OT: The problem with Team USA women's hoops

EricLA

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IMHO the bottom line is the problem is the roster. It has ZERO to do with Ogwumike - it's becoming crystal clear this team is in desperate need of guards and wings. Nneka lost her spot to Stewie, Wilson and Charles, not to Pheesa and Ariel. There was no way the team needed to add yet another forward. In hindsight, not a controversial choice at all, in spite of all the hysteria from Chiney and other "experts".

Regardless, Team USA 2016 had Elena, Maya, Angel, Lindsey, Siemone, and Tameka. This team has replaced them with Jewell, Chelsea, Skylar, Ariel, Napheesa and A'ja. That is a HUGE downgrade with the exception of Wilson.

Bottom line is that even tho Tameka was the last player off the bench, she was in the twilight of her career, everyone else was at their peak. Lindsey, while not a pass first PG, was far better than Gray. This current team has no true 3 except for Pheesa,and maybe Ariel, who so far, have not shown they are ready for this stage. Stewie is a 4 and is forced to play out of position when this team plays Wilson/Griner or Charles/Fowles. This team has 5 forwards and 7 guards/wings, but with Diggins, Atkins and Collier just not up to it so far, they only have 4 players, really, for 3 positions, which is why Stewie is playing out of position.

I actually think the best lineup is Sue, Dee, Jewell, Stewie and A'ja. But with the plethora of post players on the bench, how do you rotate them in? USA's strength is in the post, but their weakness is in the backup guard/wing play, and on defense. How many times did we see Griner, Stewie, or Wilson on the tiny Japanese point guard trying to keep her in front of them? Same for Charles and Fowles - they all were guarding faster and quicker players.

The roster is not Dawn's fault. I do think Gray played better against Japan. Loyd is right up there with Dee and Sue as far as being great at what she needs to do. But this team is wrongly built against smaller, quicker, more physical teams who have great outside shooting. Even tho Japan shot poorly from the 3, they still made it a tight game. NO one on team USA could stop the guards from Japan, and the help defense was always a step slow.

Bottom line is this will be a problem IMHO until the next generation of guards/wings develop. Sabrina, Caitlin, Paige, Azzi, Boston (post obviously) are the next generation of greats who will be coming up, but it's still short on 3's. Haley Jones? Cameron Brink? Take Lou from the 3x3 team? Collier will improve. But who else is there? To me it's clear this team has too many elite 4's/5's and not enough elite 1's. 2's, and 3's. I have no doubt players will emerge over time, but this team is one of the weaker USA national teams in recent history...
 
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IMHO the bottom line is the problem is the roster. It has ZERO to do with Ogwumike - it's becoming crystal clear this team is in desperate need of guards and wings. Nneka lost her spot to Stewie, Wilson and Charles, not to Pheesa and Ariel. There was no way the team needed to add yet another forward. In hindsight, not a controversial choice at all, in spite of all the hysteria from Chiney and other "experts".

Regardless, Team USA 2016 had Elena, Maya, Angel, Lindsey, Siemone, and Tameka. This team has replaced them with Jewell, Chelsea, Skylar, Ariel, Napheesa and A'ja. That is a HUGE downgrade with the exception of Wilson.

Bottom line is that even tho Tameka was the last player off the bench, she was in the twilight of her career, everyone else was at their peak. Lindsey, while not a pass first PG, was far better than Gray. This current team has no true 3 except for Pheesa,and maybe Ariel, who so far, have not shown they are ready for this stage. Stewie is a 4 and is forced to play out of position when this team plays Wilson/Griner or Charles/Fowles. This team has 5 forwards and 7 guards/wings, but with Diggins, Atkins and Collier just not up to it so far, they only have 4 players, really, for 3 positions, which is why Stewie is playing out of position.

I actually think the best lineup is Sue, Dee, Jewell, Stewie and A'ja. But with the plethora of post players on the bench, how do you rotate them in? USA's strength is in the post, but their weakness is in the backup guard/wing play, and on defense. How many times did we see Griner, Stewie, or Wilson on the tiny Japanese point guard trying to keep her in front of them? Same for Charles and Fowles - they all were guarding faster and quicker players.

