Olympiacos thumps Bayern to remain unbeaten at home
Olympiacos Piraeus found no resistance from FC Bayern Munich to claim an 83-60 win at the Peace and Friendship Stadium on Wednesday night. The Reds kept their perfect record at home (7-0) to improve to 10-5, while the visitors dropped to 7-8. A 10-0 run within the first 4 minutes of the game fueled the hosts to a 26-10 lead at the end of the first quarter, which extended to 49-24 at halftime to sink the guests early. Sasha Vezenkov led the winners with 16 points and 9 rebounds for a PIR of 24. Giannoulis Larentzakis followed with 15 points on 4-of-6 shooting from behind the arc and Thomas Walkup and Tyler Dorsey netted 13 and 10 points, respectively. Augustine Rubit led Bayern with 10 points.
The hosts had a strong defensive performance in the early going, forcing Bayern to 4 turnovers in the opening 3 minutes. The visitors’ offensive drought lasted for 2 minutes more, but when Ognjen Jaramaz hit from downtown, the Reds were already leading 10-3. A short jumper by Dorsey and a three-point play by Vezenkov kept Olympiacos rolling, with no other player but Jaramaz scoring for the guests. Vezenkov found a helpful hand on offense in Martin, who strung together three inside buckets to close the first period with the Reds dominating 26-10.
DeShaun Thomas tried to get Bayern going with 5 points in a row, but the home team continued scoring with ease on the other end, so the difference remained. Larentzakis converted a basket-plus-foul, Kostas Sloukas beat the shot-clock buzzer with a tough jumper and Fall tipped in a shot to make it a 20-point game midway through the second quarter. Even though the scoring flow went down a bit for the hosts, Bayern’s struggles in offense prevented the visitors from getting any closer and reached halftime trailing 49-24.
Both teams had a slow start after the break, as only two players from each side managed to provide some scoring. Vladimir Lucic hit a three and Rubit added a basket for Bayern. Fall signed off a monster fastbreak dunk and Walkup contributed a three-point play for a 54-29 lead. Another run, this time 11-0, capped by the first three-pointer of the night for the home team coming from Larentzakis, dug it deeper to 65-31. Bayern answered with 6 quick points to lessen its wounds a little bit, 65-37, entering the last period.
Larentzakis hit twice from downtown to restore a 24-point margin, 71-37, right after the game resumed. Othello Hunter replied from inside, but Olympiacos seemed to have already found some accuracy from long range. Vezenkov connected on a corner three soon after to keep Olympiacos above the 30-point margin with 7 minutes remaining. Rubit and Hunter combined in the paint before Nihad Dedovic and Andreas Obst showed up from deep to cap a 0-15 run that brought the visitors within 74-56. Sloukas went to the line to break it and Shaquielle McKissic chained together a couple of threes to finally put the game on ice.
Olympiacos breaks open the game without any threes
Few would doubt how important three-point shooting is when it comes to winning games in modern basketball, although Olympiacos Piraeus demonstrated in this game there can be another way to achieve the same results. The Reds had no luck from long-distance in the first half, going for 0-of-6 from behind the arc, but that was not an obstacle to cruise to a 46-24 advantage after 20 minutes. An incredible shooting accuracy in two-pointers, making 20 out of 24 attempts (83%), and 9-of-11 from the line (81%) allowed the Greek champs to escape early and enjoy a peaceful cruise towards another home victory.
Defense again takes away visiting team’s winning chances
Olympiacos showed again its strength when playing in front of its fans, as the Reds remained unbeaten at Peace and Friendship Stadium after seven games this season. Defense became, once again, a key factor to protect the home court. Olympiacos reached this game topping the Turkish Airlines Euroleague in defense at home, allowing just 67.4 points per game to its opponents, and it lived up to its reputation by holding Bayern to just 60. On the other end, the home team also improved its offensive performance when playing in Athens, as it scored 83 points, 3 more than the 80.3 points it averaged at home before this game.
Limited contributions punish Bayern in the early going
FC Bayern Munich’s offensive struggles started from the very beginning, as the visiting team needed 5 minutes to score through a three-pointer by Ognjen Jaramaz. The Serbian sharpshooter was the only player able to contribute on offense, with 6 points, until Augustine Rubit joined in at the end of the first quarter to help him with another 4. Having just 2 players scoring in one quarter was bad news, as was it to have only 3 in the second. Even though DeShaun Thomas opened fire with 5 quick points, only K.C. Rivers (2) and Vladimir Lucic helped him, completing a terrific first half. On the other hand, Olympiacos already had five players filling the boxscore after 10 minutes and improved it to eight at halftime.
Wednesday, December 15, 2021