sure played hard as she always does. Yet people still want to have snide digs. Pathetic.
Whether you agree with the selection or not has she done something wrong by being picked and playing to the best of her ability?
+- was good because other people performed well while she was on the court.
Both hodges and George would have had same +- if they had started. Only 15 mins court time between them also compared to 24 mins.
Look at the play by play. Canada's turnovers were not due to burtons defence.
You've got to love seeing Cambage scoring 16p at 80% in 19mins. That’s the exact sort of short-burst production that will make the Opals very hard to beat, because she’s not out there long enough to get tired and become a defensive liability.
Also good to see Phillips and Mitchell play big minutes together, and obviously very effectively. I thought we would have seen more of that in Turkey, and I think that can be a winner against the right oppo guard combos (though maybe not the USA with their size).
Pretty even first quarter. Absolutely blew them out of the water in the 2nd though.
Trailed 19-23 at one point, then went on a 24-3 run to close out the first half, followed by a 10-3 run to start the 3rd, and it was all but game over.
Looks like the last 15 minutes of the game were pretty ordinary though. France went 18-8 to end the 3rd, and 18-13 in the 4th, including holding us scoreless over the final 5 minutes :/
Great games by Cambage, Phillips & Taylor.
The Mitchell & Lavey PG combo held their own.
Not much else to like in that Opals boxscore after that though.
Pleased that everyone got at least 7 minutes of court time this game.
Another fairly dominant performance, leading by 19 with five minutes to play before the bench allowed France to add some respectability. The lack of punch from the bench might be a bit of a concern for Joyce, though, may have to tinker rotations a little?
I think they miss the spark Mitchell gave that unit in 2014, but at the same time the Phillips-Mitchell combo looks really good. I wonder if they can play those two together against the US without being exploited defensively though?
Probably the least of our worries vs USA. Bird & Whalen aren't really dynamic scorers, Augustus is more likely these days to take only what she is given, and even Taurasi is primarily a perimeter shooter these days (though still an awesome passer)
It's the matchups at the 3 & 4 spots that are the real killers IMO. We've got no one who can guard the likes of Maya, Angel, Catchings, EDD & Charles.
Anyway I think we need to just forget about USA completely and focus on beating the beatable teams.
I actually wish we weren't even playing USA in the friendly. The unknown factor is our only advantage.
A pretty startling stat is the starters shot 23/35 and the bench 5/26.
Against Canada it was 23/37 and 6/13 when the bench played fewer minutes, perhaps highlighting how important it is to have the reserves on with a key scorer or two. Probably also shows how we can't afford foul trouble for Phillips and Taylor ala the SF against the US in 2014.
Looking forward to that game on Monday morning. I don't think it will be giving away the element of surprise, they played us twice two years ago and this is essentially the same Opals team, the US knows what to expect from us.
Looks like we might meet Spain in the semis.
Not sure we would win but our chances have improved now since sancho lyttle has an injury.
Anyone's guess who will play USA in the other semi...
France, turkey, Brazil, Belarus, japan all very evenly matched.
Opals vs USA tips off at 6:00am AEST
Live stats here:
Game is being telecast live on ESPN
A live stream will apparently be available from USA Basketball's facebook page:
I will be up early and watching it on fox. EDD in awesome form - really looking forward to how the opals deal with the 3-4 position. Cant wait for a Griner / Cambage match up - or even a revisit of Tolo / Griner. EDD reminds me of LJ..... Looking forward to fluffy bunny's game as well.
Played out similarly to the 2014 SF with the third quarter the difference. The Opals tried some different combos in this game, and the line-ups on when the US triggered their big runs probably won't play much together in the real thing.
Ultimately there's nothing new from this, the US are beatable but we'll have to play very well for four quarters to do it. We also can't be -10 in the possession game like we wear today.
Liz v Griner was a great battle, neither team really had a defensive answer.
Our pfs are killing us...
Talbot as a small 4 looked good against Delle Donne.
Even tolo at the 4 would be better.
Penaluna and Blicavs should have been there ahead of burton and hodges at the 4.
Best lineup looks like
Future team will consist of..
Lavey, ebzery, Talbot, jarry, George, tolo, cambage. All 27 and under...
Probably Last olympics.
Phillips, Mitchell, Taylor, hodges, burton.
What young 5 players are the likely replacements?
Notables... All under 27.
*maybe too early...
Team USA were made to work hard for their 104-89 win over the Opals in their final hit-out before the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.
In what proved to be an entertaining game of women's international basketball, it was a 35-23 third term in favour of Team USA that ultimately saw them hold off the Opals for the win. Cambage delivered a game-high 22 points ( 8/15 FG) with 8 rebounds.
The USA were led by a stellar shooting performance from Diana Taurasi’s 20 points, 3 rebound and 3 assist effort, leading 5 American’s who scored in double figures for the game.
Opals push USA in final hit-out before Rio
With wins vs Canada and France and a loss vs USA, Opals in reasonable shape heading to Rio.
Two guard a big concern defensively, but that was always going to be the case. Having said that, you know the Opals weren't showing any defensive tricks, and neither were the US on Taylor and Cambage - hopefully we get to see a rematch with gold on the line.
Opals would have to be very happy with their build up, now it's time to do it under the bright lights.
Only just watched the game. Pretty much went to script.
I thought Joyce was loco putting so many minutes into Penny & Erin, but he sat them a lot in the 2nd half so that's all good.
USA scored at will, as expected. Opals have no answers at the forward spots. Taurasi scored 20 just from being left open on the perimeter after good ball movement by her team and scrambled rotations by us. It wasn't a matter of not having the right matchup for her, she just ended up on her own far too often.
