Home/Olympics

via Getty

via Getty

0
  Debate

Debate

Is the Nurse-Edwards duo the key to Canada's basketball success at the Paris Olympics?

What could be a better stage than the Paris Olympics? Athletes toil day and night and hope to get the best out of them. They always look for opportunities where they can perform exceptionally well. And this year they will get the chance to ply their trade on the biggest stage. The athletes will be competing at the Paris Olympics 2024.

Two WNBA players who are under the spotlight are Aaliyah Edwards and Kia Nurse. Both of them will be representing Canada and have been picked in the Olympic roster. Today, let’s take a look at their celebrated partnership and how it could fare at the Olympics.

Aaliyah Edwards – The versatile connector

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Aaliyah Edwards is in her rookie season with the Washington Mystics. Edwards was selected as the sixth overall pick by the Mystics which is a testament to her calibre. 

Poll of the day

How far do you think Canada will go in the 2024 Olympics with Kia Nurse and Aaliyah Edwards?

Gold Medal

Silver Medal

Bronze Medal

Won't make it to the podium

She has been a crucial player for the Mystics starting in 10 games out of the 19 she has played. Edwards averages a decent 8.6 points per game with 6 rebounds per game. Though she has fared well in her offense, it is her defensive skills that have attracted the limelight. She has been good at the post and has helped her team perform well whenever she has been given a chance.

USA Today via Reuters

She demonstrated a ceiling of 23 points this season against the Chicago Sky in early June. Therefore, though her average isn’t that good, there is still enormous hidden talent in Edwards. In that match, Edwards also proved that she was an astounding defensive player with a noteworthy 4 blocks. 

Plus, her shooting skills have also been on point as she hit 10 out of 12 field goals. Looking at her stats, it certainly looks like if given the right amount of time, she can prove dangerous for her opponents. And looking at the Canadian team we can be sure that the WNBA rookie will be at the forefront and hopefully, that will help Canada win games. Hence, it’s time to get an understanding of Nurse’s game.

Kia Nurse – The Playmaker

While Edwards was the sixth overall pick this season, Nurse was the tenth overall pick in 2018 by the New York Liberty. This year she moved to the Los Angeles Sparks. Nurse has only scored 8.2 points per game, but it is her experience of the W and her gaming acumen that can make a difference for Canada. 

Nurse’s best season in terms of points was with the New York Liberty in 2019 when she averaged a whopping 13.7 points per game. She can be utilized as the third or fourth player who can be a connector between layups. Thus, she can be quite useful when paired up with Edwards who is good at offense and can scale her game to play the alpha or the second fiddle.

via Getty

As for her current form, Nurse hasn’t done anything exceptional or mind-blowing but still her game of 23 points against the Atlanta Dream in the Sparks’ season opener and her 22 points against the Indiana Fever in late May stands out. This proves that she is capable of taking the onus of the team on herself and defeating her opponents. To give a better understanding of their partnerships, let’s look at their strengths and weaknesses and how they will complement each other.

Kia Nurse and Aaliyah Edwards’ partnership

Edwards is a stalwart at rebounding and also has a lot of strength, making it difficult for the opposition to surpass her in defense. She has a go-getter attitude and has also taken the court despite injuries for the Huskies. Another aspect that stands out for her is her inside scoring.

However, what Edwards lacks is her three-point shooting range. Edwards doesn’t boast a high shooting capability. That will certainly come in the way when she plays for Canada. Hence, Edwards needs to be smart with utilizing her strength and scoring from within the paint. 

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Nurse is a big player for Canada. Her strength is in her ability to rise to the occasion and take on the role of a playmaker for Canada. She will succeed as a third or a fourth player which is her strength – to be the connector between layups. Nurse needs to take a look at the 2024 FIBA Pre-Olympic Qualifying games when Canada played against Puerto Rico, Colombia, and Venezuela, and understand the gameplay of different Canadian athletes. This way she will know how to capitalize on open spaces and propel her team to win. 

Canada is placed in Group B along with Nigeria, Australia and France. All three nations have had players who have been in the WNBA. Therefore, Nurse and Edwards teaming up together can be a real advantage for Canada as they dissect the plays of their opponents and beat them by blowout margins. Therefore, the partnership between Edwards and Nurse will definitely benefit Canada if they bring their A-game to the Olympics.

Stay tuned for more such updates, and to follow what Shaq’s ex-agent, Leonard Armato, has to say about the infamous Shaq-Kobe feud, Caitlin Clark’s Olympic snub, and more, watch this video.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad