What Makes Team USA Dominant (Aside From Talent)

I have been fortunate to watch a few of Team USA’s games during the FIBA World Cup. Obviously, they are dominating. Yes, they are more talented, but statistically, they are proving that there are 3 things teams can do to win games. (Using stats through their first 3 games) Make more free throws than the other team shoots

Being aggressive offensively puts pressure on the defense. Soft teams settle for jump shots, not necessarily because they are good shooters, but because they don’t want to work for a shot closer to the basket. Team USA has made 56 FT’s compared to 49 attempts for their opponents. This is primarily because of dribble penetration, but also a product of getting out in transition and attacking the offensive glass.

Win the rebounding and turnover battles

Two things that are so obvious. If a team can consistently do these two things, they are going to be in position to win ball games. Team USA is dominant because of the way they control these two categories. They out rebound their opponents by 9 boards per game. This is extremely helpful to their ability to hold teams to 37% shooting. In addition, their +11 forced turnovers margin allows them to get easy baskets in transition.

Score off the pass

Team USA is getting 21 assists per game, while making nearly 40 field goals per game. This means half of their baskets are coming off the pass. Scoring off the pass takes advantage of help defense and also helps to avoid forced shots. This is quite impressive considering that the players play in a league dominated by isolation plays.