Sorry for the lateness; i knew a true fan wouldn’t miss the live Euroleague TV feed, but in a small corner of hometown Budapest it was the US last night and an American holiday. First thing this morning, though, it was on my screen.
The following is my first riff on Partizan basketball as a black-and-white fan, inspired by the wonderful minimalism of the all-time greatest fan blog ever. (An opinion which surely has nothing to do with my devotion to the Los Angeles Lakers and Red Hot Chili Peppers diehard.)
If a Budapest flat was Thanksgiving town on Thursday, Belgrade was certainly heart-attack city.
CSKA Moscow had allowed fewer than 60 points per game, but the Pionir crowd like a football crowd could exhort more out of Partizan on adrenaline alone.
At first, it all looked so good to take down the monster: Planinic was planless, Morris out early with foul trouble, Langdon lackadaisical through the first half.
Partizan is defined by the three-pointer, said the Euroleague.TV head; Partizan would go 4-of-23 for the game and all its key plays threes made and missed.
Like when Tripkovic nailed the three to tie it at 52 to end the third and glimpse the end to CSKA’s streak.
Like when Tepic’ long ball, cruising leisurely ‘round the rim, wasn’t left well enough alone by Vilicovic. And went out, maybe to make the difference.
But hope stayed alive as the clock ticked down: Tripkovic another buzzer-beater … a Vilicovic steal and a coast-to-coast two to tie it up.
And then hearts went into throats at one, two,
Five! shots underneath fail to go in. The Pionir run ends at seven and Partizan stands at 2-3.
63-62: Not quite a backbreaker or a dealbreaker. Not quite the Moscow kingmaker or Belgrade eliminator. But an Undertaker heartbreaker, nonetheless…