United States women's basketball player Tamika Catchings at the 2016 Team USA Media Summit. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)
Tamika Catchings’ drive is legendary in the world of women’s basketball.
The Indiana Fever star has done it all in the sport -- she’s a three-time Olympic gold medalist, a former WNBA champion, league and Finals MVP who has been named WNBA defensive player of the year five times. Even at age 37, her intensity and fitness allow her to have a role on an Olympic squad filled with much younger stars.
It’s no surprise then, that she found fault in the way the United States women’s basketball team has played at these Olympics, despite victories of 121-56 over Senegal and 103-63 over Spain in its first two contests.
“Right now, we’re doing a really good job on offense and being able to put up points, but then defensively, we’re getting broken down at times,” she said. “People are getting layups. People are getting offensive rebounds on us. Loose balls -- we’re not getting enough of them.”
Catchings said finding weakness in the midst of domination takes a winning mindset.
“It’s tough, but it’s not,” she said. “You realize in wanting to be the best, you realize that in being the best, you’ve got to be really good at everything.”
Catchings said the Americans need to shore up their game defensively because their offense might not always perform so well. The United States has scored more than 100 points in back-to-back games at the Olympics for the first time since 2004.
“All that stuff is about what happens when our shots don’t fall,” she said. “We’ve got to do a much better job of focusing on those little things.”