The roster is not Dawn's fault. I do think Gray played better against Japan. Loyd is right up there with Dee and Sue as far as being great at what she needs to do. But this team is wrongly built against smaller, quicker, more physical teams who have great outside shooting. Even tho Japan shot poorly from the 3, they still made it a tight game. NO one on team USA could stop the guards from Japan, and the help defense was always a step slow.

Bottom line is this will be a problem IMHO until the next generation of guards/wings develop. Sabrina, Caitlin, Paige, Azzi, Boston (post obviously) are the next generation of greats who will be coming up, but it's still short on 3's. Haley Jones? Cameron Brink? Take Lou from the 3x3 team? Collier will improve. But who else is there? To me it's clear this team has too many elite 4's/5's and not enough elite 1's. 2's, and 3's. I have no doubt players will emerge over time, but this team is one of the weaker USA national teams in recent history...
Bottom line. I was pretty much going to make this observation after their game against the All Stars, so I'm glad someone else sees what I see. Unfortunately I would also add that Dee's decline in play is evident on both offense and defense, and in most games she's a liability on both ends. Thank goodness for Sue, since she's the only guard on the roster that seems to know how to make the smart or timely pass in the quarter court either from the arc or off the dribble.
 

huskeynut

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They beat Japan by 17 points.

Japan played tough D and hung in with USA until late in the 3rd quarter. In fact, Japan led after the 1st quarter.

I have to agree with Eric, this team's construction leave a lot to be desired. And one wonders about the rotations Dawn has set up. And why is Phee and Skylar not getting minutes?
 

MilfordHusky

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Japan played tough D and hung in with USA until late in the 3rd quarter. In fact, Japan led after the 1st quarter.

I have to agree with Eric, this team's construction leave a lot to be desired. And one wonders about the rotations Dawn has set up. And why is Phee and Skylar not getting minutes?
Sky had a minor injury from practice. She didn't play much in the Nigeria game, but she was out due to an injury last night.
 
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i saw too much standing around and forced passes, poor decisions and lax play. that just might be the problem. blame team makeup ... or the players themselves or the coaching ... or whatever.
 
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Bottom line. I was pretty much going to make this observation after their game against the All Stars, so I'm glad someone else sees what I see. Unfortunately I would also add that Dee's decline in play is evident on both offense and defense, and in most games she's a liability on both ends. Thank goodness for Sue, since she's the only guard on the roster that seems to know how to make the smart or timely pass in the quarter court either from the arc or off the dribble.
What in the world are you talking about? I thought D played very well on both ends for the minutes that she was in the game. A liability? Please expound on this...
 
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What in the world are you talking about? I thought D played very well on both ends for the minutes that she was in the game. A liability? Please expound on this...
Right now there are 4 guards who Dawn can play, and 4 frontcourt players. Atkins, and Skyler Diggins aren't ready. Griner, A'ja, and Stewie, and 1 of Syvia, or Tina. Would go with Sylvia.
 

#1florida

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Why isn't Staley playing everyone in the prelims? Some need the Olympic experience in order to help them get ready for the big games if they are needed....
Has Collier been a game yet.
 

KnightBridgeAZ

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What in the world are you talking about? I thought D played very well on both ends for the minutes that she was in the game. A liability? Please expound on this...
I'm a big Phoenix fan, in fact it has become about the only WNBA I have been following. DT is not the player she was. It may very well be the injuries. Unlike the poster you are questioning, I thought she contributed, remember DT no longer at the top of her game is still better than 90% of players.

