By Antonis Stroggylakis/ firstname.lastname@example.org
“I’m in a restaurant the last night. And a fan comes up to me and says: ‘I’m a Panathinaikos fan, can I give you a suggestion?’ I said: ‘If it’s a good one, yes’. He said: ‘Why don’t you post up [Nick] Calathes on [Facu] Campazzo ?’ I said: ‘Yes, that’s a great suggestion. Now all I have to do that before the game, I’m going to tell the coach (Pablo Laso] to get [Jeff] Taylor off Calathes and put the little guy,” Pitino told Greek TV channel Nova Sports.
By “little guy” Pitino meant the 1.80m. tall Campazzo.
“So, good suggestion. I’ll first have to check with the other coach to see if he’ll do what you’re suggesting,” Pitino added.
Pitino’s Panathinaikos saw Campazzo inflicting a serious amount of damage on both ends in the Game 2 loss to Real. The Argentinian guard notched 13 points, nine assists, seven rebounds, and five assists to lead the “Blancos” to a win for the 2-0 lead in the best-of-five series.
Calathes, who finished the game with 0/11 shots, was indeed guarded mainly by Taylor. Yet Campazzo also handled the Greens’ captain a couple of times (in the post up as well) rather successfully. He overall provided great amounts of help in neutralizing his action.
Pitino also talked about how critical it is for his team to reduce turnovers if they want to beat Real.
“When we made our great run, there was one common denominator: we didn’t turn the ball over. We averaged around 10, 11 turnovers per game. When you have 17 turnovers in playoff basketball, you’re not going to win. And the turnovers are what I call unforced turnovers. The defense didn’t force them; they were bad plays on our part that led to three-point shots, that led to fastbreaks by [Madrid]. So we have to keep our turnovers down… It’s about who executes the best. When you go against a taller team, a team that shoots better, a team that’s more talented in certain areas, you have to out-think them and play high-executed basketball with a lot of basketball IQ.”