Kidd Debut, 3’s Are Wild, Work In Progress – Jerusalem downs Nahariya 87-80 in tough battle up north: Analysis, Highlights, Recap & More

Hapoel Jerusalem got by Nahariya 87-80 up north in an entertaining game that saw Stanton Kidd’s debut for the Reds while the hosts were without the suspended Joe Alexander. Shai Segalovich’s squad played the visitors tight throughout the 40 minutes as Michael Young, Jaron Blossomgame and Malik Newman paced the northerners. But Tamir Blatt with a pair of late triples and solid scoring from J’Covan Brown, Adam Ariel and Kidd made the difference for Dainius Adomaitis’s team in the win.

Brown led Jerusalem with 17 points, Ariel added 14 points going 4/5 from deep, Kidd poured in 13 points and Blatt notched a double-double with 10 points and 10 assists. Young scored 25 points and Blossomgame chipped in with 19 points in the loss.

Malik Newman – Photo Credit: Basket.co.il

Hapoel Jerusalem came out flying in the first quarter to take a 11-2 lead as Malcolm Hill and Tamir Blatt led the charge, but Nahariya with points by Michael Young and Malik Newman brought the hosts all the way back to tie the game up at 18-18 after ten minutes of play. Tashawn Thomas, J’Covan Brown and Suleiman Braimoh helped the Reds who were wearing their black uniforms go on a 10-0 run to go out in front 39-31 but Or Leumi and Jaron Blossomgame kept Nahariya close down 39-34 at halftime.

Adam Ariel – Photo Credit: Basket.co.il

Shai Segalovich’s squad looked to keep pace with Jerusalem as Young and Newman did the damage for the northerners but Adam Ariel with a trio of triples put Dainius Adomatis’s team up by 8-points, 63-55 after thirty minutes of action. Blossomgame looked to cut the Jerusalem lead as Young, Newman and Gal Galinski all scored to pull to within 1-point, 72-71, but a pair of 3-pointers by Blatt and one by Stanton Kidd handed Jerusalem the 87-80 win.

J’Covan Brown – Photo Credit: Basket.co.il

WORK IN PROGRESS

Jerusalem had a super tough time putting the last place team away on the road as Nahariya gave them everything they could handle despite playing without star forward and former NBA lottery pick Joe Alexander after he was suspended by the team for behavior detrimental to the club. However, with as short roster, Shai Segalovich’s team fought as hard as they could and almost recorded the upset which would have upset Reds coach Dainius Adomaitis as its clear his team still has plenty of issues to work out on the court with the main problem being their defensive end of the game. “I don’t like to play teams that make changes or have an issue right before the game as they immediately have a reaction and guys step up and make big shots. We needed to get to the glass which we did but our biggest problem was our individual defense. That is what we need to fix.” As for Segalovich, he wants to keep looking ahead and not dwell on the past, “A loss is a loss, but I told the players that the way we played and the desire to win is what we need to continue. One of the things we decided over the last few days is not to focus on what happened in the past but what is ahead of us.”

Stanton Kidd – Photo Credit: Basket.co.il

KIDD DEBUT

Stanton Kidd made his Hapoel Jerusalem debut and it was definitely a successful one as the newcomer didn’t look out of place in 25 minutes as he scored 13 points and grabbed 5 boards in the win. The forward who joined the team in February from Ormanspor went 3/7 from long distance and picked up some of the offensive and defensive slack. Kidd has played in both the NBA as well as the Euroleague and won the EuroCup title with David Blatt at Darussafaka. He brings plenty of experience as he comes in to replace Jamil Wilson who moved to Maccabi Rishon Le’Zion. “Kidd was solid player and he played in the situation,” said Adomaitis. “He is healthy and in good shape and he is giving us things that we need.”

Photo Credit: Hapoel Jerusalem

3’S ARE WILD

Adam Ariel and Tamir Blatt both provide Jerusalem with potent scoring from the outside as each can hit their shots from deep. In fact, the Reds took 38 3-point shots, three more than from two-point range. Now that’s a lot from downtown. If their long distance shooting isn’t on, Jerusalem will have trouble wining the game and pulling away from their opposition and that was the case against Nahariya going 14/38 good for 36.8%. Adomaitis will need to see that number move up in order for the club to win games against the league’s better teams especially as they rely on that part of their game so much. Ariel spoke about his shooting and he team’s pay as they work on improving their game, “I feel good with my shot and I am happy we came out of here with a win because we still have to improve which we will game by game. It was hard to practice during the break as we didn’t have a full squad and we have to play better basketball, that is no secret and we have to improve.” As for the dramatic losses the team incurred in Europe and the State Cup, Ariel admitted that the team is still trying to get over them, “There is still something hanging around with us due to all of the changes that have occurred. We have to put it behind us and look at the future we have a lot to work on.”

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