By Panos Katsiroubas/ email@example.com
This was a heroic win for Fenerbahce if we assume all the circumstances that appeared as obstacles during the game. The team of Obradovic was obliged to face the early foul trouble of Zisis and Bogdanovic (who later in the game got injured and didn’t play in the 2nd half) and the foul trouble of Vesely who was the best player until that time in the final minutes of the 3rd quarter.
The basic goal of Efes was not to give spaces for the talented backcourt of Fenerbahce and especially when Lasme and Milko Bjelica were using in the center position they prefer to switch mostly in the screens on the ball.
Fenerbahce even though they have limited presence of their best passers they took advantage of the miss matches with passes inside the paint to Savas and Vesely that had smaller opponents to guard them and scored easy baskets.
All the creation of Fenerbahce was in the hands of Preldzic who performed a huge game if we assume that he was the only one with the obligation to set exclusively all the plays. He finished the game with 8 assists and he was the basic reason for the big win of Fenerbahce.
Even though Efes manage to defend well in the majority of the game they had 2 players that were the black holes in their defense. Saric and Krstic where the duo that Fenerbahce tried to hit and took a lot of points in plays against them. Vesely when used as a power forward he tried to post Saric who couldn’t defend him in any situation.
The problem was still obvious even when Nemanja Bjelica was used as power forward with his penetrations that Saric again couldn’t provide defensive stops.
Krstic was not table to rotate and switch in the pick n roll plays because he is very slow and his opponents scored with their quickness as the basic weapon. Ivkovic was not able to find ways to hide them in defense and in the 2nd half, especially in the 4th quarter they sat on the bench.
This was the 1st game that Thomas Heurtel showed to the fans of Efes what he is capable of doing. When he was on the floor he opened the court with his passes, he took all the needed shots after switches and he was very attacking with penetrations every time he was seeing opens spaces in the defense of Fenerbahce. He finished the game with 17 points and 5 assists in his best game since he arrived in Istanbul.
In the end all came down to big shots. Zisis scored the first, Perperoglou answered and Goudelock scored the biggest basket with a huge shot that didn’t seem to be the correct decision. In the next possession of Efes Heurtel was not on the floor (surely questionable decision) Preldzic stole the ball and the game was over.
Hickman came back after a long time to give extra help but in our eyes the MVP of Fenerbahce was Preldzic that manage to play for Zisis and Bogdanovic in terms of creation.