Baselines – Maccabi Tel Aviv Shabbat Shalom Rundown: Likes & Dislikes, Quotes, Favorite Photo, On Deck

Each week just as we head into Shabbat, The Sports Rabbi will bring you his finals thoughts on Maccabi Tel Aviv’s Euroleague performance wrapping up the Yellow & Blue’s game with a nice bow plus you can check out all of the other postgame articles below as well.

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I’m not worried about Maccabi – Really I’m not. Yes, once again the Yellow & Blue had to rely on Scottie Wilbekin to provide the firepower when they needed it most and while their seemed to be a power outage from ta he rest of the squad down the stretch, that will change with time. It takes time for a relatively new team to feel each other out and get the hang of each other and understand where one will be on they court and what one can do. Take a look at how many minutes John Dibartolomeo played against Bayern (22:09) as well as in the preseason.

Scottie Wilbekin – Photo Credit: Dov Halickman

Coach Ioannis Sfairopoulos trusts him, he knows the plays and know the nuances at Yad Eliyahu and playing with Wilbekin. How about Angelo Caloiaro playing close to 27 minutes and starting the game? These are the guys Sfairopoulos knows he can go to war with as he will with Nunnally, Reynolds and the rest of tiger crew but it will take time to get some of the newcomers into the swing of things. As I wrote in an earlier, a win is a win and by hook or by crook that’s what they had to do and they did exactly that with Red Star coming up just ahead of a trip to Milano and ASVEL.

Likes + Dislikes

  • I liked the 3-guard play that we saw during the preseason and early on against Bayern Munich. However, once Andrea Trincheiri started to play a switching defense that went out the window as the guards were closed out by taller and bigger players which means that that Maccabi will need to work on this aspect of their game just as Sfairopoulos said during the post game presser.
  • I liked Sfairopoulos having confidence in Iftach Ziv by putting out the Euroleague rookie on the floor in place of Scottie Wilbekin with 29 seconds left for his defensive prowess. That’s a pretty big vote of confidence for the Israeli guard who has looked like a natural thus far in a Maccabi Tel Aviv uniform.
  • I liked that Roman Sorkin was also given a ton of credit and started the game, looked like he belonged in the Euroleague and played solidly in the 13+ minutes he saw on the floor.
  • I liked listening to Andrea Trinchieri who is so entertaining when he speaks I was sitting on the edge of my seat hanging onto every word the bench boss had to say. I wouldn’t be surprised one bit if one day if things fall out right that the Italian maestro will be coaching Maccabi Tel Aviv.
  • I liked a sold out packed Yad Eliyahu and I am sure the players and Maccabi brass liked that as well. It was great to have the fans back in the saddle and play a factor in the win bringing life back to a dead arena.
  • I disliked how Derrick Williams played in his first couple of minutes as he was all over the place, missing shots, flubbing up the ball and looking lost on the court. However, I did like how he played down the stretch defensively and played some huge minutes in crunch time using his experience, quality and skill to help Maccabi win the game.
  • I disliked that Jake Cohen never saw the floor. I’m sure there were a few minutes that Coach Sfairopoulos could have played him throughout the 200 minutes he had to divvy up amongst the squad. There were times when the momentum had to change and Cohen could have heeled with that.
  • I disliked like that Angelo Caloiaro doesn’t make significant contributions on the offensive side of the game and finished with just 2 points in over 26 minutes. When a player puts in that amount of time on the court you’ve got to find more than one bucket.

Derrick Williams – Photo Credit: Dov Halickman


“At first I was exhausted, I was tired the first 2-3 minutes. I was excited to see fans so the adrenaline was kicking. I calmed down in the second half and pride myself on energy and effort. That’s what I’ll bring every game. That’s the least I can do especially when we have 12,000 fans” – Derrick Williams

“Scottie showed that he’s our leader” – Ioannis Sfairopoulos

“John DiBartolomeo played like Klay Thompson and the ball was dropping everywhere” – Andrea Trinchieri

“Winston Churchill said, ‘If you are going through hell, keep going’. I tried to help my players tactically but they had to walk through hell” – Trinchieri on playing at Yad Eliyahu

Dov Halickman’s Favorite Photo

“Poetry in Motion” – Scottie Wilbekin – Photo Credit: Dov Halickman

On Deck

Maccabi now readies for Red Star Belgrade next Thursday night back in Tel Aviv as they will welcome in former Yellow & Blue guard Nate Wolters, center Main Zirbes and Jerusalem big man Luka Mitrovic.

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1 Comment

  1. Dave

    Good win. Scottie W. can play in the NBA and contribute today …

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