Road woes and missing parts: Slow starts, no intensity & lack of aggressiveness does Katash’s Maccabi Tel Aviv in

Nov 3, 2022 | Holyland Hoops

There is no question that there are nights like the one Maccabi Tel Aviv had to endure at Baskonia as they were scorched 116-87 in Vitoria in a lopsided contest that the Yellow & Blue will want to out behind them very, very quickly.

Nothing went right for the most part for Oded Katash’s squad from the rebounds, assists, free throws, nothing fell in Maccabi’s favor by of course that was a by product of their very poor play and yet another brutal start to the game. There was no defense of any description to be found.

It wasn’t the first time that the Yellow & Blue came out of the lockerroom and weren’t able to match the aggressiveness and intensity of the opponent. At home if that happens it can usually be corrected, however, on the road with the opposing team’s fans ready to cause havoc and create chaos it’s very hard to get back into the game once you’re down and down big.

If it’s 10 make it 20, if it’s 20 make it 30 was the old adage that Maccabi chairman Shimon Mizrachi once said about what to do in a Derby, but in this case that is what happened to his own club as they were down by 15 points after the first quarter and it was game, set, match.

Oded Katash – Photo Credit: Dov Halickman

“This was very unpleasant,” Oded Katash began. “We knew that we would play against a team that was going to run a shoot and that they were dangerous. We weren’t there from the first moment and this is not the first time it happened to us, we weren’t aggressive enough at the start of games. This is something that we need to remember going forward.”

Shoot they did to the tune of 15/33 from deep and 38/36 from inside the arc. Those percentages are never going to see you win a game and Maccabi knew full well exactly what Baskonia’s game plan was. It was no surprise that they would come out bombs away from downtown as they lead the league in that category.

Bonzie Colson had similar thoughts to his coach, “This was a big learning experience for us especially having to come out stronger and we have to do a better job of that. We have to be more physical and aggressive and stick to the game plan more.”

Bonzie Colson – Photo Credit: Dov Halickman

Maccabi was a step or two slow at both ends of the floor as it looked like they had forgotten their defense back in Tel Aviv. But that wasn’t the only issue for the Yellow & Blue as they fell behind in every statical category as they were on the receiving end of a good old fashioned whipping.

Big man Josh Nebo said, “We have to be better with attention to detail, pay attention to the small details of the game. We have to start the game we a better effort and we came out flat. We have to make a better effort.”

Josh Nebo – Photo Credit: Roi Kfir

Maccabi allowed Baskonia to do as they pleased whether they went waltzing through the paint or whether it was from outside of the arc as Katash’s crew forgot that they needed to get a body on the opposing players or play some sort of defense. It was a pathetic display that the team will certainly not want to repeat at any cost.

“We knew who we were playing and we were expecting a high tempo game with a lot of 3 pointers,” Katash said. “We were not there from the first minute. It was not a nice experience for me and the players, we have a new team and we can learn from this. This was embarrassing and we have to remember this and take a different approach when we play away.”

Colson reiterated using this loss as an education point and a lesson for the long season ahead, “It was a great test for us, a reality check and a great learning experience for us. We got to move on, watch film and figure out what we can do better.”

Maccabi can do plenty better according to the stats sheet after having been served a massive lesson on the basketball court.

Photo credit: Euroleague

Baskonia who were 3-2 going into the contest had lost two straight but Pennaroya knew how to take full advantage of the perceived weaknesses he had found in Maccabi’s game.

“Maccabi is an excellent team, very talented,” Marcus Howard said. “I mean, all their players are extremely talented and they are a loaded team, so we have to come out ready on the defensive end and how they attack the offensive glass, we had to be ready to get defensive rebounds, so we were able to do that tonight and I think that is why we won.”

Baskonia knew how to expose Maccabi’s weaknesses and expose them well as they kept scoring and scoring and scoring. Katash did however reveal what he felt was missing on the floor, “We are missing some nastiness and we have to put aside some of the niceties that we have in the lockerroom. Everyone feels this loss and not just me. Just like with the wins this is something we need to take from for later on.”

Photo credit: Euroleague

Maccabi needs a bad guy. A cop. An enforcer. Someone who can just lay it all-out on the line for his teammates in the time of need. Hard foul, physical play, aggressiveness is what Katash would like to see and it’s definitely something that is missing.

“We aren’t there yet,” Katash commented. “As for the two road games, we weren’t good. We had a game plan and there are things that we have to work on. The players need to learn from this that if you are not ready for that tempo, they will be able to take offensive rebounds from their shots. We had bad defense and we are not aggressive. With the style that they play this is the result.”

There is no question that Katash was very perturbed after the game and that his patience was being tested but it clearly is the case that he needs a player to be the bad guy. Someone who can lay down the law and a player that can mix it up.

Photo credit: Euroleague

As they say, tomorrow is a new day and Maccabi will now ready for a trip down south to Eilat for a Sunday night date while they will also play Barcelona next Thursday at home.

There is no time to rest, but there is time to learn a lesson or two.

That’s what Katash hopes will be the result, learn a lesson from these experiences and take it with you as the season moves on no matter what the situation is.

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