The Canadian men’s wheelchair basketball team narrowly escaped the preliminary round of the Paralympic tournament with a record of 2-3, despite outstanding rebounding.
Inconsistent scoring has made things difficult and they’ll have to improve to move on to the medal round.
Entering Wednesday’s matchup at the Ariake Stadium against Great Britain, the Canucks have struggled shooting the ball at times, posting a percentage of 39.5 per cent, having hit just 124 of their 314 attempts.
From mid-range, the Red and White haven’t fared much better, connecting on 109 of their two-point attempts for a percentage of 41. This is the lowest average among the eight teams that have advanced to the quarter-finals.
Despite their mid-range woes, Team Canada is efficient when it comes to shooting from long range. From beyond the arc, they have hit 15 of their 49 tries, making them the second best three-point among teams who have attempted 40 or more threes.
On the offensive end of the floor, the Canadian game plan has become apparent — work the ball down low. The Red and White are a dominant team from inside the paint, scoring 144 of their 307 total points from around the rim.
Their ability to score from the low block is evidently their most effective area. In the paint, Canada has totalled 72 makes on 139 attempts for a percentage of 52 per cent.
Canada’s aggressive play down low has generated fouls and chances to get to the free-throw line, an area that the club has excelled in. Through the preliminary round of the tournament the Canadians lead the tournament in free-throws made, sinking 44 of their 56 opportunities from the charity stripe.
On the defensive end, the Canucks have been among the most penalized teams, surrendering a tournament-leading 82 free-throws. Heading into their quarter-final matchup, they will need to be mindful of their defensive positioning in order to limit giving up opportunities for their opponents to score uncontested points from the free-throw line.
The Canadian scoring effort has been headlined by team stars Nik Goncin and Patrick Anderson, who have combined for 211 of the team’s 307 total points.
Goncin has been one of the most prolific scorers through the preliminary round of the tournament, connecting on 43 of his 94 shot attempts while average 21.2 points per game, making him the second-best scoring player among teams who qualified for the quarter-final.
The Regina native is among the best three-point shooters in the tournament. His 10 made three-point shots are the second most made entering quarter-final play.
Goncin’s deep-range scoring ability was highlighted in a 62-per-cent shooting performance in the team’s 77-73 overtime loss to Turkey.
Canadian legend Patrick Anderson has been dominant from mid-range and at the free-throw line for the Red and White. Among teams remaining in medal contention, Anderson ranks second in two-pointers made with 37 made shooting 43.5 per cent.
The veteran leader has drawn a tournament leading 37 fouls and when fouled, Anderson is the most dangerous free-throw shooter in the tournament. He has shot 95.7 per cent from the line and has missed only once in 23 attempts.
Anderson’s most impressive game of the tournament was a 29-point performance in a 74-64 win over the Republic of Korea, which saw him shoot 69 per cent from mid-range and make all of his attempted free-throws.