Bamberg looking to stay alive in BCL with David Kravish and league-leading defense

2021-03-22T18:30:26+00:00 2021-03-22T18:38:17+00:00.

Stefan Djordjevic

22/Mar/21 18:30

Brose Bamberg is in a must-win situation against Casademont Zaragoza in the Basketball Champions League and the Germans’ defensive prowess, as well as David Kravish, might be the answer

By Stefan Djordjevic /

After being the only undefeated team in the Basketball Champions League regular season, Brose Bamberg has started the playoffs on the wrong foot and will have to turn things around already in the next game if the team wants to keep realistic chances of advancing to the Final Eight Tournament.

The Germans went 6-0 in the initial Group F against Pinar Karsiyaka, RETAbet Bilbao, and Fortitudo Bologna, putting on rather impressive performance but the ups and downs started and it led to a 0-2 start in the playoffs.

Granted, the Group L to which they were drawn may be the toughest one as it features well-known teams that have a good chance at the title this year – Casademont Zaragoza, ERA Nymburk, and Dinamo Sassari.

Brose had already fallen to Zaragoza and Nymburk, and they are set to play once again against the two (in that order) before completing the stage with duels versus Dinamo Sassari.

# Team P W L % Last 5 For Agt +/- FA AA
1  Casademont Zaragoza 2 2 0 100
172 148 24 86 74 4
2  ERA Nymburk 2 2 0 100
181 176 5 90.5 88 4
3  Dinamo Sassari 2 0 2 0
172 185 -13 86 92.5 2
4  Brose Bamberg 2 0 2 0
152 168 -16 76 84 2

The first match vs. Zaragoza didn’t go Bamberg’s way at all with the Spaniards getting a double-digit 77-65 win but this time the game will be played out in Germany and there could have been seen a glimpse of what Brose needs to focus on if they want to win – David Kravish.

Kravish showed up with 17 points on 8-10 shooting and added nine rebounds, two assists, and one steal for a game-high PIR of 27. It’s been a trend for Kravish to play his best against Spanish teams specifically.

The 28-year-old American big scored 15 or more points in three of his eight appearances in the Basketball Champions League and all of those came against Spanish clubs.

Another thing Kravish brings to the table is the defense as he, coupled with Chase Fieler, paced Bamberg’s defense to the league-best during the regular season.

They were the top-blocking team with Kravish and Fieler logging two per game but not only that, Brose has been conceding 1.01 points per possession which is the best defensive ratio in the 2020-21 BCL campaign.

Perhaps even more importantly, they kept the opponent’s three-point shooting to just 27.5% (also league-best) and that will go a long way against the fiery squad such as Zaragoza.

Brose will have to bet on all that and more in order to beat an in-form Zaragoza team and perhaps the words of their point guard Bennet Hundt, after the previous loss (in which he played all 40 minutes), describe perfectly the clash between the two.

“I think we had a good fight today. I think, in the end, the game got decided by little things. In the first half, we rebounded really well, stopped their transition offense. They’re a really good offensive team and we stopped them to 77 points. That’s pretty good. But then, on offense, we gotta finish our plays. We moved and shared the ball well but missed some easy layups, some open shots. If we make them and have a little bit more energy at the end, we will be fine next game.”

However, surviving to see another day, while necessary, isn’t Brose’s only aim for sure. Coach Johan Roijakkers will have to prepare for Nymburk as well as Dinamo Sassari. Especially the Italian side which is also in a pinch after losing two games, with the second one being very, very close and heartbreaking, and they will be looking out for revenge.

The path will be hard for Brose Bamberg but the team has shown potential and are certainly capable of getting back up again.

Photo Credit: Basketball Champions League