Dolson: Taurasi Showing Her Greatness

Washington Mystics center Stefanie Dolson will provide her take on the women’s basketball action in Rio. The 2015 All-Star can offer a unique perspective after participating in the 2016 USA Basketball Women’s National Team Minicamp and having played for U.S head coach Geno Auriemma at UConn.

It happens. Today was just one of those games that starts off slow for the first six, seven minutes. Serbia was playing really tough, and the U.S. looked a little sluggish. But then Diana Taurasi took over, hit four threes in a row, and the USA took it away from there. They knew Serbia was going to come at them with everything they had, because everyone’s going to give the U.S. their best shot, but I thought the team responded really well to the challenge.

The biggest thing, I think, was Diana taking over in the first quarter and settling things down. That’s just the type of player Diana is. Whether it’s with the Mercury or USA Basketball, if she senses that there’s not enough organization or cohesiveness, she takes it upon herself to score the basketball or make a play. She’s always been like that, ever since she was back at UConn. She’s just a playmaker, and when she puts her mind to it, she’s probably one of the most unstoppable players on the planet. You can’t guard her. She has the confidence, she has the skill, and it’s always fun to watch.

Overall, the offensive performance today was really impressive once again. {Ed. note: The U.S. scored over 100 points for the third game in a row, becoming the first team in Olympic Women’s Basketball history to accomplish that feat}. The thing that makes them dangerous is everyone on the roster can score. If someone’s having kind of a bad night, there’s someone you can sub in who will immediately make a few shots. Plus they’re so well rounded. They’re all willing passers, who will give up good shots to get great shots, and they compliment each other so well.

I saw social media was excited about Angel’s 360 layup at the end, and I felt the same way. As a player you definitely have to find the balance between taking care of business and being entertaining, but fans come to watch you play and have fun. If you have players who can make the right play while jazzing it up, I don’t see an issue with that. That was just Angel being Angel and I loved it.

Another cool thing about today’s game was getting to see Jelena Milovanovic playing for Serbia. I played with her on the Mystics, and it’s nice to see the girls you’ve played with doing well on the big stage.

I also have to say that I’ve had so much fun watching the Olympics. The U.S.A basketball teams, of course, but there’s so many sports, so many countries competing all at the same time. You get to watch sports that you don’t know much about and are never televised, which is really cool. I have three or four shows I’m in the middle of that have been put on hold in my DVR because all I’ve been watching are the Olympics, and with the U.S. doing so well, it’s been really exciting. Go USA!

Previous Analysis From Dolson

August 7: USA vs. Senegal 

August 8: USA vs. Spain