By Nikos Varlas/ email@example.com
One more new column is added in the Eurohoops trademarks. We will chose a big game and the coach of each of the two teams involved, pointing out three crucial parts of the game, according to our approach of the contest.
- The offensive numbers of Real Madrid are in a whole different level compared with Panathinaikos‘ performance. The Spaniards score 12.6 more points per game and are dishing 5.7 more assists per game. That means that the first goal of coach Ivanovic will be to reduce this gap. It’s not easy. Every players of Real can score, all of them have offensive talent, so you can’t do much. There’s almost no hope in trying to stop their transition offense. Still if you force them on set game situations, Real can be contained and in order to do that you have to focus on Sergio Rodriguez and also to the spectacular during the Top16 Rudy Fernandez. Rudy is averaging 14.2 points, 3.7 assists and 3.6 rebounds. Sergio’s numbers are 11.5 points and 5.7 assists, while he is also the best creator of his team. If you add the passing ability of Sergio Llull (5.8 asp) you have the trio that dishes in total the 15.2 of the 22,7 assists Real is producing per contest. If the Greens can stop two out of those three players, they will have a chance.
- Panathinaikos must be tough. Real has more big bodies in its roster and we expect a lot of miss matches to be created. That’s why Panathinaikos must work as a team, specially in the block outs and ever more against Felipe Reyes, who is a devastating force in Top16 with 13.4 points and 6.5 rebounds. Ivanovic will ask from his players to get the defensive rebounds and they key will be how the Greens will use defensive helps. You got to take some risks and every player of Real can punish you for that.
- It’s obvious from the first two points, that everything for Panathinaikos will start from defense. However, even if the Greens succeed to defend, they have also to score more than usual in order to beat the best team of their groups. That means trying to get easy points in transition and a good three points shooting percentage. Esteban Batista is the only solid offensive threat of Panathinaikos in the post, so that means the Greeks have to shoot at least 33-35% in threes, in order to stay in the game.