By Panos Katsiroubas/ email@example.com
The Magnifying Glass focuses in the big game in Novgorod. Another big win for Olympiacos that keeps them in the 1st 2 positions and are favorites to go to the playoffs with home court advantage. Olympiacos plan was to stop the creation of Rochestie and not his execution. They denied the passes to him, they played over play defense in the half court and try to give helps and attacking hedge out in every play he was trying to create.
That defense let a lot of open spaces in the weak side of Olympiacos that in many occasions especially in the 1st half was totally empty resulting to easy 3 pointers from Antonov and Tompkins. The biggest damage although was inside. Whoever the creator was for Nizhny, Parakhouski took all the good positions in the paint and his teammates fed him and finished many baskets after pick n roll plays. He also finished plays with his powerful post game. The centers of Olympiacos couldn’t push him in order to take the ball outside of the 3 meters area.
On the other hand Nizhny tried to stop the 2 vs 2 pick n roll game of Olympiacos using help mostly from their power forwards from the weak side. They stopped Spanoulis from scoring although he was good in creation with 5 assists in the 1st half.
The offensive production of the reds came especially from the position that Nizhny took the risk. Petway and Printezis scored together 32 points, scoring 4/10 from behind the 3point arc. Printezis finished also plays after pick n roll and he was a threat in the post with his quick execution. He was the main offensive weapon of reds.
Olympiacos had huge defensive problems when Dunston was on the court especially in the beginning of the 3rd quarter. The recoveries in the switches were very slow and Parakhouski finished many plays giving his team an 8 point lead.
When Nizhny find difficulties of creating they used Kinsey that he is the most talented isolation player to score some baskets. His decisions were not the best even though he scored some big baskets.
The Key point
The key for the big win of Olympiacos was the way they defended in the 4th quarter. They decided that if they are going to lose this will not happen from Rochestie. Olympiacos players and especially Mantzaris played half court over play defense and denied every pass. The reds let all the others to create and execute and this risk proved to be correct.
In the last 6 minutes Rochestie was not involved in any offensive play of the Russian team with Khvostov (who is not the best scorer), Kinsey and Tompkins try to create plays in isolations. With this kind of Defense Parakhouski was out of the game also.
In offense Olympiacos took advantage of the exhaustion of Parakhouski that couldn’t follow Spanoulis in the switches. The captain of the Reds scored big baskets in the rotations and also created plays for his teammates. It was another gutsy win for Olympiacos that find answers in everything during the game to take a huge win.