By Eurohoops team/ email@example.com
Maccabi Tel Aviv star guard Wade Baldwin believes that the officiating in the defeat to Olympiacos Piraeus wasn’t really fair for his team. Using the discrepancy in the free throws as an example, the American player commented on the fouls that Maccabi didn’t receive, in contrast with the Reds.
“A lot of non-calls today,” Baldwin told Eurohoops’ Antonis Stroggylakis. “A lot of non-calls. I think the free-throw differential was a little bit one-sided tonight. I played a lot of minutes tonight. Shots didn’t go. That happens in the game of basketball. I’ll do better in the next game.” Baldwin finished the match with 14 points and eight assists but missed a lot of shots (4-16) and committed six turnovers during the 34:58 he stayed on the floor.
“I could be wrong but throughout the game, it felt that they went to the free-throw line a lot man,” Baldwin added. Olympiacos shot a season-high 37 free throws, making 24. Maccabi was 14-20 while the foul difference was minor (23 – 27). “Olympiacos had 20 free throws, I think, in the third quarter. It’s hard to beat a team that goes to the line so many times. And that hurt us.”
“You aren’t winning any game when the opponent shoots 30-plus free throws.”
After three years and 63 games in the NBA, Baldwin began his career in EuroLeague with Olympiacos in 2018. It wasn’t an easy season for him and he had visible problems adapting to the European basketball style.
Following that campaign that ended abruptly due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Baldwin had a breakthrough season with Bayern Munich and then joined Baskonia before moving to Maccabi last summer. He’s currently the second-highest scorer (15.2 points) and passer (4.4 assists) of the team behind injured Lorenzo Brown.
In his latest visit to Piraeus as an opponent, Baldwin didn’t receive a warm welcome, with fans also booing him frequently.
“I think there’s been a confusion that goes on with that,” Baldwin said. “I don’t know why the fans feel that I don’t like the club (Olympiacos). I think the club was very good. I think it was a very weird time when I was here, a very transitional period. I knew things were going to turn around in a positive way when Giorgos Bartzokas came here. And it has, they were a Final Four team last year. Every time I see him, the coaching staff, the general manager, the weight coach, I always make sure I shake their hands. And the players I’ve played with here. Show a little bit of love. I don’t really understand the confusion. It’s like an enemy thing. I’m grateful that this was the first club that gave me the opportunity to start my career here.”
Maccabi is now 11-10 and in the eighth place in the standings, tied with Valencia. Baldwin feels that it’s a solid run, considering several problems (Lorenzo Brown getting injured and big man Alex Poythress suffering a season-ending injury), and that there’s a long road for the Yellows to improve their record and secure a playoff spot.
“I think we’re doing a good job, given the circumstances,” Baldwin mentioned. “We are a very new team. We are competing and staying within the Top 8 in EuroLeague. I think you guys got to give us a lot of credit for that. Guys are stepping up consistently this year. We’ve played 21 games, and the regular season finishes at 34. We have opportunities to change the ship around.”