By Panos Katsiroubas/ firstname.lastname@example.org
From the beginning it was clear that the first target of Efes was to limit the offensive game of Spanoulis and press the ball as much as possible. Draper who was the MVP of that game and Janning did a tremendous job in the individual defense against the captain of Olympiacos. Lasme helped a lot with his quickness in the hedge out and recovery part and Saric together with Janning had good rotations in defense to help as the third player involved defensively in the pick and roll of Olympiacos.
It was clear also that the risk of Efes‘ defense was to let open shoots from Mantzaris and the power forward position of Olympiacos (Petway and Printezis). The Reds early on took an unexpectedly offensive help from Mantzaris who scored 11 points, but stopped there. He lost all the shots he took in the second half. But the problem was obvious. The Reds couldn’t find ways to open the Turkish defense.
The only part that the Reds found some offensive rhythm was at the time where Bjelica and Krstic where together on the floor. Krstic is not as quick as Lasme, the rotations of Bjelica were not so efficient and the close outs were very slow.
On the other side Efes with Draper on the court was using Janning as the major source of both creation and execution in the beginning. The biggest advantage of Efes game was that they played with total concentration. They found and hit all the miss matches of Olympiacos in the Reds’ defense. On the other side Olympiacos could have attacked more with Printezis at the post when he was guarder by Saric.
Heurtel had his best game as an Efes player. He gave some rhythm in offense with his passes especially to Bjelica and also scored some crucial points. The Turkish team used multiple squads in the perimeter in order to be fresh. With Balbay, Draper and Osman in the end of the 3rd quarter they took a defensive boost. They totally blocked Spanoulis in terms of scoring and penetrating to the basket and also they closed his open looks for his teammates. It was a very offensive defense from all the Turkish backcourt forcing him to many turnovers.
Krstic, Bjelica and Perperoglou gave important points from the post and Draper was huge from the perimeter. In the end as a result we can say that defense and toughness of Efes were the big difference in this game. Fair and clear win for the Turkish team.