Les Bleues, out of marksmanship (31%), thus miss the opportunity to get closer to the quarter-finals and remain neck and neck in Group B with Japan and Serbia (a victory), pending Australia-Mali. They will face Mali on Sunday (06:30 French time) in their third game.
Les Bleues have touched their “limits”, according to interior Alexia Chartereau, Friday against Canada (59-45 defeat) the day after a promising success at the opening of the World Basketball against Australia (70 -57).
In view of the third group match against Mali on Sunday, and especially the next two against Serbia (Monday) and Japan (Tuesday), which also have a victory (like Australia), they will have to find address and collective expression. in attack and improve on the rebound to hope to reach the quarter-finals.
Confined to less than 50 points (including only 17 in the first period), its lowest total for eight years (at the 2014 World Cup, already against Canada), the France team posted a starving address rate (37% at two points and 16% behind the arc).
Because the Canadian defense led the Blues to take difficult shots… and because they took them all the same, without forcing themselves to make the extra pass to find a more open shot.
“Make the ball move”
“Against good teams, we cannot find solutions in one pass. They lead you to play in four, five or six passes perhaps” before attempting a shot, underlines coach Jean-Aimé Toupane.
“What will be important (for the future) is to move the ball and the opposing defense” abounds winger Alexia Chartereau.
Adept at a quick game of transition and penetration, with success against Australia, this young team has less control of positional play, on the half-court.
“We played a lot in direct play, in one or two passes, we still have trouble transferring (the ball)” supports captain Sarah Michel. A gap that is found on the statistics sheet, with only 11 assists made.
If the ball has to move more, so do the players around it, in order to offer more possibilities to the carrier. “When Gabby (Williams) or Sarah (Michel) go to the basket, if they have no solutions other than the lay-up (double step to jump to the basket, editor’s note), the teams will quickly adapt” analyzes Chartereau .
The Canadians have thus better limited the influence of Williams than the Australians: the rear, again top French scorer, scored only 13 points on Friday, 10 units less than the day before.
And behind her, no one took over (7 pts for Chartereau and the leader Marine Fauthoux). “Gabby… she was able to carry us, today (Friday) nobody succeeded. We should not expect the feat of a player in each match” recognizes Fauthoux.
“Especially with the fatigue that will accumulate, we will not be able to make the difference individually” assures Michel.
Already present against the “Opals”, the gap did not disappear overnight: the Blues suffered on the rebound (36 shots against 48 for Australia on Thursday, 38/56 on Friday). Difficult, in these conditions, to get your head out of the water in defense and to give yourself a second chance in attack.
“It’s an area where you have to be really vigilant for the rest of the competition,” agrees Toupane.
“Five of us have to be concerned by the rebound, all connected at the same time” launches Marième Badiane.
Chartereau, his partner on the inside, agrees (“the efforts must come from everyone”), but also points to the responsibility of the “big guys”: they “have to do the work, not necessarily by taking the ball, but by pushing the player (opponent). It’s just a state of mind, you have to be concentrated until the end of the actions. Since we have a young team, we will say that it comes from there “.