BallinEurope is previewing all 18 Euroleague Basketball teams over the next 18 days. This series began with a look at Crvena Zvezda and then LDLC Asvel. Up today, we ask if one of the most stable rosters in Euroleague is ready to push on? Join us as we examine the prospects for Oded Kattash and Maccabi Tel Aviv
After beginning this series with two teams that have undergone enormous roster upheaval, it’s quite the change to check out a Maccabi Tel Aviv side that really looks stable.
Euroleague record: 20-14
Regular season position: 5th
Playoffs: Lost 3-2 (Monaco)
Ligat Winner record: 19-3
Regular season position: 1st
Playoffs: Won finals 2-1 (Hapoel Tel Aviv)
Other: Lost Israeli State Cup final (Hapoel Jerusalem)
Guy Pnini (Retired), Will Raymon (Saint-Quentin), Alex Poythress (Olimpia Milano), Jalen Adams (Turk Telecom), Jarell Martin (Galatasaray), Yiftach Ziv (Granada), Darrun Hilliard (Pinar Karsiyaka), Austin Hollins (Free agent), Suleiman Braimoh (Free agent).
Who is new?
Will Rayman (Hapoel Haifa), Jasiel Rivero (Valencia), Antonius Cleveland (Hapoel Eilat), James Webb III (Valencia), Tamir Blatt (Alba Berlin).
Oded Kattash (coach), Josh Nebo, Roman Sorkin, Wade Baldwin IV, Bonzie Colson, John DiBartolomeo, Lorenzo Brown, Jake Cohen, Rafi Menco.
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Need to know
After years of being too quick to change coaches, Maccabi has stuck with Oded Kattash. There are few easy jobs in Euroleague Basketball but Maccabi Tel Aviv certainly is one of the toughest places to keep fans happy. They are used to success in Euroleague and dominance in Israel.
With Kattash, they won the Israeli championship last season while getting close to the Final Four of Euroleague. The core of last season’s line-up is back. Whether that’s enough to press on remains to be seen.
What the bookies think
In a tight pack around the final playoff places, the sportsbooks have Maccabi Tel Aviv just about on the outside looking in. They are available at 16-1 but are in the mix of a bunch of four or five teams with little between them in basketball betting.
What we think
I mean this as a compliment, Maccabi Tel Aviv should have a very similar season to last year in Euroleague. What this club needs, second only to a Final Four trip, is a base of consistency. Oded Kattash is in position to repeat last season’s performances with the roster he has.
The numbers on the incoming and outcoming players are a touch misleading. When it comes to the minutes that matter, the bulk of last season’s main performers are back. That should be enough, in my book, to repeat last year’s run to the postseason.
The surprise picks from BallinEurope to not make the Euroleague Basketball playoffs are already starting to come into view. That’s because Crvena Zvezda and, today, Maccabi Tel Aviv are getting the nod. Much as I would have liked to have seen something more interesting arrive in the front court, there’s not much to dislike here. There’s not a great deal to get excited about either but that’s an issue for another day.
Pick: 7th place in the regular season