Lots of Ugly: Maccabi remains winless on the road, record sinks to below .500 after loss to Bayern – The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

Dec 3, 2022 | Holyland Hoops

Maccabi Tel Aviv lost its second consecutive road game against a sub-.500 team – and itself went under .500 for the first time this season – in its round 11 Euroleague loss against Bayern Munich, going down 98-89 in Germany.
Cassius Winston (23 points and 3 assists), Elias Harris (14 points and 3 rebounds) and Isaac Bonga (12 points and 9 rebounds) led the way for the home side, while Lorenzo Brown (26 points, 3 rebounds and 7 assists) and Jalen Adams (21 points and 5 rebounds) were the only players in double digits for the visitors.
Here are my thoughts from the game.

Lorenzo Brown – Photo Credit: Maccabi Tel Aviv

The Good: Brown and Adams scoring
Maccabi did not seem to miss injured star Wade Baldwin IV in last night’s game on offense, with starting guards Brown and Adams combining for 57 points in a combined 58:32 of play. Brown scored a career-high 36 points in 33:29, going 11/14 from 2, 1/2 from 3 and 11/12 from the free throw line, with a season high performance index rating (PIR) of 43. Adams – who had three scoreless games coming into the game in Munich – made the most of his opportunity starting, himself scoring 3/4 from 2, 3/5 from 3 and 6/8 from the free throw line, for the best game of his short Euroleague career with a 21 PIR.

Jalen Adams – Photo Credit: Euroleague

This was an especially important game for Adams, who is now in the back half of his 3-month contract. He will hope that he can take the positives from this game going forward.

Cassius Winston – Photo Credit: Euroleague

The Bad: Defense
Maccabi went into this game scoring an average of close to 82 points per game, against a Bayern side that was scoring on average 73.6 points a game and only scoring more than 80 points on two occasions (81-78 in a home win against Anadolu Efes and 81-83 in a home loss against Milan). Last night, Bayern bettered their season high by 17 points and their season average by more than 25 points. As a team, they scored at 50% from the field (21/42 from 2 and 11/22 from 3).

Not only that, but Bayern managed to get way too many second chances on offense, pulling down 14 offensive rebounds (a total of 34, compared to Maccabi’s total of 24 rebounds), which gave the home side plenty of opportunities to score.

Oded Katash – Photo Credit: Euroleague

“Another painful loss, you can say,” Maccabi coach Oded Katash summed up the game. “We were there for many minutes, we fought and we stayed with them, but to win away games, you have to do it with much better defense. I think it’s very clear that we lost the game defensively.”

“I think we played solid for the most part,” Alex Poythress (8 points, 2 blocks and 1 rebound) said after the game. “But a couple of defensive lapses, they capitalized, and we couldn’t capitalize when they had defensive lapses.”

Josh Nebo – Photo Credit: Euroleague

The Ugly: Lack of contribution across the board
While the scoring above in The Good was good, other than Brown and Adams, the rest of the team only contributed 32 points, which came from Poythress (whose 8 points came in 27:09), Bonzie Colson (7 points in 29:34), John DiBartolomeo (7 points in 13:04), Josh Nebo (6 points in 18:10) and Jarrell Martin (4 points in 20:37). With this, each of Roman Sorkin (started and played 11:35), Austin Hollins (played 12:50) and Rafi Menco (played 8:29) scored donuts and combined for 2 assists and 2 steals in their combined 32:52 of play last night.

Other than Brown, no player had more than 1 assist. Adams and Colson had 5 rebounds each – both had more than the combined efforts of Maccabi’s 3 big men, with Sorkin, Poythress and Nebo combining for a total of only 4 rebounds.
It was another disappointing night, and Katash will be looking for contributions from more players on a consistent basis if the team is going to bounce back from a frustrating few weeks.

Lorenzo Brown – Photo Credit: Euroleague

Up Next: On the road in Beer Sheva and home against Valencia
After last Sunday night’s disappointing 75-80 home loss to Hapoel Jerusalem, Maccabi now sit second on the Winner League table with 5 wins and 1 loss, albeit with a game in hand, as Hapoel Tel Aviv sit at the top of the standings with 6 wins and 1 loss. Maccabi will try to get back on the win column when they travel south to play against Hapoel Beer Sheva on Monday night at 19:00 (Israel) / 12:00 EST. Beer Sheva come into the game with back-to-back away wins in Winner League action, after a 77-75 win in Herzliya and a 79-70 win in Eilat plus a home victory in the Balkan League.

Then on Thursday night, Maccabi will return to Yad Eliyahu for a 21:05 (Israel) / 14:05 EST tip-off against Valencia. Both teams are sitting on 5 wins and 6 losses, but Valencia will be confident after pulling off a 100-96 away win against Partizan Belgrade on Thursday night.

When the season started, not many people would have looked at this week as an important week for the yellow and blue. However, after winning only 1 of 6 in the Euroleague since the beginning of November and suffering its first loss in Israeli play last week, Katash will be feeling the pressure – anything short of two wins this week may be too much for even the most faithful supporters to stand behind him.

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