The flagship of Junk Defense: 'Box and 1' & 'Diamond and 1'
Let's take a look at Xavi Pasqual's new weapon, the Box and One Defense which was used mainly against Baskonia. Can it be a hidden ace for the post season? I analysed his tacticts in http://www.hoopfellas.gr/en/ and i'm sharing my thoughts with you here, in Eurobasket.com.
Xavi Pascual prepared one of the so-called Junk Defenses (they contain a combination of Man to man and zone principles) to intercept Baskonia's offense, preventing them from finding rhythm and their expected flow that pushes them to automated plays, without thought, touching the basketball that Sito Alonso wants to show. In essence, the main goal behind this decision by Panathinaikos's coach was to give the opponent something they are not familiar with, forcing them to change their habits and readjust their offense. At first glance it seems simple and it is even more pleasing to the ear, but it requires great attention to detail to set it up, mainly in the part where you translate your players' characteristics in this context.
What was it then that we saw in Buesa Arena on Thursday night that was the catalyst to tilt the balance in Panathinaikos's favor?
A defense able to 'adjust' every time by changing its form, an ability that made it hard to read, slowing down the familiarization of the offense. The basis of the Greens' units and the pillars to build this structure are the magic words mobility and intensity.
Pascual chose 'Box and 1' (with Larkin-Shengelia in the court) and 'Diamond and 1' (mainly without them but with the very capable shooter Beaubois in Sito's line-up).
-He built 'Box and 1' by giving the 'Chaser' role to Calathes (deny to Larkin with the exceptions of when he went to the corners where Calathes handed him over to the respective low box bog man, Gist or Singleton), trusting that he had two very good rebounders in the back line of the 'box', with strong legs, who had the responsibility to defend the ball when it was openly in their corner. Both Pascual's Low Box players played (initial position) with one foot stepping inside the paint. The main mission of the other two players of the 'box' (High Box Defenders, namely Nichols-Feldein) is to stop the ball from entering the High Post and, at the same time, to have sufficient speed since sprinting is required to maintain a pass around -behind the arc- character during the opponent's offense.
-With Larkin holding the ball in the middle lane all 4 Box Defenders took their initial position inside the Box Format. In this case, this formation ensured great Help Defense, an important weapon against a very insightful and quick guard who easily slips through any possible hole.
-With the ball on the side, the Strong side big man of the Greens played 4/4 with Sito's post big guy, a position that at the same time ensured that he could immediately reach (if needed) the area of his responsibility if the ball got there.
-This defense helped Panathinaikos protect their basket and ensure the rebound advantage (having three 'box' players to the claim it every time one of them was on player that executed) even though its match up nature (the Greens followed the cuts of the asques to their rim and in certain Pick & Roll situations played one on one defense) led to rotations which in turn led to offensive rebounds for the hosts. Of course on the other side, this Match up nature was beneficial when Sito put Larkin in the corner in this Box-1 in order to create a 2-3 formation to play offense as if against a regular zone. This never happened
Against the Baskonia formation that threatened less aggressively the basket of the Greek team (Diop-Tillie instead of Voigtmann-Shengelia) inside the paint, but had firepower outside the arc (Beaubois), Xavi Pascual activate a 'Diamond and 1' defense with Feldein on Hanga at the wing and the other 4 lining up in the diamond-shaped formation, which helped the 'clover' to reach Alonso's snipers at the sides faster. I expected to see a type of Clock Offense response (we have talked about it in Hoopfellas during the season) from Sito but this didn't happen either..
Canterbury Rams (NBL) landed 25-year old American guard McKenzie Moore (198-86kg-92, college: UTEP, agency: Two Points). It is actually his comeback to Rams as he has played here before. Moore He played recently at Promitheas in Greek A2 league. In 26 games he averaged 11.0ppg, 5.3rpg, 2.5apg and 1.4spg this season. The last summer Moore played at Rams where in 13 NBL games he was fifth best scorer with impressive 22.4ppg and recorded 6.2rpg, 8.0apg (leader !!!) and 3.4spg (leader !!!). H... [read more]
Canterbury Rams (NBL) landed 25-year old American guard McKenzie Moore (198-86kg-92, college: UTEP, agency: Two Points). It is actually his comeback to Rams as he has played here before. Moore He played recently at Promitheas in Greek A2 league. In 26 games he averaged 11.0ppg, 5.3rpg, 2.5apg and 1.4spg this season. The last summer Moore played at Rams where in 13 NBL games he was fifth best scorer with impressive 22.4ppg and recorded 6.2rpg, 8.0apg (leader !!!) and 3.4spg (leader !!!). He helped them to win the regular season and make it to the semifinals. It was a very successful season in his career as he was awarded Australiabasket.com All-New Zealand NBL Player of the Year, Import Player of the Year and Guard of the Year. Moore has tried to make it to the NBA and played in the NBA Pro Summer League in 2016. He has played previously professionally in Belgium (Leuven Bears) and New Zealand (Giants). Moore attended Univ.of Texas at El Paso until 2014 and it is his third season in pro basketball.
