Maccabi Tel Aviv fell to Barcelona 89-67 and were dominated in every facet of the game. Down 44-24 at the half, the hosts maintained their advantage in a second half that was primarily garbage time. DeAndre Kane with 13 points and Jonah Bolden with 10 were the only Yellow & Blue players to record double digits, while Petteri Koponen led the way for Barcelona with 20 points and was complimented by Rakim Sanders’ 18 points on 6/9 from beyond the arc.
1) Maccabi came out flat as a pancake on the road at Barcelona. There’s not much else to say. There was no defense and not much of an offense as the Yellow & Blue were picked apart in every aspect. Rebounds 42-34, assists 25-15, steals 7-6, % from 2-pt 49-41, % from 3-pt 48-21, free throws 67-55% and fouls 21-13. There’s no possible way to win when the numbers look like this. Stats don’t lie.
2) Maccabi has got to figure out their 3-point defense and how to shoot more accurately from beyond the arc. The Yellow & Blue have given up more 3-pointers than they have scored in EVERY GAME this Euroleague season while their percentage was higher in just two, against Bamberg when Pierre Jackson went off for a 3-point fest and versus Madrid when Real took 34 shots from long distance. Oy vey.
3) Once were on the subject of shooting let’s look at how Maccabi shot against Barca. Jackson 2/8 from 2, 0/5 from 3; Bolden 2/12; Norris Cole 3/10; Alex Tyus 3/7; Michael Roll 1/5; Deshaun Thomas 3/9. That’s not good… When Cole, Roll, Jackson & Thomas aren’t hitting, there’s no chance Maccabi’s going to take the win.
Head Coach Neven Spahija didn’t mince words after the game and spoke, about Maccabis poor play overall on the night, “We didn’t play good basketball and missed almost all shots in the first half, even free throws, and if you want to win at this level, you have to make some of them, take shots with confidence. We put a good effort in the second half, but the game was finished in the first half. This is not the way we want to play and the biggest problem for me tonight was 5 fouls made in the first half. That is not the way we want to play basketball. This team can win and lose, but we want to play with all of our effort, dignity and fight for the position in the team, to be a team. We didn’t lose like as a team and that is my biggest problem, bigger than the 22-point difference.”