Canada beat Slovenia 100-89 in the World Cup quarterfinals today. Canada now needs to prepare for a semifinal match against Serbia.
The first half of this game was tightly contested. It was tied 50 all at half. Luka was scoring, Slovenia’s threes were falling, and Canada scored too. Canada did what they’ve done throughout this tournament and turned it up a notch in the third quarter.
When Canada puts their mind to it, their defense is tough as nails. They don’t sustain it for 40 minutes, but the pressure on the ball picked up in the second half, their attention to detail on rotations increased, and they looked awesome.
It seems that Shai and his teammates like to feel out the game in the first half. Look at who’s the opponents catalyst, examine how he gets his looks, then optimize the counter in the second half.
The refs had an impact on the second half too. They ejected Dillion Brooks and Luka. Both probably deserved it, but the amount of bickering about calls in this game was crazy. Canada isn’t too bad about it, and they’ll need to keep their cool to win the World Cup.
Slovenia Started Almost Perfect
Slovenia is a Luka based club. He determines if they win or fall. In the first half the Luka formula was working.
Luka gets the ball at the top of the key, they run a high pick and roll, which Canada switched and often blitzed him on, then Luka picked apart the rotating Canadian defense.
The reason it worked in the first half was Slovenia hit open threes. To win a quarterfinal game Slovenia needed their role players to be the splash brothers.
Slovenia went 15/31 from three for the game, which is above average. They were more accurate in the first half, fatigue and better defense made the threes harder to come by in the second half.
Canada Can Win the World Cup
Canada is two wins away from their first World Cup. How can they make sure they bring it home?
Play great defense the whole game, push the pace, and continue getting to the free throw line. Canada has great defenders on the wing in Brooks and Dort, they’re strong anchors for the Canadian perimeter defense.
They’ve got to be special, Canada needs to get into their offense before the other defense is set, and Shai will continue drawing fouls. These keys, combined with the role players making positive impacts would be huge pieces to a Canadian victory puzzle. Can they pull it off? 🇨🇦