Maccabi Tel Aviv came up short against Real Madrid falling 89-82 on Euroleague Gameday Two. Madrid came out strong in half number one dominating every aspect of the game taking a 46-33 lead into the lockerroom thanks to Gustavo Ayon’s 9 points and Jaycee Carroll’s 11 (18 overall). Maccabi shot an abysmal 1/8 from beyond the arc, committed 8 turnovers during the first 20 minutes and were out-rebounded 24-16 giving up 11(!) offensive boards.
However, the third quarter saw Maccabi race out to a 16-0 run to take a short lived 49-46 lead on Victor Rudd’s 8 points (18overall) and a ton of energy to go along with 6 points from Sonny Weems (15overall). But the Yellow & Blue ran out of air near the end of the third frame and into the final ten minutes as Sergio Llull dropped 8 out of his 14 points in the last quarter while dishing out 11 assists overall to help the Spaniards to the win.
1– The Maccabi defense needs major work, especially when it comes to identifying picks and screens which Jaycee Carroll and Rudy Fernandez used to perfection going 9/18 for 50% from 3-point land shredding the Yellow & Blue defense. The hosts were also dominated down low giving up 11 offensive rebounds in the first half as Madrid scored 36 points in the paint 24 of which in the first half primarily against an overmatched Mark Zirbes.
2– Israelis accounted for a total of 2 points in roughly 35 minutes of play. It was clear that Edelstein had no faith in his local homegrown contingent especially when the game was coming down to the wire. On one side, Maccabi’s Israelis should have been able to score more than Yogev Ohayon’s 2-points in that amount of time which included Guy Pnini scoring 0 points in close to 9 minutes and Gal Mekel’s round number in 6 minutes. But the question needs to be asked as to why Sylven Landesberg who had two wonderful games against Milano and Eilat didn’t see the court until late in the 3rd quarter! That’s simply unacceptable for a shooter of his caliber. Add to that Joe Alexander who for two straight games barely touched the floor with a total of 16 seconds in 80 minutes, something is just not right and the question begs to be asked. Where were the Israelis last night?
3– Watching Jaycee Carroll and Rudy Fernandez play is one of the guilty pleasures of any basketball fan. They are both so smooth. Their shooting is fabulous as it’s been for years, yes years as they are both entering their 6th season with Madrid. CRAZY! How many players in Europe stay with the same team for so long? It’s a rarity. But the fact is that they are both still so good, now that’s the real trick.
Sergio Llull not playing in the NBA is crazy. Real’s number 23 was fantastic las night especially in the clutch scoring 8 fourth quarter points and handing out a game high 11 assists. Even though Llull went 0/8 from three, he was all over the court both on offense and defense. He’s truly a brilliant player.
Erez Edelstein summed up the game:
“This was a big game against Real Madrid here at Yad Eliyahu. The team has played four or five years together with the same coach and you can see what kind of quality of team they have, especially when we made a huge run they knew how to stop it. Even though we lost the fans cheered knowing that the Maccabi players had left everything on the floor.”
“Their like any other team in the Euroleague as they play aggressive and hit is first. We battled through it but came up a few plays short. It’s all about chemistry and we have a really new team with a lot of new guys. The more we play together the better we are going to mesh and look and play more freely on the court but it’s got to happen now, really it had to have happened yesterday as we are already two games in.”
We need to work on the defensive end and we have to get better at that’ll I’m not sure how but we need to get better. We need to buckle down and play. We all want to win and we can’t come out and play the first half the way we did.”
“There’s still a lot going wrong but we played better and we are making strides to improve. I think we are better than most of the teams but we just need to do it.”