The Road Warriors improve to 2-0 after soundly beating the Virgin Islands by 20 points. The Can Ball Report gives another blinders analysis on the game.
So again I missed the second game of the Road Warriors quest to qualify for the World Championships. I was at work this time. And again I missed Canada put a win together in an international qualifying tournament now making them 2-0. So again I will attempt to give the blind look at what I think of the game.
This is the second game in a row that the Red and White have won that can be considered a blow out. Who are we kidding it was a blow out. A 20 point win over a Virgin Island team that has some players that have had some very high level NCAA basketball experience. Whatever. A team that may have caused some trouble in the past was seemingly no match yesterday. And here three things the blinder look told me.
This first thing that stood out in the stats is the turnovers. Again, with the emphasis on taking care of the ball throughout the tournament, Canada was able to only turnover the rock twelve times. An excellent number particularly when they were playing a team that had a lot of speed at the guard and wing spots that could easily convert any ball not protected properly. Canada is showing more control and patience with the ball it seems that was not necessarily the case in teams of past summers.
The next thing that needs to be recognized is the continued defense. There isn’t anyone in particular that I can point to since I didn’t get to see the game but the stats are telling me that the team as a whole is shutting things down. Though they didn’t keep the Virgin Islanders to the shooting numbers that Mexico were at, Canada still kept their opponents 37% from the floor and 30% from the three. All are respectable numbers. Canada also had 14 steals, eight more than the Virgin Islands. This, along with the 21 forced turnovers, shows that their defense was not just stopping the opposing offense but it was also disrupting the offense. This is an excellent sign.
The third thing that I noticed on the stats is that everyone is contributing on the stat sheet. Everyone who played in the game had something to show for their minutes on their stat line. Outside of Ryan Bell who didn’t see floor time, all the players did a combination of score, rebound, pass, steal or block shots. This is an excellent sign and may allude to the Euro influence that may be apparent in the style of play that Canada has been trying to implement. Every player is contributing to in any way to help the team win and it is definitely showing. It began with the attitude early in the summer and now it’s spilling over onto the floor.
That’s my take on this game without having actually watched it. So far the team looks like it’s playing at a higher level that what maybe people may have expected. This is a good thing. Canada’s Senior Men have not really been challenged yet this tournament, and may not until the later stages, and they next play a Uruguay team that had also soundly beat the Virgin Islands but got soundly beat by the host team. It will be interesting how they play next for a third straight game.
The game will be televised on The Score beginning at 4:00pm EST with a repeat again at 10:00pm EST.