Conversely, I've noticed that Sue Bird's shot is off. Her passing is immaculate. Her shots, not so much. Yet, I know she has been shooting well this season in the W. So I have no idea what is going on there.
 

donalddoowop

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IMHO the bottom line is the problem is the roster. It has ZERO to do with Ogwumike - it's becoming crystal clear this team is in desperate need of guards and wings. Nneka lost her spot to Stewie, Wilson and Charles, not to Pheesa and Ariel. There was no way the team needed to add yet another forward. In hindsight, not a controversial choice at all, in spite of all the hysteria from Chiney and other "experts".

Regardless, Team USA 2016 had Elena, Maya, Angel, Lindsey, Siemone, and Tameka. This team has replaced them with Jewell, Chelsea, Skylar, Ariel, Napheesa and A'ja. That is a HUGE downgrade with the exception of Wilson.

Bottom line is that even tho Tameka was the last player off the bench, she was in the twilight of her career, everyone else was at their peak. Lindsey, while not a pass first PG, was far better than Gray. This current team has no true 3 except for Pheesa,and maybe Ariel, who so far, have not shown they are ready for this stage. Stewie is a 4 and is forced to play out of position when this team plays Wilson/Griner or Charles/Fowles. This team has 5 forwards and 7 guards/wings, but with Diggins, Atkins and Collier just not up to it so far, they only have 4 players, really, for 3 positions, which is why Stewie is playing out of position.

I actually think the best lineup is Sue, Dee, Jewell, Stewie and A'ja. But with the plethora of post players on the bench, how do you rotate them in? USA's strength is in the post, but their weakness is in the backup guard/wing play, and on defense. How many times did we see Griner, Stewie, or Wilson on the tiny Japanese point guard trying to keep her in front of them? Same for Charles and Fowles - they all were guarding faster and quicker players.

The roster is not Dawn's fault. I do think Gray played better against Japan. Loyd is right up there with Dee and Sue as far as being great at what she needs to do. But this team is wrongly built against smaller, quicker, more physical teams who have great outside shooting. Even tho Japan shot poorly from the 3, they still made it a tight game. NO one on team USA could stop the guards from Japan, and the help defense was always a step slow.

Bottom line is this will be a problem IMHO until the next generation of guards/wings develop. Sabrina, Caitlin, Paige, Azzi, Boston (post obviously) are the next generation of greats who will be coming up, but it's still short on 3's. Haley Jones? Cameron Brink? Take Lou from the 3x3 team? Collier will improve. But who else is there? To me it's clear this team has too many elite 4's/5's and not enough elite 1's. 2's, and 3's. I have no doubt players will emerge over time, but this team is one of the weaker USA national teams in recent history...
If you have not watched the practices how do you know Atkins and Collier are not up to it so far? Collier played only about two minutes. How much can a player show in two minutes? I find it hard to believe that Atkins, Diggins-Smith and Collier don't know the offense well enough to play more.
 
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Well my insomnia/super early wake up time kicked in. I've not watched the games yet so can't comment directly but I can get the sentiment.

In 2016 most probably didn't think Maya wouldn't be playing competitive basketball anymore or that Angel could be injured. We knew Catch was done and it was likely the last for Augustus but here is definitely a void at small forward that was unexpected. I felt Collier should be on the team because she is a "3" player and has been good in the WNBA so far. That doesn't mean she is going to be gangbusters on the senior national team but it is odd she isn't seeing the floor more.

I also repeatedly said 2016 should have included at least one young guard to break in. Bird and Taurasi looked so much better than I expected during those Olympics it made me question my position but it never hurts to have the new blood ready to go. In all fairness Vandersloot is the most natural point guard after Sue we've seen but she was caught on the outside looking in for national team selection.

This is much more of a transitional team than even I expected and it doesn't sound as though they have gelled so far. I still expect their talent to shine through but they likely won't dominate as in years past.
 
