Hapoel Tel Aviv went out of its way to save the season and for that reason raised an impressive foreign quartet. But Ariel Bethlehemi has no excuses now, and he must soon find the balance between talent and team play in order to escape last place.
Hamilton and Schuchman celebrate a little too soon
1 With her four new foreigners, Hapoel Tel Aviv became a super talented team that, in terms of quality, is worth a fight for a place in the Final Four at the end of the season.
Mark Lyons, Jordan Hamilton, Lenzel Smith Jr. and Latvius Williams have averaged 51.7 points per game in their previous team uniform. Each can finish with 20 points in the evening, making Ariel Bethlehemi’s roster lethal offensive.
On the other hand, these are players with a lot of egos that need to be constantly maintained and make them play for each other and think about the good of the team before their own good. As long as that doesn't happen, we are likely to see a lot of games like the one that faced Maccabi on Friday - a good 35 minutes (and a good first quarter) and 5 minutes where the pressure was talking and nothing was working.
The defense also has a big question mark around the Reds. Except for Smith Junior, none of the other three strangers is known as a big guard, and it is unclear how this should all connect with the Bethlehemian game method - a pressing defense that results in burst attacks and light baskets in the pass.
2 This is where the Israeli image comes into play. All four of the team - Tomer Ginat, Joaquin Schuchman, Yam Madar and Elyishi Kadir - think first of the good of the team, of a positive nature and also good guards (Madar significantly improved the defense in recent games).
Bethlehemi and his team will need to find the balance within the roster to reach the compositions that, on the one hand, bring about the great talent, and on the other, the toughness and teamwork, without which the victories will not come. The next test will be tonight's drive in front of Hapoel Hashem.
Shochman in action. A positive character and a good keeper // Photo: Oded Karni
3 Hapoel Tel Aviv heads often (usually rightly) criticize the problematic conduct on various issues, but the move with Latvius Williams reaches Rami Cohen and her friends Rapaport compliments.
As in life, even in a sports team the game name is taking advantage of opportunities. The Reds wanted Williams even before David Lawrie's signature, but saw the procrastination of Hapoel Holon and decided to go for ex Maccabi Ashdod.
Once the quality and experienced chin was released from Holon, they went all out and found sponsors who funded the expensive deal - Williams's estimated $ 180,000 per season, and partly paid for by Holon - to advance AK Athens interested in the player's services.
Ariel Bethlehemi. The foreigners will be able to connect to the method? // Photo by Alan Shiber
4 Adam "Reggie Miller" Ariel, defined on social networks the guard of Maccabi Rashab who unconsciously snatched the last few minutes of drive-in, including a memorable triumph at Hapoel Tel Aviv's expense.
His compliments should be received by his friends as well. The young Noam spokeswoman who took a formidable rebound attack and in the mood of a 30-year-old player, reached out for a fierce Blazer, which quickly passed to Ariel and the rest of history. Anyone remember he's not 18 yet?
Without even noticing, the Oranges are already in the 1: 5 balance - the second best in the league - and all this despite injuries and fatigue from the European games. At 20:10 they will host Hapoel Eilat and hope to continue the local victory campaign.