A1 Round 3 of Play-Offs. AGOR overcome Kolossos to advance - 2 days ago
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AGOR - Kolossos HH 69-55 AGOR advanced into quarterfinal stage. They overcame Kolossos in the decider. The game was mostly controlled by AGOR. Kolossos HH managed to win second period 23-15. But it was not enough to take a lead and get a victory that evening. It was a good game for forward Haralampos Giannopoulos (200-89) who led his team to a victory with 20 points. American guard Walter Lemon-Jr (190-92, college: Bradley) contributed with 20 points (went 8 for 8 at the free throw line)... [read more]
AGOR advanced into quarterfinal stage. They overcame Kolossos in the decider. The game was mostly controlled by AGOR. Kolossos HH managed to win second period 23-15. But it was not enough to take a lead and get a victory that evening. It was a good game for forward Haralampos Giannopoulos (200-89) who led his team to a victory with 20 points. American guard Walter Lemon-Jr (190-92, college: Bradley) contributed with 20 points (went 8 for 8 at the free throw line) for the winners. Four AGOR players scored in double figures. The former international forward Panagiotis Vasilopoulos (202-84) answered with 15 points and American forward Juvonte Reddic (206-92, college: VCU) added 10 points in the effort for Kolossos HH. Both coaches used bench players which allowed the starters a little rest for the next games. Top scorers: AGOR: W.Lemon Jr. 20+1reb+2ast, H.Giannopoulos 20+4reb+1ast, R.Arnold 14+6reb+1ast, G.Talton 10+2reb+4ast, T.Fitzpatrick 3+14reb+1ast, G.Panaretakis 2 Kolossos HH: P.Vasilopoulos 15+4reb+3ast, J.Reddic 10+4reb, R.Ahonen 10+4reb, E.Watson 9+5reb, C.Saloustros 5+6reb+1ast, T.Releford 4+4reb+3ast
Giannis Antetokounmpo's 30 points make him top Greek player abroad of the week - 2 days ago
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We bring you last week's top performances from Greeks who are playing abroad and who all have had prior experience of national team duties at youth or senior level. This week's number one is an international swingman Giannis Antetokounmpo (211-94, agency: Octagon Europe). He could not help the Milwaukee Bucks (42-40) in their last game. Despite Antetokounmpo's very good performance the Milwaukee Bucks (42-40) were crushed 118-93 on the road by the Toronto Raptors.
We bring you last week's top performances from Greeks who are playing abroad and who all have had prior experience of national team duties at youth or senior level.
#1. This week's number one is an international swingman Giannis Antetokounmpo (211-94, agency: Octagon Europe, currently plays in NBA). He could not help the Milwaukee Bucks (42-40) in their last game. Despite Antetokounmpo's very good performance the Milwaukee Bucks (42-40) were crushed 118-93 on the road by the Toronto Raptors.
He was the top scorer with 30 points. Antetokounmpo also added 9 rebounds, passed 3 assists and added 3 blocks in 41 minutes on the court.
It's Antetokounmpo's fourth season with the team.
He has individually a very good year with high stats. Antetokounmpo averages: 22.9ppg, 8.8rpg, 5.4apg, 1.8bpg, 1.7spg, 2FGP: 56.2%(651-1159), 3FGP: 27.7% and FT: 75.8% in 85 games he played so far.
He has a dual citizenship: Greek and Nigerian.
Antetokounmpo is currently a member of the Greek senior national team.
#2. Second place goes to an international guard Konstantinos Sloukas (197-90, currently plays in Euroleague). He contributed to an easy victory against the closely-ranked Panathinaikos (19-11) 79-61 in the Euroleague last Tuesday.
Sloukas scored 6 points and added 4 assists.
Fenerbahce Istanbul (18-12) is placed fifth in the Euroleague.
