Hapoel Jerusalem downed Nymburk 88-64 as the Reds continued to play dominant team basketball. James Feldeine went off for 35 points going 9/12 from 3-point land while former NBA All-Star Amare Stoudemire scored 13 points and Tashawn Thomas added 12 points in the win. The host’s pulled down 61(!) rebounds including 23 offensive boards as Da’Sean Butler collected 11 and Josh Owens grabbed 10. Jaromir Bohacik scored 16 points and Alex Davis chipped in with 14 points in the loss.
Feldeine got things started scoring an incredible 17 first quarter points which included five 3’s as Jerusalem led 26-18 after ten minutes and never looked back. The Reds extended their advantage to 13 points at halftime, 45-32 and put away the game in the thrust quarter with a 21-8 frame as the final ten minutes were garbage time supreme.
1) James Feldeine. What can you say about him? He’s been absolutely terrific this season and with 35 points with 9 three pointers, there’s not much else you can say but, superstar and Jerusalem is lucky to have him. Amare Stoudemire spoke about Feldeine’s performance, “James was hot and we got him open on certain screens and he was able to take advantage of the space on the basketball court. The great thing about it is that he stayed hot the entire game. Feldeine was also asked how he was able to drain shot after shot and as they say, practice makes perfect, “When the first one went in it felt good and gave me a lot of confidence. Tonight the shots went in. I stayed for extra practice to get extra shots in.” Feldeine was also asked if this was statement that he should be playing at a higher level, he answered straight and to the point, “I’m here and that’s all that matters.” Methinks Jerusalem fans are certainly happy that he’s here.
2) It’s clear that Hapoel Jerusalem as a team gets along extremely well both on and off of the court and that’s definitely one of the secrets to their success this season. Oded Katash said that he was more than pleasantly surprised, “We put an emphasis on character when we were building the team and it’s been even better than I expected it to be.” Da’Sean Butler echoes the coach’s comments, “It’s just a testament to everybody on this team. It’s really easy when everyone gets along really well and other guys can take the backseat to other things and still perform well in certain aspects of the game. Each guy on this team has been at one point in time the best player on their team. So if they can come and defer and do other things to make sure the team works then that’s a special group.”
3) Both Butler and Amare also discussed how the team has been able to record the big victories that have been since a pair of defeats at Antwerp and Hapoel Gilboa/Galil. Butler first, “We’re doing what we’re supposed to do. We came out in the first quarter and we set the tone for the rest of the game. We played aggressive and shared the ball and thank goodness James shot the ball well.” Stat added what seems to be a simple sentence but reflects perfectly what Katash’s team has been doing, “We came out and played great, we stuck to the game plan and we got the job done.” Getting the job done they certainly did.
The key now will be if Jerusalem can keep up the quality play that they’ve been able to so far and not fall into a situation where nothing clicks. Chances are that time will come the question is when and will they be able to withstand it. One journalist told me that Maccabi is lucky, lucky that the don’t have to face Jerusalem right now. He’s right because if they did who knows what the final score would be.
1) Ashdod coach Brad Greenberg and his star guard Paul Stoll took in their Sunday night opponent Hapoel Jerusalem. We’ll have to wait and see what they’ll have up their sleeves in order to stop a very, very potent offense and defense.
2) Hapoel Jerusalem’s former owner Ori Allon was in the house but sat in a box and not at court-side as he had done in the past. When an announcement was made that he was present and his picture was put up on the big screen there was only a smattering of cheers which was quite shocking considering what he had done for the team in the past.
3) Alex Davis had a monster dunk late in the game and showboated a bit. You can’t be showboating when you’re down by 20+ points and coach Oren Amiel had the chance to teach him a lesson but didn’t.
Nes Ziona 104-86 Saratov
Chris Dowe scored 26 points while Daequan Cook drained six 3-pointers on the way to a 22-point evening and the win.
Tenerife 84-52 Hapoel Holon
Holon was slam dunked on the road at Tenerife as the host’s ran away with a 32-point victory. The visitor’s were without Khalif Wyatt and TJ Cline for the contest and their absence was felt almost immediately as Tenerife took the game to Holon from the outset. Tenerife featured 8 players scoring eight or more while Holon played only eight players throughout the game. Former Maccabi Tel Aviv center Colton Iverson scored 12 points for Tenerife while Darion Atkins led Holon with 13 point in the loss