Silent Assassin: Erick Green and Holon see off Galatasaray – “The goal is to win it all”

Oct 27, 2022 | Holyland Hoops

Erick Green is a silent assassin.

That would be the best way to describe him said one of the most veteran journalists in the business Yitzhak Wisoff as we sat at the Holon Arena and marveled at Green’s ability to rise to the occasion and just stick it to the opponent which in this case was Galatasaray. When all was said and done Holon was able to take the 82-73 victory and move to the top of the Basketball Champions League group with a perfect 3-0 record.

Holon came out slow and sluggish as nothing seemed to work out of the gate for Guy Goodes’s squad. Having scored only 12 points in the first quarter, fans started getting edgy that this would be a repeat performance of the brutal home defeat to Bnei Herzliya earlier in the week.

Joe Ragland – Photo Credit: FIBA

Joe Ragland took control of the game for Holon with a quick pair of triples and provided the offense early on but it was Green who made sure to take over after that and make his contribution. As the second quarter continued on, the 31-year old guard started to find the bottom of the basket in a frame that saw Holon score 29 points to get the offense going while holding the Turkish club to 17 points in the period.

“Intensity and we had to pick it up,” Green who scored 22 points and grabbed 6 rebounds said following the game. “Joe got off to a hot start and he’s the leader of our team and then we all got going after that. At the end of the day, defense is the key once we play defense the can get rolling on offense and that’s what we did.”

Ragland and Green seem to fit like a glove in the Holon backcourt as the Inglewood, California native seems to be playing some superb ball.

Ragland is the engine that makes Holon run. Putting aside the points that he provides, he is a master passer at the highest level who hones his craft every second of the day. The point guard dished off a terrific pass to Hayden Dalton that the forward drained for a 3-pointer just as the halftime buzzer sounded and he also drove into the paint to send Chris Johnson a perfect ball into the corner that the captain drilled home to create some separation when the score was 64-61 in the third quarter.

Erick Green – Photo Credit: FIBA

Green will just take the rock and go to the hoop or put up that killer shot to finish off an opponent which he did late in the game to seal the deal.

“It’s unbelievable, he’s so unselfish,” Green who is on a short term contract with the club due to the injury to CJ Harris, said of Ragland. “In the second half he found his teammates and he controls the game. I love playing with him and I hope we can play together all year.”

“We’re the best backcourt in the league hands downs,” Green continued to preach. “We’re the best 1-2 punch and we are going to keep showing it every single night and we’re on a mission to keep proving that. Whoever got us, it’s going to be a heck of a night.”

Erick Green and Joe Ragland – Photo Credit: FIBA

Green who has played for a wide variety of teams throughout his career including the Denver Nuggets, Olympiacos and Valencia joined Holon a bit late but he feels just fine as he has been able to adapt and easily integrate into the team.

“I feel good. I have to give credit to my teammates and coaches. From day one they have welcomed me with open arms in here. They let me be myself and guys on the team are so unselfish. They told me, be you and that is key for me. Coach said the same thing, we brought you here to be you and to bring offensive talent to this team.”

“For me it’s being comfortable and when you’re comfortable you are going to play your game and be good. The team shares the ball so well. It’s awesome to play with this team and everybody is so unselfish, we don’t care who scores all we care about is who’s winning.”

Goodes is well aware as to what Green can offer his team, “From day one we knew that Erick was a smart player and with that and he knew how to adjust and that gave us certain options as he combines with Joe on the floor. Joe and Erick are like Joe was with Tyrus McGee last season.”

Tyrus McGee – Photo Credit: Dov Halickman

It’s funny how Goodes brought up McGee who is a free agent after having left his Chinese team. When Goodes came into the press conference room following the game he was asked which player would be coming to speak as well and he jokingly said McGee, but that ship seems to have sailed. However, in sports you can never say never.

Not only did Green play a factor in the victory but also the combination of the club’s three big men, Marvin Jones, Hayden Dalton and Kenneth who arguably had his best performance since joining the team. Despite allowing Galatasaray to take 20 offensive rebounds, their contribution was noted with some important buckets as well.

“I was very happy with the lineup of two bigs that gave us the opportunity to be aggressive on the ball,” Goodes noted. “I’m happy Kenny was able to contribute and get back into the rhythm.”

Marvin Jones – Photo Credit: FIBA

Green agreed with his coach as to the trio’s importance, “Big game from Kenny Kadji, Marvin controlled the boards, Hayden stepped up, we can keep going. Freddy hit big shots it’s a team effort and every game you get to see guys stepping up and winning games.”

“He’s (Kadji) a big body, rebounds, he can score in the block and he’s got a nice midrange shot. Overall we need Kenny and I am glad he showed up big tonight and he’s going to continue to do that all year.”

With Holon at 3-0 right now in European play they will need to find a way to translate that to the Israeli league where they are 2-1 with a date at Maccabi Tel Aviv on Sunday night.

But Goodes knows that playing in the two competitions isn’t all that simple. Finding a way to finish in first in the BCL and thereby earning a bye and not have to subject themselves to the Round of 16 Play-In competition is key. That is the same Round of 16 Play-In that almost saw Holon sent packing until Goodes came swooping in to save the say against Besiktas.

Erick Green – Photo Credit: FIBA

“We have a national team break and after that we will face Galatasaray in Turkey and it will be head to head for the top of group,” Goodes explained. “But there are other teams that are in the mix and it’s very important to finish with Israeli league wins ahead of the break. We have a lot of work to do as well as in the league and we want to be as high as we can in the standings.”

“The two leagues are totally different and the BCL is more aggressive plus we can have five imports on the floor. We want to see how we can grow as a team and how we can get some of the players who aren’t playing in the BCL integrated more in the Israeli league. We have a lot to do to make sure everyone is comfortable. There are some players who are satisfied more and some that are satisfied less. But we have to work on that as time goes on.”

With Green in tow, Holon will always have a reliable scorer, a player that will give it his all and a silent assassin to finish games off, “The goal is to win it all. We got to get to the Final Four again, but we got to take it one game at a time. We are not going to look ahead but we have big expectations for ourselves and we’re going to get it done.”

If Holon follows Green’s lead there seems to be no reason to doubt him.

Erick Green – Photo Credit: FIBA

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