What happens in Moscow needs to stay in Moscow
Advance Pro Basketball
The first round of the Euroleague playoff games have been played out and by far while we have had upsets and nail biters so far, one game that we tracked really was beyond out expectations in terms of how bad it was played out.
As much as it saddens us to see that Fenerbahce Beko a team that has struggled with the start of the season due to their new roster construct and with added pressure to make yet another Final Four run this time for the first time without the legendary head coach Zeljko Obradovic at the healm, the season has been somewhat of a recovery process to this former Euroleague Champion club.
Newly appointed Head Coach Igor Kokoskov has by far done all within his power to construct a Championship calibre team to the best of the available players possible. But we need to dig down to the hard facts post game that we have come across that have come about.
Facts of the game
Fenerbahce in our opinion had some critical errors they could not work out during the game.
Having Nando De Colo play for 38 minutes straight and having to over use him did not help.
Furthermore, Marko Guduric while potentially playing effective minutes could have been implemented in more lineups where he defensively and in transition cases could have made a more vital impact.
However overall three key Turkish players as well as one import player (Melih Mahmutoğlu, Kenan Sipahi, Berkay Candan and Alex Perez) were clearly not performance-wise prepared to play “next man up” in the mandatory absence of the players that contracted Covid as well as players that were injured.
Especially having to take into consideration that as the current team captain of the team and as one of the key Turkish National Men’s Team players Melih while having to recover from Covid also was expected to perform during this game but was overall ineffective as seen above from his individual shot chart.
Aside from the shooting that was off, all offensive actions in which he could have been involved in, he sought out to pass the ball more than try to get into a flow of actively trying to create offense on the court.
The above lineup plated the last 2 minutes of the end of the 3rd quarter and the first possession of the 4th quarter.
The initial turning point CSKA Moscow came with this offensive possession that they played out with ease.
Fenerbahce were late in contesting the shot and the lineup on the floor were not defensively equipt on the wings or in terms of guards to adapt to the play.
Fenerbahce Beko had a hard time to “adapt” to the fact that Covid as well as sustained injuries needed to be taken care of. The potential game strategy that they had laid out which was to be able to utilize the activity of players like Guduric somewhat backfired when Guduric only managed to score 3 out of 7 on shooting and also the added in-effectivity of Danilo Barthel in this game trying to play “hand off” ball did not elevate pressure off from guards but rather forced them to have to extensively play more on ball came about.
We sincerely hope that Fenerbahce Beko can recover and get on track with the next game.