Give thanks to our guards, so far

Nov 12, 2007 by Matt Nielsen - Vilnius, Lithuania Print
Matt Nielsen - Lietuvos Rytas With the blink of an eye, we're three weeks into the Euroleague regular season. With three wins - including two on the road - obviously we at Lietuvos Rytas are happy with our start, especially seeing that those games have been played without some of our key players. Despite our success so far, we know we have quality opposition ahead of us and therefore aren't looking any further ahead than this week's home game against Aris, the team we are tied with for first place in Group B

After boring you with some background on myself in the last blog, I thought I'd introduce you to our point guards this time. First, I have to mention our captain, Roberts Stelmahers, who has been the heart and soul of this club for several years. Unfortunately, we have been without his services since mid-preseason due to a knee injury. However, even in an off-court role, he still contributes enormously to the team, given his wealth of experience. He still manages to entertain us with his wacky Latvian humour, which is much needed in a long, drawn-out season. So after losing such an important member of our team, we were fortunate to have recruited Hollis Price, who has stepped up and ran this team remarkably well. The New Orleans native is a top bloke (that's Australian for 'good guy') who fits into the team dynamics with ease. We saw proof of his reputation, too, when he received a standing ovation from the crowd at Le Mans, one of his previous teams, last week. He responded by dropping 24 points and coming up with clutch plays down the stretch that got us over the line in that game. Our newest addition to the team is Darrel Mitchell. Given that he joined the team well into our preparations, he has done a fantastic job of finding his niche within the team. He plays the game with considerable strength, considering his size, and isn't afraid to mix it with the big boys.

To finish off my blog, I'd like to give special mention to Mindaugas Lukauskis for his super-human effort against Milan when we won against Armani Jeans in Week 1, the victory that gave us momentum until now. Few would know that he was in hospital until the wee small hours of the morning of game day after having collided with Martynas Gecevicius in training the night before. In what I believe was a pre-conceived plan by Martynas for extra minutes, he head-butted Minda and gave him eight stitches above the eye. In other words, we have a lot of tough guys on the perimeter. You gotta like that.

I look forward to my next blog, hopefully with more wins on the board!