How Luka Doncic's Slovenia has dominated the 2021 Olympic basketball event

Slovenia can have a shot to play for a medal. 

Actually, it can have an opportunity to play for gold, if it may possibly get previous France on Thursday. Slovenia’s basketball workforce has been the discuss of the Olympic males’s basketball event because it has carved via its schedule to go undefeated in group play, routed Germany within the quarterfinals and attain the semifinals for the primary time within the nation’s historical past. The Slovenians are profitable by a mean of 21.25 factors per sport.

That success has been, in no small half, as a result of stellar play of Mavericks star Luka Doncic. The 22-year-old, who’s now 17-0 in worldwide play, is averaging almost a triple-double for the workforce and has led Slovenia in both factors, rebounds or assists in every of the workforce’s 4 wins. 

How did Slovenia get this near profitable an Olympic medal in its first journey to the Olympics? Let’s break it down. 

DECOURCY: Crew USA nonetheless has a expertise hole over remainder of the world

Luka Doncic has been unstoppable

There are many large names within the Olympic males’s basketball event. Kevin Durant. Jayson Tatum. Rudy Gobert. Marc Gasol. None of them have discovered the success Doncic has had. 

Doncic is averaging 26.3 factors per sport, essentially the most of any participant within the Olympics and certainly one of solely 5 with a scoring common over 20 ppg, that he is matching with environment friendly capturing at 52.2 % from the sector. He dropped a ridiculous 48 factors in Slovenia’s 118-100 win in opposition to Argentina within the Group Section, scored 25 extra in opposition to Japan within the 116-81 win, had an off sport in opposition to Spain the place he scored simply 12 in Slovenia’s 95-87 win and put up 20 in opposition to Germany within the 94-70 quarterfinals win. 

However Doncic is doing extra than simply scoring. He is filling up the field rating night time in and night time out. His 40 rebounds are second solely to teammate Mike Tobey at 50. His 32 assists tempo the sector. His 12 3-pointers are tied for the fourth-most. His 5 blocks are tied for essentially the most tallied up to now. 

Maybe most impressively is the actual fact he is doing this whereas additionally taking part in a ton of minutes, having racked up essentially the most minutes general at 124 and averaging the sixth-most minutes per sport at 31. 

Paint benefit

There is no doubt that Doncic’s dynamic playmaking capability has helped Slovenia attain the semifinals. However their capability to dominate the submit has additionally been a significant component. 

Slovenia is certainly one of simply two groups with greater than 50 offensive rebounds with an Olympics-high 59 and it leads the defensive rebounds by a large margin with 145. The following closest is France at 126. The workforce’s 204 complete rebounds are 36 greater than France, which has the second most at 160. On the flip facet, Slovenia has solely allowed 134 complete rebounds to its opponents. 

Doncic has made his mark with 40 rebounds, however 7-foot heart Tobey can also be having himself a powerful Olympic efficiency. He is averaging 12.5 rebounds per sport — and a double-double with 11.5 factors per sport as effectively. Jaka Blazic and Zoran Dragic — each 6-5 — every have 16 rebounds, whereas 6-11 Ziga Dimec and 6-8 Edo Muric every have 14. 

Having that measurement and rebounding benefit will play an important position in preserving them shifting via the event, particularly within the semifinal in opposition to France the place they will face defensive stalwart Gobert and Nicolas Batum. 

Stifling protection

This Slovenia workforce has additionally confirmed that it’s no simple feat to attain in opposition to them. 

Opponents are capturing a mixed 122-for-300 — 40.7 % — from the sector. That consists of a 49.4 % success charge from 2-point vary on 77-of-156 capturing, and 31.3 % from 3-point vary on 45-of-144. Examine that to Slovenia’s No. 1 ranked capturing from 2-point vary at 63 % on 92-of-146 and the No. 5 capturing from 3 at 37.4 % on 58-of-155, and it is simple to see why Slovenia has gone unblemished. 

The numbers are significantly staggering in the newest two video games in opposition to Spain and Germany. Spain shot 39.4 % from 2-point vary and truly made extra discipline objectives from 3-point vary (16) than from 2-point vary (13), whereas Germany was even in each with 12 discipline objectives created from every vary, however nonetheless shot simply 48 % from 2 and 31.6 % from 3. 

The protection has additionally been environment friendly at shutting down high gamers. Solely thrice has an opposing participant scored greater than 20 factors, and no Spanish or German participant reached 20. 

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