Burton can't guard anyone but that's news to no one.
I liked the way Liz played, including the way she coped with foul trouble (a couple of which were questionable I thought). I liked Ebzery & Jarry looking to attack as well. Penny steady as usual. Point guards held their own as expected, and not afraid to let it fly from outside, which is critical in keeping defences honest. Seriously good first half from Leilani reading the defence.
Lol, the team can still be changed.
I'd add allen and blicavs. Going Smaller but much more mobile and better shooters. Open the flloor up more allowing cam age and tolo to work inside.
Take out burton and hodges.
Mitchell, Phillips, Taylor, Talbot, Cambage
Lavey, Ebzery, Allen, Jarry, Tolo
I really felt that Bec Allen's length might have been useful in defending EDD. But what a player is Delle Donne!
I don't what prevented Talbot getting more minutes in the first half?
And Anonymous - the one continually clogging up this thread by posting fantasy team lists of future Opals. Have you not seen or heard of Tahlia Tupaea??
Fortunately, most of the coaches of Opals, Gems and Sapphires have.
Tupaea is a great shooter and descent defender, but at only 5'9 as an sg and suspect ball handling. Not so sure she is opals potential. (ahead of others).nstill a fantastic player.
Opals potential u21 brightest prospects IMO. Of course some people will disagree.. But that's ok...
From sapphires or gems.
5'5* Conti Pg u17
5'9* Shelley Cg u17
5'9 Yaegar Cg Oregon-college u17
5'10 Wehrung Cg Canberra-wnbl u19
5'11 Wallace Cg Baylor-college u19
5'11* Simmons Sg/Sf u17
6'0* Rowe Sg/Sf u17
6'1 Horvat Sg/Sf u19
6'1 Sharp Sg/Sf wake forest-college u17, u19
6'1 Bibby Sf u17
6'3 Froling Pf/C Smu-college u17, u19
6'4 Smith Pf/C Stanford-college u19
6'4* Magbegor Pf/C u17, u19
6'5* Cochrane Pf/C u17
6'5 Scherf C Dandenong-wnbl u17, u19
Hasn't represented Australia but
6'3 Aokuso Pf/C has potential also.
Angel has played solid minutes this tournament and played well (15 min in game 1 and 22 min in game 2), so I wouldn't say that's a fair assessment of Geno's mindset on her.
Griner has been ordinary all year and hasn't been worthy of more minutes this series. She started out badly this game too, picking up 2 quick fouls and having to sit straight back down again (much like Phoenix fans are used to seeing), but she really made the most of her second chance. That was the most focussed I've seen her play all year.
Jarry is undersized at the 4, especially vs USA, but at least she reads the game well and has a red hot go every moment she is out there.
Ok! I'm sorry Burton is useless!
She cannot be our 2nd best big to be In starting 5!
We have no rebounders besides cambage and Taylor.
Tolo seemed a bit lost out there. George is being wasted on the bench
Hodges and burton are not a scoring threat at all
batkovich would have been the way to go and support cambage better than others
God one game I've watched and Brendan Joyce is killing me already
To anonymous who keeps posting lists of 'future' opals, let's get through This Olympics first... Another four years and that list will be very different , and hopefully a new head coach who will choose players on ability not favouritism.
Batkovic and OHea to name just two should have been on this current team
Was good to have another look at this morning's game. The USA were very dangerous on broken plays, we need to be better on the defensive glass and quicker to recover if they get an o-board - can't give up penetration in that situation.
We particularly have to identify Delle Donne, she's going to get her post points, we can't allow her too many cheapies.
In the half-court they had great success getting our centres away from the basket defending on-balls, and had success getting our two-guards into any sort of screening action. When they combined those two they usually got a wide-open look.
There are a number of defensive tricks you can use to cover the ball screens with the bigs, expect to see us switching into zone as they come off that on-ball or switching the bigs and the weakside guard hedging to intercept that pass to the high big.
As for the two-guards, I'm not sure there are too many solutions for that, they were able to get separation very easily and then look over the defender to make easy feeds, and away from the ball Phillips really struggled keeping tabs on them.
Still, I really like our guard rotation, and love Mitchell and Phillips together, all teams including the US have struggled with that, so we should back them to get the job done offensively and hope some man-zone switching helps to cover defensively.
One other thing was the small-ball line-up with Jarry at the PF, perhaps Talbot should get some more minutes in that situation too, as I think someone else mentioned?
We also shouldn't have Burton and Hodges inbounding against the press, get Taylor to do that so if they double off her she can advance the ball and punish them.
Can't wait for the Olympics to start, first game against Brazil should be a beauty, hopefully we can blow them out
Enough already about Suzy Batkovic! While she has been a sensational force in the WNBL she has never performed at International level against the stronger countries. She has looked like a deer in the headlights against the USA and Russia etc previously so I see little value in having her at the Olympics. Better to give some younger players the opportunity than to beat a dead horse!
AussiePride - you're welcome to your opinion, just as everyone should be entitled to theirs. Suzy did a great job in her supporting role, coming of the bench at the Olympics. Not only an outstanding player nationally but also internationally. Selections should always be based on ability, not age or favouritism. I would have selected Suzy 100%. My opinion - you're welcome to yours.
AussiePride - penny taylor was horrible in the 2010 World Champs. Dropped a 3/14 game (can't remember exact fg%) in the cross over game which knocked the Opals out of medal contention.
LJ ran around like like an an old Kobe in London shooting nothing but contested fadeaways and acting like the best player on the team even though Liz needed to be doubled, and open shots could have been generated by playing through her instead.
They still get the respect they deserve for their overall contributions to the Opals and so should Suzy.
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