More than a shocker and well into slap-in-the-face territory was game one of the EΣAKE championship series, where hometown Panathinaikos took care of all business in dispatching Olympiacos, 73-54.
Though BallinEurope did not see the match and knows empirically that games should never be judged on the stat line, one number still stands out like Gheorghe Muresan at a “Tiny Town” cast reunion (even in Greek): Check out Olympiacos going 0-for-23 from beyond the arc.
Indeed, after watching these guys’ act in the Euroleague tournament and a bit from the Greek league playoffs, the numbers seem inconceivable. There’s Josh Childress, so deadly quick to the hole throughout 2009-10 it’s like he *gained* a step went 3-for-5 on two-pointers. And jacked up four misses from outside plus went just 1-for-4 on free throws.
Big award winners Milos Teodosic and Linas Kleiza managed just nine shots between them on the inside. At least Kleiza gave up the body properly, getting 11 shots from the free-throw line to compensate for his overall 2-of-9 on field goals. So many questions … like, how did Scoonie Penn get 31 minutes of playing time while shooting 1-of-7? (Garbage time? After all, no one on Olympiacos accumulated more than three fouls.) What happened to the Reds’ Mr. Clutch, Theo Papaloukas?
The Greens’ side of the box score doesn’t give too much hardcore information, either, other than they brought a seriously well-balanced attack: Mike Batiste and Antonis Fotsis each scored 13 points plus contributed eight and five rebounds, respectively. Kostas Tsartsaris and Nikola Pekovic added 10 apiece.
So how did it happen? For answers, BiE went to the ‘Tube.
First up is this fairly tight clip which seems to indicate that on offense, Panathinaikos was perfectly willing to give up position underneath for the rebound as long as men were left unguarded on the perimeter to pass around freely.
On defense, well … from about 0:46 in, we can also observe Kleiza’s frustration at being outmuscled continually by a swarm of Greens; Panathinaikos destroyed Olympiacos on the boards, 42-27, despite being outdone in offensive rebounds, 13-11.
Here’s a techno’d version of highlights showing the second facet of PAO’s offense. When the Reds started tightening up on D and bringing more double teams to prevent the short jumper, Panathinaikos threatened inside. When Olympiacos crowded the middle or brought extra coverage, the Greens again went outside quicker than the Reds could (or did – the defense seems real sluggish here) make the switch.
Finally, here’s one that strictly Panathinaikos-biased. Not that the Olympiacos contributions added much anyway…
Olympiacos hosts game two of the EΣAKE championship series on Sunday night at 9.45pm local time (8.45 CET, 2.45 EST) and if anyone can provide the feed for BallinEurope to check this series out live online, please do! As awesome as YouTube is, clips make a poor substitute for the real thing.