They ended the series of three consecutive loses.
Sloukas' overall stats this season are: 9.5ppg, 2.1rpg, 4.6apg, 2FGP: 45.5%, 3FGP: 43.3% and FT: 88.1%.
He is in the roster of the Greek senior national team.
#3. The Greek player who performed third best last week abroad was former international power forward Ian Vougioukas (212-85, college: St.Louis, currently plays in VTB United League). Vougioukas led his Russian team Lokomotiv to a victory against the bottom-ranked Parma (1-23) 84-71 in the VTB United League on Wednesday night.
He scored 12 points, had 5 rebounds and dished 3 assists in a mere 19 minutes.
Lokomotiv Kuban (19-5) is placed fourth in group A.
It was his team's sixth consecutive victory in a row.
There are only three games left until the end of the VTB United League Regular Season. So now every game will be critical.
It's Vougioukas' first season with the team.
Vougioukas has relatively good stats this year: 10.1ppg, 4.1rpg, 1.6apg, 2FGP: 59.0%(85-144) and FT: 78.3% in 24 games.
Former Olympiacos S.F.P. Pireus starter played for the Greek national team three years ago.
#4. An experienced power forward Fotios Lampropoulos (206-83, currently plays in Argentina) was the major contributor in an Boca Juniors' victory against the ninth-ranked Atenas (18-30) 114-103 in the Argentinian LigaA in Tuesday night's game.
He recorded 27 points (!!!) and grabbed 7 rebounds.
Aerochaco Boca Juniors Capital Feder (17-33) is placed tenth in Sur group.
It was his team's third consecutive victory in a row.
There are only four games left until the end of the Regular Season. So now every game is very crucial.
This season Lampropoulos has very high stats. He averages: 16.5ppg, 8.8rpg and 1.8apg.
Lampropoulos used to play for the Greek U18 national team
back in 2003.
#5. Former international guard Dimitrios Katsivelis (196-91, currently plays in Kazakhstan) contributed to an easy victory against the league outsider Tobol crushing them 99-70 in the Kazakhstan National League last Friday.
He recorded 10 points and added 4 assists.
It was the game of the round between two top 4 ranked teams. BK Astana (16-0) is placed first in the National League.
So far his team won all sixteen games in the Semi-Finals.
Katsivelis' overall stats this season are: 9.9ppg, 4.6rpg, 6.4apg and 2.6spg.
He used to play for the Greek national team
four years ago.
#6. Small forward Stratos Perperoglou (203-84, currently plays in Spain) managed to help FC Barcelona Lassa in a victory against the closely-ranked Unicaja Malaga (18-10) 89-70 in the Spanish Liga Endesa on Sunday night.
Perperoglou scored only 2 points in 10 minutes.
FC Barcelona Lassa (19-9) is placed fifth in the Liga Endesa.
There are only four games left until the end of the Regular Season. So now every game will be important.
This year Perperoglou's overall stats are: 8.0ppg and 2.5rpg in 22 games.
He is an international player who is currently on the senior Greek National Team roster.
#7. Former U20 international swingman Anastasios Traianos (197-87, currently plays in United Kingdom) was not able to help Manchester Giants in their game against Bristol Acadamy Flyers (16-17) in the British BBL.
Traianos recorded only 4 points and grabbed 4 rebounds.
The bottom-ranked Manchester Giants was defeated 89-81 in Bristol by the higher-ranked Acadamy Flyers (#7).
The Regular Season already ended.
Traianos' total stats this season are: 5.4ppg and 2.8rpg.
He used to play for the Greek U20 national team
eleven years ago.
The list of other players, who all have Greek passport but never been selected to any of Greek national teams:
#1.Zach Auguste (208-C-93, agency: Pensack Sports, college: Notre Dame, currently plays in Turkey). He could not help Usak Sportlif (8-19) to beat Tofas (12-15).
Auguste scored 9 points and grabbed 5 rebounds in 20 minutes.
But Usak Sportlif lost 69-82 on the road to the higher-ranked (#9) Tofas.
There are only three games left until the end of the Regular Season. So now every game will be critical.
This year Auguste has relatively solid stats: 11.7ppg and 7.5rpg in 23 games he played so far.
He is a naturalized American.
Strangely Auguste has never played in Greece.
#2.Nikolaos Stylianou (198-F-88, college: W.Texas A&M, currently plays in Cyprus) led Keravnos to a 1-point victory against the closely-ranked AEK (16-4) 80-79 in the Cypriot Division A on Tuesday night.
