Lokomotiv rising, Efes falling

2016-03-03T23:47:52+00:00 2016-03-04T02:32:37+00:00.

Antonis Stroggylakis

03/Mar/16 23:47


Without needing to be impressive, but by simply being extremely consistent on defense for 30 minutes, Lokomotiv Kuban didn’t face any serious problems against Anadolu Efes in Istanbul winning a crucial game, that brings them closer to the playoffs.

By Eurohoops team/ info@eurohoops.net

Without needing to be impressive, but by simply being extremely consistent on defense for 30 minutes, Lokomotiv Kuban didn’t face any serious problems against Anadolu Efes in Istanbul winning the match 61 – 76.

Once again Malcolm Delaney was everywhere for Lokobasket. While not as hot as usual in his scoring duties, the American combo guard was invaluable for his team, finishing the game with 19 points, 6 assists and 5 rebounds. But all of his teammates were ready to give an extra hand, particularly on defense, making the already ugly offense of Efes, look absolutely horrid at some moments.

The Russian team didn’t need do anything more than the absolutely necessary, in order to hold tight to a lead around 10 points for the vast majority of the game. Coach Bartzokas’ players were not as fiery as they normally are from the three-point line, shooting only with 30%, yet they managed to convert at least some solid passing sequences into open looks to the basket that also brought some big shots near the end, courtesy of Victor Claver.

It is not an exaggeration to say that Lokomotiv Kuban forced Anadolu Efes into probably its worst game of the season. All we could see after the first quarter was the… ghost of one of the most prolific scoring teams in Euroleague, since coach Ivkovic’s players were able to drop only 45 points in 30 minutes, and 61 in total. The worst output of Efes in this season.  Only Thomas Heurtel actually delivered on offense, with 17 points (he also had 7 rebounds). His team finished the game with 38% in its field goals, an extremely low number, especially for a game that took place at home. For the 7/16 free throws (43%)… it’s probably better not to say anything.

The only time-frame in which the two teams were walking side by side was during the first 15 minutes of the game. In the mid of the second period, with the score being 26 – 26, Lokobasket had a 0-10 run to which Efes answered with only one basket, for the 28 – 38 at halftime. The hosts fell short on their efforts to come back, often taking shots that lacked any possible logic. Meanwhile, their opponents looked always ready to counter everything that was thrown at them, being calm, patient and paying full attention on their, game-winning, plan.