“We looked like we weren’t ready for this step” Holon’s plan gone awry, fans & midrange shooting


Holon was flat, plain and simple as Karsiyaka held them to only 63 points with only seven 3-pointers for a team that usually has a high octane offense and one that relies heavily on the 3 ball. However, this was just not Holon’s night as they shot on 24% from downtown with Maxim De Zeeuw going a miserable 1/8, while Tyrus McGee and Isaiah Miles each were stymied going 0/4. Ufuk Sarıca’s team came into the game knowing exactly what Stefanos Dedas’s squad could offer and he shut them down, plain and simple. Sarica began the game with captain Semih Erden working on the inside but the big man, whom The Sports Rabbi interviewed ahead of the game, was unable to take advantage of his height and was subbed off midway through the first quarter as his team was stills scoreless. Sarica, the former Turkey National Team coach, made his swift adjustments to his game plan and began to match Holon play for play on the court and that was that. Was Holon’s tough game from them field due to them missing shots or the tough defense? Coach Dedas felt it was both, “It was a combination of their defense and shooting execution.” Tyrus McGee also felt that the team could have done a better job, “They outplayed us and we didn’t stick to the the game plan.”

Stefanos Dedas & Ufuk Sarıca – Photo Credit: FIBA


Despite holding Karsiyaka to just 8 points in the first quarter, they gave up 27 in they 3rd quarter to give the visitors a 54-50 lead which they would hold on to until the end of the game. Sarica’s team used all four players who ended the game in double digits to break open the game as they began the frame playing run and gun shootout type of game. The end to end play surprised Holon after a slow first half as they weren’t able to find a way to slow them down. “We conceded 8 points in the first and then 27 in the 3rd quarter,” said Dedas. “Some moments we looked like we weren’t ready for this step. The third quarter difference is really bothering me. I believe we will play better offense the next game at Turkey.” McGee also spoke about how Holon came out of halftime, “I think we started the game off right but we were a bit static before the half and then at the start of the third quarter.”

Holon fans – Photo Credit: FIBA


The fans were back in action at Holon making tons of noise as they descended on their home arena for the first time in over a year. The fans sang their hearts out and cheered their heroes on, but unfortunately, they came up on the losing end. While it was great to have the supporters back, the change in atmosphere had an effect on the team’s play explained Dedas, “We have to adjust to the new environment with fans. For sure it had an effect and there was pressure from the fans but we expected it. You can see we forced some drives in the traffic. We need to use the fans on the defensive end.”

Chris Johnson – Photo Credit: FIBA


How critical was the loss for Holon in their pursuit of advancing to the Final 8? Coach Dedas had this to say, “They are the best team along with Burgos in the tournament as two of their Americans cost more than all of our players, there is a lot of pressure there. They are better than Fenerbahce in the Turkish league. However, we lost the right game if we were going to lose a home game. If we beat Brindisi at home we will be in the Final 8. It’s not tragic that we lost today. I prefer to lose this game as logistically there are more important games.”

Raymar Morgan – Photo Credit: FIBA


A word has to be aside about Raymar Morgan. 24 points on 12/16 shooting; all from 2-point range. 0/0 from beyond the arc and 0/1 from the line. Many experts have said that the midrange shot is a dinosaur and is dead as a doornail, however, Morgan proved that to be wrong. Shot after shot from the midrange did Holon in. Sure, Sek Henry made a pair of critical triples, but Morgan put the mark on the game. Many analytic experts look at the 2-point shot as being inefficient and in some cases a total waste when you can hit from 3, but this is just not true. Damage can be done form inside the arc especially when you score the way Morgan did. Michael Jordan made a living from the midrange, Russell Westbrook won an MVP from midrange, there’s nothing wrong with midrange. Period.

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