By Eurohoops team/ firstname.lastname@example.org
Where will Crvena Zvezda stop? Third consecutive victory for the Serbian team that played seminar quality defense against Lokomotiv Kuban and won 80 – 66. They can certainly hope for the playoffs in Belgrade.
The wondrous triplet of Quincy Miller (24 points, 5 rebounds), Maik Zirbes (18 points, 9 rebounds) and Tarence Kinsey (19 points, 4 assists) certainly drew all lights on it, but, generally, coach Radonjic’s players did a spectacular job defending as a whole. That and Lokobasket’s horrible shooting that also came as a result of the bad night of most of its key players, brought the above result.
On one hand the fire that Miller spitted out in the first quarter, with 14 points and perfect percentages, stunned the Russian team that fell 10 points behind quite early (13-2 in less than 3 minutes). On the other, with most of its biggest weapons being silenced by the well targeted defense of the hosts, Loko found it extremely difficult to make its opponents feel threatened at any point in the match.
Red Star was always punishing every single mistake that Lokomotiv Kuban did on defense, and coach Bartzokas’ complains to his players were many. Even when he saw his squad making the necessary stops, the lack of the appropriate projection on the other end of the court, kept frustrating him.
While Malcolm Delaney, or Anthony Randolph failed in one shot after the other, the hosts found players in almost every players that stepped on court. They all added their piece, especially on defense.
That was the key aspect that made all the difference in the end, since it never allowed Lokomotiv to implement an important aspect of its game on court: The long range jumpers. With 6/29 from downtown, and more 3pointers than 2pointers, every single comeback attempt the guests of the game made, was doomed.