Maccabi Tel Aviv players train at the Milan facility before Virtus Bologna (Maccabi Tel Aviv)
1. A feeling of severe frustration in Maccabi Tel Aviv following the 78:73 loss at Virtus Bologna last night (Friday) as part of the 14th round of the Euroleague.
The team members looked stunned on the bench and in the locker room area, and had difficulty understanding how they missed an opportunity to record a second consecutive away victory and take a step to the top of the factory, and returned to a balance of 50% success - seven wins and seven losses.
After a balanced first half with slight control by Bologna, Maccabi Tel Aviv managed to raise its defense, stopped Virtus on 13 points in the first 15 minutes of the second half and took the lead 57:64.
But then the yellows were stopped in front of the Italian defense, Bologna ran 2:13 and did not drop the lead until the end.
Lorenzo Brown led the Maccabi scorers with 18 points, Josh Niebo added 11 and 10 rebounds.
"We need to know how to execute things better, we lost a few balls in a row in the last few minutes, they scored easy points," said Josh Niebo at the end, "in games like this we need to at least know how to throw the ball into the ring, not make life easy for them. I think our defense It has improved, we are improving other things, including the rebound. We improved this week, but it is very disappointing that we were not able to end it with another victory. There are positive things, but we leave with a bitter taste."
Jaylen Adams added: "We proved that we can compete against any team, against teams that know how to play at a very high pace. We did a good job, but the game got away from us in the last moments."
The victory escaped to Maccabi Tel Aviv in money time.
Adams (Photo: GettyImages, Roberto Finizio)
2. As mentioned, the second half of Maccabi Tel Aviv was good up to the point where the yellows took a 7 lead in the last quarter and seemed to be in complete control of the field.
At this point, Oded Ketch's team froze because of a fairly simple defensive solution presented by the opponent's coach, Sergio Scariolo: a box-and-one defense designed to ensure that each of the Maccabi players would take responsibility, except for Lorenzo Brown.
In the Maccabi Tel Aviv scouting report, it was noted that Scariolo usually switches to this type of defense in many situations in the game, and Maccabi did indeed prepare since the match against Milan for a situation where they would prevent the ball from Lorenzo Brown. The result, however, was simply not good enough.
"It was very frustrating," they admitted at the club last night, "knowing what you're going to get, but just not being able to crack that thing."
The team does not point to the performance of one or another player in the decisive moments, but admits that they lacked the other player who would take responsibility and do the job: "Obviously with Baldwin we finish this game, but we will not use excuses, everyone has injuries. We should have known win this game."
3. Maccabi Tel Aviv's sixth away loss of the season was probably the most painful, as it is the only one in which Maccabi led by such a significant margin in the last quarter.
But a look at the team's last away games shows that since the two defeats at the start of the season in Turkey and Spain, the Yellows stay in the game until the decisive moments.
Most of the time it ends like last night, once it ended with a victory in Milan.
"Oded kept telling the players last week that Milan and Bologna were better than their record so that no one would come to the game with any sense of complacency, but this is also true for us," said one of the Maccabi Tel Aviv players on the way to Israel during the night, "We should have won at least one game Another outside of those we lost - whether it was yesterday, in Munich or one of the two in Belgrade. In the end, these close losses can be the difference between qualifying for the playoffs or not qualifying."
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There is no replacement for Poithers yet.
Ketch (Photo: GettyImages, Roberto Finizio)
4. More than two weeks have passed since Maccabi Tel Aviv came to the conclusion that they will have to manage without Alex Poithers until the end of the Euroleague season.
The player had time to undergo surgery on his hand, the team won two of the three games without him, but there is still no replacement.
The club proudly says that in recent games the rebounding situation has improved, and that the players are taking more responsibility and have taken the necessary step forward, but at Maccabi they know that the load placed on Josh Niebo and Roman Sorkin may cause the last thing they need right now - an injury to one of them.
And yet, as of now, it seems that the solution to the pretense has not yet been found.
Another player whose status is uncertain is Yeftah Ziv, who as mentioned asked to leave the club.
In the meantime, Oded Ketch decided to give him Euroleague minutes for only the second time this season, and Ziv was quite good in the playing minutes he received.
However, it looks like his status will diminish once Wade Baldwin returns from his injury.
5. After almost a week outside of Israel, Maccabi Tel Aviv returned to Israel this morning when she doesn't have too much time to rest.
The players will return to training already tomorrow for the away game against Gilboa/Galil on Monday, and immediately after that they will go to another away game against Alba Berlin in Germany.
The team's next home game will be played only on December 29 against the Turkish Anadolu Efes.
Euroleague and European basketball
Maccabi Tel Aviv in basketball