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Why isn’t Phee playing. Is she hurt? I still believe the best lineup would be to substitute Phee for Griner in the starting lineup, unless something is wrong with her. Although it provides a huge height mismatch, 3 bigs and 2 guards just looks awkward and forces Stewie to play the 3. Given some minutes, I think Phee would shine, just as she does in the WNBA against these same players.
 

eebmg

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Why isn’t Phee playing. Is she hurt? I still believe the best lineup would be to substitute Phee for Griner in the starting lineup, unless something is wrong with her. Although it provides a huge height mismatch, 3 bigs and 2 guards just looks awkward and forces Stewie to play the 3. Given some minutes, I think Phee would shine, just as she does in the WNBA against these same players.
Unfortunately, she was not good offensively on the first 2 warm up games (limited minutes) and sometimes those players who do those little things that are not on the stat sheet don't shine in limited minutes if the offense is not working and unfortunately, you have a short time to show what you can do.
And Napheesa is the kind of player that plays best in a concrete and intelligent system with guards (remember she was playing with the backup guards) who know how to get the ball to her in her best places. I think very similar story as Aaliyah Edwards.

I would think Napheesa would get more opportunities with Cheryl on the bench but Dawn I think comes from the "Mamba" school. Just play the best players who are wired to hit big shots at big moments. under any conditions
 
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Plebe

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Conversely, I've noticed that Sue Bird's shot is off. Her passing is immaculate. Her shots, not so much. Yet, I know she has been shooting well this season in the W. So I have no idea what is going on there.
One thing I didn't love in the Japan game, aside from the patchy play, was Sue's uncharacteristic display of negative body language. She was understandably frustrated by her own cold shooting, but she seemed to really be dropping her shoulders with each open 3 that she missed. When she finally got a friendly bounce on a 3 late in the game, she seemed be even harder on herself.

I'm sure she feels some additional stress because of how the team is struggling to find its mojo, but I've always thought her unshakable even demeanor to be one of the qualities that sets her apart. To me it was just one more sign that things are a bit "different" on this go-around.

I'm not worried about Sue per se. She knows better than anyone that scoring is far down the list on her job description. Her floor leadership and facilitating skills are still second to none. And I have a feeling that her shot won't stay cold the entire tournament.
 

Gate81

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All these issues especially the lack of guard quality confirm that the USA WBB selection process is flawed, as we probably can all mention some very high caliber guards who did NOT make this team that would fill the gaps. Not to mention those who opted for new nationalities because of the blockage.
 
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EricLA

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If you have not watched the practices how do you know Atkins and Collier are not up to it so far? Collier played only about two minutes. How much can a player show in two minutes? I find it hard to believe that Atkins, Diggins-Smith and Collier don't know the offense well enough to play more.
Because if they were "up" to it, they would be getting time in the games. Obviously it's just my opinion. We aren't at the practices for UCONN games either, but I think we call can agree that last year, in big games, players like Autumn and Piath were not "up to it", which is why they did not play vs. SC or in other big games. So it's not a stretch (what I said). Still tho, just my opinion.

By the way Stewie was overwhelmed in her first foray into Team USA. She and Sims (I believe) were the last off the bench in Istanbul. So it's not like these players have no hope of ever improving for Team USA...

I believe Diggins was out due to an injury? Or something nagging? Maybe a tweak? Not sure but I thought that's what I read somewhere...
 

MilfordHusky

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Because if they were "up" to it, they would be getting time in the games. Obviously it's just my opinion. We aren't at the practices for UCONN games either, but I think we call can agree that last year, in big games, players like Autumn and Piath were not "up to it", which is why they did not play vs. SC or in other big games. So it's not a stretch (what I said). Still tho, just my opinion.

By the way Stewie was overwhelmed in her first foray into Team USA. She and Sims (I believe) were the last off the bench in Istanbul. So it's not like these players have no hope of ever improving for Team USA...

I believe Diggins was out due to an injury? Or something nagging? Maybe a tweak? Not sure but I thought that's what I read somewhere...
Yes, Stewie and Odyssey were the last players off the bench in the 2014 World Cup. Stewie was young and still adding strength. She got schooled by some experienced players and got no calls from the refs. But she was much better in 2016 and has become the best in the world. So, don't judge her by the 2014 WC!
 
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