Konstantinos Melayes explains how Olympiacos set the pace in Baskonia, for the effects of the defeat and of course for the great pressure that now exists on the “red and whites”.
Giorgos Bartzokas described the defeat by Baskonia as painful. No defeat in early November can be described as such in my opinion. But on the other hand, we have to face certain things in order not to get confused.
In the Euroleague there are no bad teams, but there are definitely less good teams and Baskonia is one of them. I believe that the Basques will not even come close to the final ten through which we will find out about the play-offs and it is definitely one of the games that Olympiacos should have won. This particular loss requires a referee somewhere.
Olympiacos means pressure. The world is demanding. And it does well. From the first day of the preparation there has been pressure, only in the last few days it has increased considerably and since yesterday it has reached the limits of the excessive. The “red and white” are responsible for the fact that today has dawned and the pressure is enormous instead of a beautiful calm. You cannot complete turnovers in all games where you are behind by double digits. You will do it once, you will do it twice but it is the exception and not the rule.
After seven games, in four cases the match was decided at its limit. Overtime with Panathinaikos and Partizan. Missed buzzer beater in Fenerbahçe. Spot on buzzer beater from the most indifferent player of yesterday’s Baskonia.
The biggest opponent this season for the “red and whites” is pressure. Pressure for the result. Pressure for roster changes. Pressure for better basketball. How they ALL handle that pressure TOGETHER will largely define this season. Every year and in all teams there are similar intervals, it’s just that in Piraeus they experience it quite early.
Olympiacos plays in “red”
The team has suffered a lot from injuries. Injuries and absences are part of the championship. Many teams have a similar problem. Some more, some less.
A significant difference compared to the team of the last two years is exactly that. In those two seasons, two players were rarely absent at the same time. Usually one was absent and even if he had a leading role, someone would be found to replace him. This year many are missing and the absences are concentrated.
Rotation is limited. Bartzokas spends almost all of the second half with 7 players, max 8 if someone comes in for two minutes. The players are tired but there is no other way. Physical fatigue brings mental fatigue and mental fatigue brings bad decisions in critical possessions. Fal’s two fouls at 72-71 were due to fatigue. But there was no Milutinov and no Shikma. The coach had no one to rest him with.
Baskonia played the same basketball for 40 minutes, Olympiacos… no
Baskonia is a team that runs and plays mainly “one on one”. It also doesn’t change its pace. With the speed he was playing when he found himself trailing 20-9, he played with the same speed in 9-30 of the second period and with the same speed throughout the second half.
At her tempo. And Olympiacos helped her find a rhythm.
On the other hand, the Piraeus had a lot of ups and downs. The ease with which everyone scored in the first quarter gave the wrong impression and essentially lulled the players into a rhythm that didn’t suit them. Those who entered from the bench did not respond, resulting in Baskonia scoring 30 points against the much-vaunted defense of Olympiakos.
The blessing that became… a curse
I remember after the win over Anadolu Efes writing about the blessing of having two excellent point guards playing well in the same game. Well, yesterday was a curse. Bad night for Walkup on both sides of the pitch. Williams Goss also had a bad night with several poor decisions and excessive use of dribbling. Olympiacos cannot stand this.
Even if Kanaan and Peters made a huge step up. Two players who last year had limited duties and this year in their second season in the same environment, have the opportunity to bring out their potential on the floor.
Larentzakis also offered many solutions to both sides, and for that Bartzokas trusted him until the end of the match. “Lare” together with Fal were the extra poles of the attack and the ones who gave something extra when the team needed it.
Bartzokas took it all upon himself
There is no point in repeating my opinion about whether there is a need to add to the team. I wrote it, we discussed it in the comments and we move on because others decide and not us. It’s the substance that counts. And the essence is of course the words of the coach who clarified the situation with his statements on the eve of the match.
Giorgos Bartzokas, in addition to being a coach, also has enormous strength. “I don’t sell my players. I won’t take a player until I see McKissick and Sikma, but we’re certainly looking at what’s happening in the market.”
Bartzokas took on himself all the pressure that the world is exerting regarding the transfer and it showed. He covered his players. He covered for Panagiotis and Giorgos Angelopoulos, but above all he told the truth. His own truth. He decides and of course he will be judged in the end. Personally, if I were his player after that rant, I’d be on fire for him.
It’s natural to feel pressure. For the simple reason that things happen that he cannot control. Can’t control the injuryys. If they were all healthy and the team wasn’t… turning, different thoughts would dominate his mind. But now he is not in control of the situation himself and this creates anxiety for him.
PS: 2/2 3-pointers by Kanaan in the surprise. Again.
PS 2: In the last phase in the reset there is no trace of violation. Kanaan was just in a hurry to start the system while the referee hadn’t even put the ball in Walkup’s hands and Baskonia “smelled” the first two cuts.
PS 3: In the second period, time-outs were not used correctly.
PS 4: Sedegerskis continues to be even better after the amazing Mundobasket. Unlike Brazdeikis who has yet to offer anything in his new surroundings.
PS 5: November has four games. Maccabi in Belgrade empty, Red Star in, Zalgiris in, Monaco out. 3/4 looks like a “must”, 2/4 will be necessary and anything less will set the red and white back quite a bit. With 4/4 he will report yesterday’s defeat.