D’Tigers coach Mike Brown and Jordan Nwora have bemoaned the team’s defensive performance after their second defeat in the basketball competition at the Tokyo2020 Olympics.
Nwora put on an impressive show but it wasn’t enough as the Nigerian national men basketball team lost 92-99 to Germany in the early hours of Wednesday morning.
The newest NBA champion with the Bucks, Nwora, was the best performer on the court, scoring a game-high 33 points, with 7 rebounds and 2 assists.
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— Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) July 28, 2021
But his display was not good enough to earn Nigeria a first win of the competition with the Milwaukee Bucks star unhappy with the team’s defensive performance in the game.
“You got to give credit to Germany, (but) we got to do a much better job on defense,” he told fiba.com.
“If we kept them off the free throw line we would have put ourselves in a lot better position to win this game. They knocked down big shots and made free throws and because of that they were able to win the game.”
Like in the opener against Australia, D’Tigers were poor with 47% from 3 points, 57% from 2 points and record 18 turnovers.
Reacting to the performance and defeat, coach Mike Brown corroborated Nwora, adding that his side failed to protect the ball and need to he smarter efensively.
“Our main identity is, we felt like we were a good defensive team coming into this tournament and our guys had done a tremendous job on that side of the ball,” Brown told fiba.com
“But it’s going to be tough to beat anybody when you don’t defend. We did not do a good job defending, 47 percent from the three-point line, on top of that you have 23 free throws.”
“It’s tough to overcome, we talked about defending the three-point line against these guys, talked about not sending them to the free throw line, and we talked about taking care of the ball. And 18 turnovers weren’t bad, but because a handful of those were offensive fouls, we have to be smarter in that area. But the way that we defended tonight, it is just not who we are.”
There is still one match left and all to play for the D’Tigers, they take on Italy in a must-win match on Friday after the Italians lost to Australia as well.