He recorded 11 points.
It was the game of the round between two top 4 ranked teams. Keravnos Strovolou (14-1) is placed first in the Division A.
It was his team's tenth consecutive victory in a row.
This season Stylianou has relatively solid stats: 10.9ppg, 3.4rpg and 1.8apg.
He has a dual citizenship: Greek and Cypriot.
#3.Trian Iliadis (190-G-89, college: ODU, currently plays in Australia) led Wanneroo to a victory over the ninth-ranked Lightning (3-5) crushing them 98-78 in the Australian State League (second division) in Friday night's game.
Iliadis was MVP of the game. He scored 19 points in 24 minutes.
Joondalup City Wanneroo Wolves (5-1) are placed third in SBL group.
But this is still an early stage of the season and everything may happen.
Iliadis is one of the most experienced players in a team as it's his fourth year in Wanneroo's roster.
Iliadis has individually a very good season with high stats. He averages: 19.6ppg, 3.8rpg, 4.2apg and 2.6spg in five games.
Iliadis is another player who holds two passports: Greek and Australian.
Despite his Greek nationality, Iliadis previously played for the Australian university national team and is probably not eligible to play for the Greek team.
#4. Experienced Vassilis Kounas (194-G-84, currently plays in Cyprus) was not able to help one of league's weakest teams Apoel (11-9) in their last game on Tuesday. Despite Kounas' good performance Apoel was defeated 73-64 at home by the second-ranked AEK.
He was the second best scorer with 13 points. Kounas also added 5 rebounds.
Kounas is one of the most experienced players in a team as it's his fourth year in Apoel's roster.
His total stats this season are: 7.6ppg, 2.4rpg and 2.6apg.
Kounas has both Greek and Cypriot nationalities.
#5.Maximiliano Sole (198-F-88, agency: Duran International, currently plays in Spain) contributed to a Real Madrid II's victory against the seventh-ranked Villarrobledo (15-13) 79-71 in the Spanish EBA (fourth division) last Saturday.
He recorded 16 points and grabbed 6 rebounds in 38 minutes.
Real Madrid II (22-6) is placed first in Group B.
It was his team's fourth consecutive victory in a row.
There are only two games left until the end of the Regular Season.
This year Sole has relatively solid stats: 11.9ppg, 8.4rpg, 2.4apg and 1.6spg in 28 games.
He also holds two passports: Uruguayan and Greek.
#6.Patrick Calathes (207-F-85, college: St.Joseph's, currently plays in Italy) was not able to secure a victory for AV Cantu in their game against Vanoli Cremona in the Italian Serie A. Calathes cannot count Sunday's game as one of the best ones.
He recorded only 2 points.
His team was defeated 93-82.
Calathes' total stats this season are: 7.0ppg and 4.7rpg.
He is a naturalized American.
Calathes used to play for Costa Cafe Marousi in Greek league.
#7.Max Calligeros (197-F/C-92, currently plays in Australia) helped Sturt Sabres win their game against the leader North Adelaide Rockets 77-64 in the Australian State League (second division) in Saturday night's game.
He scored 8 points in 15 minutes.
This year Calligeros' total stats are: 4.8ppg and 2.3rpg in four games.
He has dual citizenship: Greek and Australian.
#8.Grant Fiorentinos (208-F/C-92, college: SIU Edwardsville, currently plays in New Zealand) couldn't help Hawks (1-6) in their last game on Tuesday. Despite Fiorentinos' good performance the bottom-ranked Hawks were badly defeated 106-89 in Christchurch by the higher-ranked Rams (#3).
He recorded 12 points and grabbed 7 rebounds.
This season Fiorentinos has very high stats. He averages: 15.3ppg, 6.4rpg and 1.3apg.
Fiorentinos holds both British and Greek passports.
Despite his Greek nationality, Fiorentinos previously played for the British U20 national team and probably cannot be called to the Greek team.
#9.Emils Duselis (192-G/F, currently plays in Australia) helped Hills Hornets win their game against the sixth-ranked Manly Warringah Sea Eagles 74-71 in the Australian State League (second division) on Saturday night.
He scored 11 points and grabbed 7 rebounds in 27 minutes.
This year Duselis has relatively solid stats: 12.6ppg, 5.3rpg and 4.9apg in eight games.
He has Greek and Australian nationalities.
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