By Panos Katsiroubas/ email@example.com
The second stop of the Magnifying Glass after Istanbul, is Tel Aviv and the rematch of the last year’s final between Maccabi and Real Madrid. What did the Israelis excellent and in which parts of the game failed Real.
Huge game held in Tel Aviv with many ups and downs for both teams and Maccabi prevailing in the end. In the tactical part Maccabi used a switching defense in almost the whole game. There were parts in the game that Real Madrid took advantage of this defense and the miss matches and some other parts that Maccabi found solutions.
In offense the reigning Champions in the set plays they were looking for Schortsanitis or isolations for Pargo and Haines that did good job, the 1st in distributing the ball and the 2nd as a finisher of many plays. Schortsanitis did a big damage in the post, he scored a lot and also gained many fouls from every opponent he faced.
It was strange that with Reyes on the floor Maccabi didn’t took advantage of Randle. On the contrary in the switching defense of Maccabi Reyes took advantage of every miss match in terms of scoring and 2nd chance points. He finished the game with 20 points and 11 rebounds, showing to everyone that he is the most stable player of his team.
Maccabi tried to run in any chance and this was the turning point of the game. Even after a basket of Real Madrid Maccabi was looking for transition and in the 2nd and 4th quarter they found many points with Pargo creating and passing extremely well. Landesberg scored big shots, and created many problems when he was used together with Devin Smith in the forward position.
Real Madrid has big problems this year. In the perimeter they cannot play good defense and this was clear in the last very important plays with Smith penetrating and finishing drives in the paint with Rudy just looking for a double team to come. They also couldn’t stop Pargo and they were bad in transition.
In offense they had a very bad night of their two stars with Rudy never finding rhythm. Moreover Sergio Rodriguez was not executing well and especially in the 2nd half he took some very bad decisions in the transition where the Spanish side could have scored some easy points.
Smith and Alexander did a good defensive job in Reyes. Maccabi showed quality again. Even though Ohayon and Randle didn’t have their best performance, Landesberg, Haines and Alexander stepped up to give important help.
Real Madrid had 20 offensive rebounds compared to the 14 of Maccabi and only 7 turnovers. They reached almost 85 possessions and scored 86 points. Maccabi came back 2 times in the game and took a deserving win in the end. We may see them again in the Final 4!