We talk early surprises, late game heroics and rising stars in this week’s show.
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My thoughts about this week:
What a game… It was so embarrasing for Olympiacos, that there is significantly less greeks in the forums . It really exceeded my expectations.
1quarter. The keyword is defence. Even if you can’t score for 4:15, even if you make 7 turnovers, 3 travels!? among them, no 3pts. It still was essentially tied.
2q. Keyword is team play. By 13th minute – noone from Žalgiris had more tham 3 points, by 16th – not more than 4pts. Jaaber is amazing defensively, 5 steals!. Playing like this doesn’t matter that your 3pt shooting is 1/7, you just patiently wait. And that was feeling throughout first half – only if some elements were a bit better, Žalgiris would leave no chance for Olympiacos.
3q. And it came – Hey Popo, Hey (fans chant ). With such mobile and 3pts capable backcourt, Oly had to space out defence. What was one of the reasons why Žalgiris scored so many mid-distance jumpers. If you defend against them, here comes 3pts. At one point it was so bad, even Oly was booed by their own fans.
4q. It’s a well working machine, when even a stiff and clumsy emergency replacement center (we call them trees here in LT) in Jeff Foote is tearing Oly apart.
Btw, Spanoulis is such a princess. Sure, she is pretty, but you can’t touch her. It was so evident, that then Žalgiris defence got really careful about that and Spanoulis was not awarded fouls, he would rather pass than shoot.
Other games. Somehow group A is boring for me. Group B. Game of the weak: are you kidding me euroleague? 30pts? You knew this was gonna happen. And with so many pivotal games this week ( Žalgiris-Oly, Caja-Milano, L.rytas – Partizan, Cantu-Khimki, Ulker-Real, Prokom-Alba) almost any other game was more important and interesting.
Nothing really changes from the last week. CSKA looks weak. Just like Milano. Except that CSKA has potential to come together. Messina has still to impress me.
Rytas won a pivotal game. Now they have to win against bamberg and they will be one leg in top 16.
Imagine Top 16 without a Champion? Which is not that hard. Žalgiris loss to Milano would be the worst for Caja/Oly.
What to think of CSKA? For me it’s disappointing right now but Messina isn’t playing for a regular season title, he’s trying to win a championship. This means it’s going to take some time to get players to buy into roles and understand the best ways they can produce. This will take time but I trust Messina to melt this group together as the season goes on.
For Olympiacos, be sure to listen to the newest podcast but yes, they were a miss. With Dorsey looking to be packing his bags, will be real interesting to see what import they bring in. Rumors of Diogu and Christmas wouldn’t do it for me. They are offensive black holes, Olympiacos needs defensive options in the paint and someone who will buy in to the team.
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