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Melancholic note: the jarring final chord to Austin Hollins' season at Maccabi Tel Aviv Israel today


The yellows will be missing the guard against Barcelona tonight, but there won't be much impact on this game. And the recurring knee injuries - that they didn't know about

Maccabi Tel Aviv will take to the floor tonight (Tuesday, 9:30 p.m.) at the Palau Blaugrana without the injured Lorenzo Brown and Alex Poithers in addition to Austin Hollins, the new addition to the list.

Aggravation of the player's knee injury will lead the yellows to make the expected decision to go for surgery, which will actually cause the player to end the season earlier than expected, with a weak answer.

Unlike his other members of the back line, Austin Hollins was not brought to Maccabi Tel Aviv on the standard of a star or a big name.

The veteran guard, who in those days finished a personally successful season in the ranks of Red Star Belgrade, was not destined to be a point provider or a central player in the attack game, but a good complementary player, one that every winning team needs, and a good and proven personal guard at the highest levels.

Hollins was signed by the Yellows due to his easy-going nature and defensive qualities, and was therefore destined to be the best personal guard on the Yellows' roster.

"When Austin is fit and healthy, he is one of the best keepers in Europe," testified sources who know the player after the signing, but from the first moment the connection naturally did not work out.


From the beginning it was not intended to be a points provider, photo: Alan Shiver

At a very early stage of the pre-season, Hollins began to feel pain in his knees, and already at the beginning of the preparatory games there were those who feared that the guard, who seemed very heavy in his movement at the time, was actually suffering from an old injury that hindered his immediate return from the break, and about which the Menorah Hall did not know about.

The fear in the club of his injury and the difficulties of absorption led to the fact that the American did not register for the league games at all and did not even participate in the preparatory games as part of the Winner Cup tournament.

Only three minutes and fifty seconds in the opening game of the Euroleague season made it clear where the wind was blowing and showed that the player does not receive much professional credit from his coach.

"He is part of the squad, his entry in terms of fitness and physicality was more difficult than all of them, but we need his ability, in attack and especially in defense," his coach will say about him at the time.

In those days, sources around the club claimed that his position was stimulating and that he was having difficulty fitting in, and that the injury, along with the incompatibility with Oded Ketch's method of play, which is based on pick and roll and leaves the ball in the hands of Brown and Baldwin, forces the swingman to be content with excesses and wait for balls to reach him as a result of the moves .

This made it difficult for him - as a player who is fed by method and fluency in attack and not necessarily by his personal ability - to express himself.

Despite the paucity of playing minutes and even rumblings along the way that if an offer were to arrive for Holnis, who as I recall signed a two-year contract in the summer for an estimated $600,000, the yellows would not stand in his way, the player himself continued to maintain professionalism and masterful conduct, befitting his trademark easy-going nature His.

Hollins (right) in front of Olympiakos.

Continued to maintain professionalism, photo: Alan Shiver

Something sad in the eyes

In the last home game of Maccabi Tel Aviv at the Menorah Mitvatim Hall, at the end of which they won without difficulty over Elba Berlin, all the players of the squad registered on the form participated except for Hollins, who did not even get a minute of the game despite the significant difference.

The guard, who did not speak throughout the season but maintained a professional conduct throughout the period, sat at the end of the game in his cell in the yellows' locker room.

The legions of reporters interviewed the team's players and his friend Wade Baldwin, who excelled in the game and sat nearby alone, but no one approached Hollins, and he sat alone, his eyes sunk into his cell phone and a disappointed look on his face.

The sadness was clearly visible on his face.

Two weeks passed and the guard, who has been suffering from a knee injury for a long time, was injured during the yellow team's game at Olympiakos, which apparently led to a worsening of his condition.

The aggravation of the injury will lead the yellows to make the expected decision of going for knee surgery, which will effectively cause the player to end the season earlier than expected.

"I hope it's not too serious but it doesn't look good," Ketch said.


Will he undergo surgery that will end his season?, Photo: Alan Shiver

It can be assumed that this is not how the player imagined his debut season in yellow would look.

The one who started the season with a question mark and rumors surrounding his status did not impress and recorded disappointing numbers of 1.8 points, 1.3 rebounds 0.3 assists and 24% for threes, he tried to contribute in every fraction of an opportunity he got but these were few.

Unlike Darren Hilliard.

who also has trouble impressing, or from Alex Poithers, who also finished the season due to injury and did not impress, Hollins was not signed to a star standard and was not destined to be a point provider, but the fact that he did not register at all for the local league games along with the few minutes he received, made it difficult for him to leave a mark in the team and it can be estimated that his contract for the second year at the club is not expected to continue.

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Source: israelhayom

All sports articles on 2023-01-31

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