Parker and Vesely before Olympiacos clash: “Let’s protect Palau, it will be difficult in Greece”

2024-04-22T14:01:45+00:00 2024-04-22T14:01:45+00:00.

Nikola Miloradovic

22/Apr/24 14:01

Jabari Parker and Jan Vesely spoke to Eurohoops before the EuroLeague Playoffs opener against Olympiacos.

By Michalis Stefanos /

Barcelona will clash with Olympiacos in the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Playoffs, having a home-court advantage.

Jabari Parker and Jan Vesely shared their expectations in an interview with Eurohoops before the series opener at Palau Blaugrana.

The significantly more experienced Czech big man is fully aware of Olympiacos‘ status in European basketball and what the Piraeus side has achieved in the last couple of seasons. Therefore, he knows a tough task is coming.

We know a high-level team is coming to face us, and we respect them. We’ve been preparing for this series for the last week, and we must be ready to play when the time comes. There’s not much to say at this point in the season; you just have to go out and do the job,Vesely said.

Regarding the two victories achieved by his team over the Red and Whites in the regular season, Vesely does not consider that they play any role in view of the upcoming clash.

Whatever happened in the previous games is of no importance. Now, we are talking about a completely new organization. After all, they and we have significant changes in our rosters in relation to the regular season matches. We are starting from scratch, and we know it will be difficult. We have to play smarter, be tougher, and have even more motivation and belief in our abilities.

On the other hand, Parker is playing his first season in European basketball. And he has performed very well so far, prompting Barcelona to give him a contract extension.

Given that he is still in his rookie year, the former Duke standout and No. 2 NBA draft pick doesn’t have a complete knowledge of European basketball history, but he is still very aware of what Olympiacos represents.

Aren’t they the ones who have dominated the league in recent years? It’s just what I often hear about their dynamic. However, for them to be there the last two years means they know how the playoffs are played, so I expect nothing less than a high-level test. We respect them, and we must be ready to face them.

Olympiacos has the best defense among the eight teams that continue to score the fewest points. For Jabari Parker, the key will be rhythm.

We have to play our game, especially at home. Let’s play fast and shoot the ball well. The opponent has little chance of beating us here when we score a lot. All year, we have played good basketball, and I think now that the biggest challenge is coming, we can show what we are capable of doing. Olympiacos is very tough, and we have to beat their toughness.

Parker believes that Barcelona’s biggest advantage lies in Palau Blaugrana.

We have to protect our home! Let’s take advantage of the start of the series with two matches at our stadium and get a lead because I know winning in Greece will be very difficult. They usually create very difficult conditions for the opposition, so starting with wins in the first two games in Barcelona is important. I think home advantage is even more important in Europe, and we have proven that we play much better at home. I hope the world will enjoy an exciting series, and in the end, we will be the ones to qualify,” Parker concluded in his interview with Eurohoops.