As close encounters go, Brose Baskets win at FC Bayern was a little on the strange side. Emmet Ryan looks back on a game where neither side wanted to give anything away ahead of the post-season
Fatigue presents itself in a variety of ways. Andrea Trinchieri’s look of exhaustion late in the fourth quarter on Sunday bore more resemblance to a man who had just spent longer than expected in the bathroom than a coach under pressure in an important game. The Bavarian derby is only increasing in importance as the rise in expenditure by both clubs goes in line with the filleting of Euroleague. Next year, barring an extremely unlikely wildcard, there’s only going to be one side from the Bundesliga playing in the continent’s big show making the domestic title a must for both sides.
Sunday however was anything but the kind of bloody brawl one might anticipate between these rivals. Bamberg fell into double digit holes on multiple occasions, including trailing by 17 points in the third, yet Bayern never looked like they had the visitors truly on the ropes. The home side for its part was far from phased when Bamberg reeled them with ease. The atmosphere in Munich may have been playoff in nature but the basketball certainly wasn’t.
Neither Trinchieri nor Svetislav Pesic looked eager to get terribly creative out there. While Bayern were mathematically still in with a shot of the top seed ahead of this clash, second was always more likely, there was no real need for Pesic to force the issue even with pride at stake. For Trinchieri, a road win at Bayern in the playoffs will be worth infinitely more than what this clash would have meant. The result was some hyper predictable offence. It was close, there were wild swings, but it wasn’t all that exciting.
As any smart front office will argue, if you only want to be entertained go to the cinema. Sport is about wins and losses, where not all Ws are created equal. Dialing back the intensity was never on the agenda here, Bayern and Bamberg’s players went at each other, so the onus fell on the coaches to adjust by keeping their cards relatively close to their chest. While a Bamberg and Bayern series is not a certainty this post-season, it’s got a really strong shot of happening and neither coach wanted to show his hand.
The end was fun. Bayern forced overtime just shy of the buzzer after Bamberg had reeled in that huge deficit. Then the visitors stretched it out in the extra period to take the W but none of it felt like it was going to mean anything for May basketball, at least in the here and now. The loss does mean Bayern have work to do in order to get the second seed, with the same number of losses as Oldenburg and only one fewer than Frankfurt, it’s likely the 2014 champions won’t know where exactly they will land in the shuffle until the final game day. As for Bamberg, home court is secured so now it’s about not getting hurt.
Pic via Brose Baskets Twitter