That’s the question. What’s wrong with Maccabi Tel Aviv? They’ve played poorly at best so far this season. There is absolutely no defensive effort. The players haven’t jelled the way management had hoped and Guy Goodes seems to be like a captain steering the Titanic right into an iceberg.
What went wrong after having such a wonderful preseason? Winning tournaments, playing good basketball and looking like a contender rather than worse than a pretender?
Simple. Preseason tournaments are just that. Preseason. It gave everyone from management to the professional staff a false sense of security going into the year.
Did Maccabi have problems that were glossed over by the Winner Tournament victory? Certainly. You don’t forget how to play defense in a few short weeks.
Was the trip to the US a mistake? Nope. Not this time around. They played a Euroleague club and not an NBA team that would’ve trounced them and would have been a waste of time and energy.
If anything the trip should have given Maccabi a wake up call after the second game against Milano in which they lost. They were exposed. Goodes knew it, but the players? I’m not so sure that they did.
With players like former NBA guard Jordan Farmar, Tyler Rochestie and Trevor Mbakwe offense is certainly not going to be a problem but in the defensive end? Well… Add to that mix Brazlian Center Vitor Faverani who still hasn’t seen the court or even Israeli Dagan Yivzori, one has to question what Goodes’s game plan is. Does anyone know?
After two Euroleague games and an important match against title holders Hapoel Jerusalem, Maccabi was taken to task, schooled and tattooed especially showing major holes in their defense the size of the Grand Canyon.
The players didn’t go back on defense. They didn’t pressure the other teams in CSKA Moscow and Malaga. They didn’t get out on their shooters and defensive responsibilities fast enough. All in all Maccabi now has to dig out of an 0:2 Euroleague hole with 8 games to go.
They face Sassari from Italy this coming Thursday night. We all thought that the game against Hapoel Jerusalem was the Goodes last stand, but apparently it wasn’t. However as poorly as Goodes has this team prepared, are they even capable of playing the defense that is expected and required to be a contending Euroleague team with anyone else manning the sidelines.
That’s a question that remains to be answered. Hopefully they can and we can see them get on the right track on Thursday night. Should they not, there will be many changes in the days to come, but most importantly a fan base that will be pretty upset with the product they are paying to see compete on a day in and day out basis.
If Maccabi can’t make it out of the first Euroleague round a major shakeup will need to take place. Quickly and swiftly in order to keep up with, dare I say the defending champions Hapoel Jerusalem.