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Ketch admits after Baldwin's injury: "Maybe we built a little lean team" - voila! sport

2023-10-04T10:22:27.189Z

Highlights: Ketch admits after Baldwin's injury: "Maybe we built a little lean team" - voila! sport. The guard will be absent not only against Partizan in the Euroleague opener. "We will have to prepare for the situation where he will miss a period. It's very important to start with a win," says Ketch. The Yellows come into the game far from optimal. After losing to Hapoel Jerusalem in the Winner's Cup final, the team revealed that their leading scorer, and probably the most significant player in the current squad, Wade Baldwin, will miss at least the next two games.


The guard will be absent not only against Partizan in the Euroleague opener: "We will have to prepare for the situation where he will miss a period. It's very important to start with a win."


Dribble, Basketball Corner, 3.10/Photo: Walla System!Video Editing: Ziv Steiner

About five months after missing the opportunity to return to the Final Four in the fifth game in Monaco, Maccabi Tel Aviv will open the Euroleague 21/05 season tomorrow (Thursday, 2023:24) with a home game against Partizan Belgrade. The Yellows come into the game far from optimal. After losing to Hapoel Jerusalem in the Winner's Cup final in the opening week, the team revealed that their leading scorer, and probably the most significant player in the current squad, Wade Baldwin, will miss at least the next two games, according to the club's announcement, and is expected to be absent for a longer period due to a back muscle injury.

Maccabi have begun formulating options in case Baldwin is absent for a month or more, and are expected to try to add a player over the weekend if this turns out to be the case in further tests conducted in the coming days.

In Baldwin's absence, the Yellows will be hoping for a resurgence of Lorenzo Brown and a good debut by Tamir Blatt in the Euroleague, after unimpressive performances in the Winner's Cup. Brown looked anemic in the preseason and in the Winner's Cup, and Maccabi knows that without a record game from the veteran guard and Baldwin's backline mate, they will have a hard time beating Partisan.

May be absent for a period. Baldwin/Danny Maron

On the backdrop of Baldwin's injury, Oded Ketch admitted in his pre-match press conference: "We built the team maybe a little leaner, with an emphasis on continuity. Wade's downside is a big blow and a big disruption to the plans in terms of the timing of it happening. We have to prepare for a situation in which we will miss him for a while. He'll be missing about two or three games, and we'll look at that later. Everyone understands its importance and it is true that as a system we will have to see how to deal with the situation. Tomorrow we will miss him a lot and be very sparse compared to a deep opponent. Euroleague teams have understood, armed, and are building broad, high-quality rosters. We start the season tomorrow, even if we're missing Wade, with the right energy and want to win the game."

The yellow coach said he was "very excited to start a new Euroleague season, every year it becomes more challenging and the quality increases. I like it. We missed the atmosphere of Thursdays in the arena," adding beyond Baldwin about doubting Josh Nivo's fitness: "I'm very worried, even if they're both 100% I think tomorrow's game is not easy."

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Comes with a short roster to start the season. Ketch/Danny Maron

Ketch referred to the partisan, where he will meet one of his mentors Željko Obradović on the sidelines: "We are playing against a good team with the best coach there is, which also has continuity and you can feel it. They are one of the best offensive teams in the Euroleague and there is no doubt that this year as well, they can shoot from the outside from almost any position and they perform exceptionally well offensively. It will be intense, we saw that it was also difficult against Jerusalem and we were a bit short. It won't be easier tomorrow. Josh and Wade's injuries have hurt our plans significantly, everyone will have to step up and get the result."

On the integration of new players and the continuity of most of the squad: "There are some teams that have been really rebuilt, there are also girls with a lot of money which is not bad. There are things that can't be solved from one day to the next and these are things that worry me less, the players do have confidence and there are new players like Cleveland, Webb and Rivero who still need to learn subtleties and I have no doubt that it will improve over time. Last year we dealt with injuries to both Lorenzo and Wade and we didn't have the privilege of mediocre games. There will be a load on him, but Lorenzo has known how to deal with such situations before. We trust him."

The coach continued: "It's very important to start with a win, certainly at home. Partizan looked good in preparation. There will be very quality games, I wouldn't rush to determine who will be in the playoffs, at least 14 teams will compete for a place there."

Continuity on the one hand, non-ideal preparation on the other. Maccabi Tel Aviv/Danny Maron

Ketch was asked about the importance of Tamir Blatt in light of Baldwin's disadvantage, and replied: "Tamir will have a very significant role. It's always exciting to start a season with a new team, I have no doubt it's not easy for him even if he knows the pressures in the dressing room. We trust him, the Euroleague is not a new field for him. He comes with experience and I have no doubt that he will improve like the other new players."

The yellow coach added: "It's hard for me to find a coach in Europe who is happy at this stage. We are on the eve of the opening game, before the final training session and I have other things that we did not manage to do and did not work on enough. Despite the continuity in the squad, there will always be things that we will have to fix on the fly without too much training."

Europe's most decorated coach returns for another visit to Yad Eliyahu. Obradovich/Danny Maron

Partizan Belgrade returned to the Euroleague last season as a storm wind, entering the playoffs and a dramatic series against Real Madrid, which it lost in the fifth and decisive game. Partizan lost Matthias Lessor, one of the factory's top performers of the season, Dante Exum and Yam Madar, this summer, but still has ambitions to go far in the Euroleague by adding Frank Kaminski and PJ Dozier from the NBA, from Bayern Munich to Serbian point guard Onin Yermaz, and from Panathinaikos to Mateusz Ponitaka.

This group joins the core that remains - Zach Liddy, Kevin Panter and James Nunley Americans and Serbs Alexa Abramović, Alan Smalajić, Blasa Koprivica and Tristan Vukčević. The choir is led by one of the greatest coaches in the history of European basketball, Željko Obradović, whose every arrival at the Menorah Hall becomes a celebration.

Last season, both teams won their home games, with Partizan last victory at Menorah Arena in March 2010, during the playoff series between the teams, 77:85. Since then, Maccabi has beaten Partizan in five home games.

  • More on the subject:
  • Maccabi Tel Aviv Basketball
  • Oded Katsch
  • Partizan Belgrade Basketball

Source: walla

All sports articles on 2023-10-04

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