You gotta admit, the quote makes a good headline; 2009-10 Euroleague MVP and starting CSKA Moscow playmaker Milos Teodosic is actually showing a bit of modesty to go along with the well of confidence The Red Army squad must be feeling.
In reference to CSKA’s upcoming Euroleague Final Four match with Panathinaikos, Teodosic told media that his counterpart Dimitris Diamantidis will be the focus of the Moscow defense, but the side needn’t become obsessed with stopping DD.
“We can’t put him on a pedestal ahead of Panathinaikos’ other players, like [Mike] Batiste or [Sarunas] Jasikevicius.”
Teodosic knows: In CSKA’s two regular-season matchups with PAO in the Euroleague regular season, keeping Batiste and Jasikevicius at bay proved the difference in both games. In the week four OT match, Saras was limited to just six points while harassed into five turnovers, and Andrei Kirilenko’s block of Batiste when the scoreboard read 75-75 in overtime was the hidden key play of the game.
In week nine, CSKA won handily at home as Batiste recorded more personal fouls (three) than made field goals in going 2-of-8 as the Muscovites’ interior D kept the Greens’ guy out of his shooting-comfort zone. Jasikevicius saw just nine minutes of court time but still turned it over three times. This game also saw Diamantidis turn in one of his worst performances in recent memory, with 1-of-7 overall shooting plus four turnovers.
Hmmm … to find a matchup problem for CSKA Moscow in this Euroleague Final Four, one may have to search a bit more thoroughly…