Onward and upward for Team USA, who have yet to face a challenge across four quarters in group play these Olympics and may not have to worry until bracket play begins.
The Americans destroyed an inferior Angola team today, 90-38, moving to the top of Group A standings leading into Wednesday’s match-up against Turkey. The Americans are 2-0 in London and will have a point differential of +67, almost double that of group co-leader China.
There is just too much elite talent on Team USA for their opponents, at least thus far, to keep up, though Croatia capitalized on U.S. mistakes early in their opening match-up, hanging tough until the fourth quarter. Versatility is key for Team USA, with any player on the roster capable of taking over the game. A glimpse at the box scores thus far shows this flexibility: six different players – half the team – have scored in double digits at least once.
Coach Geno Auriemma has been exploiting his depth with multiple full-team substitutions, “hockey subs” as the announcers have called them, replacing all five players at once with fresh groupings and different players taking the point, Sue Bird and Lindsay Whalen most often. Candace Parker (Williams) at center has been a dominant force for Team USA, posting back-to-back double doubles and blocking four shots today.
China might be the biggest challenge for Team USA in Group A, but watch out for France and Australia out of Group B. Australia is typically another powerhouse in women’s basketball, but they themselves fell to the French in their second game in overtime. Still, both teams have reached the 70-point mark in both games, proving they can score.
Team USA will face Turkey, the Czech Republic and China in order to conclude group play.
Current Women’s Basketball Standings (Courtesy of NBCOlympics.com):