Coach K could blow the Olympics

Team USA received a huge scare this morning from Team Lithuania.  Team USA was outshot and outrebounded, and one of the guys doing the outshooting and outrebounding was the horrible Darius Songalia.  Never should happen.  The Americans were lucky to escape with a 99-94 win.

This might be Coach K’s fault.  Lithuania shot a ridiculous 58% from the floor against Team USA.  This might be due to the fact that Coach K (I’m not spelling his last name) insists on playing a small lineup.  Tyson Chandler and Kevin Love, the only two legitimate big men on the team combined for only 20 minutes of action.  Love may have rescued Team USA in his few minutes because he roped in 4 offensive rebounds in that little bit of time.  Without the offensive boards, Team USA goes down to a shocking defeat (its not that Team USA is unbeatable, its that Team Lithuania is vastly inferior).

Coach K is proving to be one of those coaches who doesn’t understand the importance of size and possessionary basketball, and overvalues scoring and the mythical “shot creation”.  If he continues his small lineups, he could blow a heretofore un-blowable Gold Medal for Team USA.

EDIT: Team Lithuania posted a Team Win Score of 40.5, whereas Team USA posted a 46.0, so Team USA deserved to win… but that’s WAY too close.   And did I point out that Lithuania shot 63% on two pointers?? That means the lane had an “open for business” sign in it.  That’s ridiculous.  The thing that saved USA’s bacon was the steal gap — 17 to 3.  That’s apt, since that’s what Coach K is relying on –  superior athleticism.  That may not work.  I’d rather rely on basketball skill along with size and muscle.

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4 Responses to “Coach K could blow the Olympics”

  1. jbrett Says:

    Ty,
    One can argue (so I will) that Coach K’s teams have mostly underperformed in ‘big’ games at Duke, as well. I’d also suggest that his best-performing college players have been underwhelming in the NBA, and vice versa. Is it possible that he believes in his ‘system,’ and the players he believes fit that system, to the near-exclusion of all others? His issues with Kevin Love suggest that he–like many coaches, and even great players–has a very imperfect understanding of what wins games.

  2. J.D. Mo Says:

    Grant Hill was pretty good, still is. And guys like Reddick, Dunleavy Jr., Carlos Boozer and Kyrie Irving are good pro ballers within their limitations. I’m no great Coach K fan but I think he gets unfairly criticized on this point, like Izzo or Bo Ryan. College coaches get too much credit and blame. In any case, Saturday stopped dead in its tracks talk that the 2012 team is anywhere near as good the Dream Team. Can you imagine a team with Patrick Ewing and David Robinson in the middle allowing a team to shoot 63% on two-pointers? Maybe in practice to Jordan, Stockton, Barkley and Malone, …if they were all hot on the same day.

  3. Shareef Says:

    Hubris much? Frank McGuire and Dean Smith brought possession based analysis to basketball. Perhaps Coach K, whose place on the Mount Rushmore of coaching is assured, has found out some truths about basketball, as he blew out some of those NC teams, that have escaped your slide ruler.

    • J.D. Mo Says:

      Watching yesterday’s Argentina game on the DVD and the point about needing to be bigger does stick out. Tyson Chandler’s an overrated defender, nowhere near as impactful as Hibbert or a healthy Dwight, Bynum or Garnett. He’s not bad, no, just kinda average, not a deserving DPOY by any means. Like 2004, what we’re seeing is the effect of not bringing your best players to the Olympics, though, on one hand, there wasn’t much choice because of the health issues the bigs have. On the other hand some of this is by design. That is Mike D’Antoni and not Tom Thibodeaux who’s sitting on the Team USA bench as an assistant, and this team plays defense when Lebron, Kobe, CP3 and Chandler decide to turn up the screws — then and and only then because the coaches are kinda clueless on that end of the court. Doug Collins spent a lot of time harping on it in the 4th quarter, and I’m sure Doc Rivers will continue on that theme when it’s over.

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