Tokyo WBB 3x3 Gold Medal Game USA vs ROC

The Numbers and Strategy

Coming into the game the ROC (Russian Olympic Committee) Women’s 3×3 Basketball team was scoring at a high rate. Lead by Olga Frolkina as the #3 overall scorer (54pts) and Yulia Kozik as the #5 overall scorer (53pts) the USA had to implement a defensive plan that was going to shut down the offensive threats. As with most high level basketball, the answer cannot just be to stop them from scoring. The players are too good with too many weapons, you have to “pick your poison” so to speak or choose the lesser of two evils.

 

The USA women’s 3×3 basketball team decided to implement a defensive tactic known as “running them off of the line”. In other words, instead of trying to close out under control and hoping that you can get a good contest in, you overrun your closeout effectively making that offensive player relocate to create space again from the defender.

This tactic has proven to be successful in leagues around the world, looking at the numbers below you can see why teams turn to this philosophy:

 

 – Stephanie Talbot (WNBA) shoots 46% from three on catch and shoot opportunities and just 33% when she’s ran off of the line

 – Duncan Robinson (NBA) shoots 45% from three on catch and shoot opportunities and just 40% when he’s ran off of the line

 – JJ Redick (NBA) shoots 39% from three on catch and shoot opportunities and just 33% when he’s ran off of the line

This defensive tactic isn’t going to be right for every team and every situation, but if you use it in an appropriate manner it can be a golden strategy.