Killer B’s: Dynamic Duo of Brown & Baldwin are no Muppets as Maccabi keeps rolling

Oct 28, 2022 | Holyland Hoops

“We have a great dynamic duo. They are unselfish and that’s very important for us. Moving the ball, shooting it and they are leaders as well who love to have the ball in their hands and make the right decisions with it” Bonzie Colson to The Sports Rabbi about Brown & Baldwin

The Dynamic Duo. Bartles & Jaymes. Bonnie & Clyde. Bonds & Bonilla. Batman & Robin. Beeker & Bunson. Stadler & Waldorf. Hold on, where did Beeker & Bunson and Stadler & Waldorf come from? Oh well, that’s what happens when you think of some of the well known duos and you’re a fan of the Muppet Show.

But one thing for sure is that Brown and Baldwin are no Muppets. They are the Killer B’s.

Lorenzo Brown and Wade Baldwin – Photo Credit: Dov Halickman

Lorenzo Brown and Wade Baldwin are possibly the best 1-2 punch that Maccabi Tel Aviv has had in quite some time. In fact, a very long time. When you have a pair of guards that are just dominant in every facet of the game, that is simply what you get. The best of the best.

The pair know how to score and they did that to the tune of 36 points.

The pair know how to dish out assists with a combined 15 helpers.

And the pair also know how to rebound as they grabbed 11 boards to help the Yellow & Blue take a 85-74 win over Panathinaikos at Yad Eliyahu in Tel Aviv.

More about Maccabi’s win over Panathinaikos

The Good, The Bad, The Ugly: From the charity stripe to technical fouls – Maccabi downs Panathinaikos

LISTEN: Maccabi keeps winning, Israeli hoopsters, continental action and Gal Mekel’s retirement all on Episode #340

Photo Credit: Dov Halickman

The victory moved Maccabi’s record to a stellar 4-1 at the start of the Euroleague campaign that still has another 29 regular season games, so don’t get too excited just yet. There are plenty of more continental contests coming up but most importantly so far Oded Katash’s crew has held serve at home and have won all four clashes in Israel which is always key to a successful campaign.

As each game goes by, Maccabi is jelling more and more as the players keep feeling each other out on the court. They are finding out just exactly where everyone likes to get the ball, where a defensive rebound can be outleted for a fact break and transition basket and when an unexpected double team can cause a turnover or two.

All of that was on display over the course of four quarters in the victory and in fact, this was the first time Maccabi won all four frames in a Euroleague game this season.

“Sticking together was the key,” Brown told The Sports Rabbi following the game. “Being on our feet together, that was the most important part. We are learning each other off and on the court. I’m happy it’s paying off.”

Austin Hollins – Photo Credit: Dov Halickman

Veteran swingman Austin Hollins echoed Brown’s thoughts and also brought up the point as to how the roster was constructed, “The goal of the coaching staff was to bring in good character guys and that is what they did. As you go, you learn each game and get better.”

Bonzie Colson also spoke about how the team is coming together as a unit, “I was talking to D-Hill (Darrun Hilliard) about how we are looking out there and that we are building the chemistry and learning more both on and off the court.”

Maccabi ran and scored some terrific buckets off the break, they knew how to thread the perfect pass to the big men and there were some also some fantastic double teams down in the paint that caused the Greeks all kinds of issues. Brown and Baldwin led the way in all of that, plus boy can they score.

Wade Baldwin – Photo Credit: Dov Halickman

“It’s easy to find my teammates when they are fast,” an upbeat Baldwin said to The Sports Rabbi. “We want to put emphasis on the open court plays, run and have some fun, let’s get people to enjoy some highlights plays for everyone to see.”

Katash also discussed the need to get going on the transition, “We want to run and we really did it well in the first half as well as the second half. We have to run even when we give up a basket. It’s still not in our DNA yet but that’s what we want to do.”

Baldwin controlled the opening ten minutes with his superb passing, Brown picked up the offensive pace in the second period to the tune of 14 points which he didn’t even realize had happened when asked in the lockerroom. Add Bonzie Colson to the mix with 8 third quarter points and Brown putting the exclamation mark on the win with a triple right before the final buzzer.

“You know it is what it is and it was one of the moments, hopefully we can do it every quarter,” Brown commented to The Sports Rabbi about his phenomenal 14 point second period.

Bonzie Colson – Photo Credit: Dov Halickman

Colson, who was held scoreless over the first half of the game also told The Sports Rabbi about how he was able to make a significant contribution out of the halftime break, “Yeah with me it’s always staying ready and confident and when the time is be ready to shoot attack and play with high energy.”

Everything is going exactly to plan for Katash and right now he’s looking like the Wizard of Oz more than Kermit the Frog on the Muppet Show. Everything he does seems to work and credit also has to go to his quiet assistant Josep Maria Berrocal. The Catalan coach just seems to provide exactly what an experienced Katash needs, someone to keep the Israeli in the game and know when to make the right substitutes as well as when to take a break and call a timeout. As the season progresses, Berrocal’s contribution will be much more evident after having worked with some of the greats whether it was Pesic, Ivanovic, Pascual or Bartzokas.

Confidence is building and that is clear as day right now as the players just seem to be developing that sixth sense which is so necessary for a team to reach its peak as the season goes on.

As the team continues to develop it’s clear that Brown and Baldwin are becoming the catalysts on the floor and they are also doing that whether they are playing alone of if they are playing together.

Lorenzo Brown and Wade Baldwin – Photo Credit: Dov Halickman

But while Katash as a former point guard himself is thrilled to see things coming together he also wanted to remain cautious and not be to over enthusiastic about the play of Brown and Baldwin, “I think they are both good at the game, they know what they are doing and are learning each other. I am happy about one thing, that they respect and appreciate each other and really like playing together. Sometimes I think that over congratulating is not good, but I am happy for them and they understand they need to be at their best. I am very satisfied with them.”

While Maccabi ended the month of October at 4-1, they have a big month ahead with 9 games and a 10th if you tack on Israeli Champs Hapoel Holon coming to town on Sunday. Road games at Baskonia plus the two Serbian teams Partizan Belgrade and Red Star along with home tilts against Barcelona, Olympiakos, Hapoel Tel Aviv and Hapoel Jerusalem will mean that Katash will haver to expand his rotation and use players who have not gotten many minutes whether its Jake Cohen or Iftach Ziv. The Maccabi bench boss will have no choice because there are going to be a lot of pressure, intensity and tough games ahead without a doubt.

“There’s no question that this upcoming moth of November will be a much more challenging. From what I have learned we will see how it goes each game by game and month by month, but I’m happy with the results so far and understand what we need to do going forward.”

Wade Baldwin – Photo Credit: Dov Halickman

At the end of the day, Maccabi is heading in the right direction and who’ll be very content that things are coming together as well as they are as Baldwin may have put it best, “Guys made plays and everyone contributed. Everybody is settling into their roles and we are controlling the home court. The fans deserve it and they help us win games as we have won four straight here.”

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