FC Bayern Munich had never beaten Olympiacos Piraeus before Tuesday night and through 31 minutes of their Round 9 clash, it seemed as though that trend would continue with the Reds up 55-67 with less than 9 minutes to go. However, Maodo Lo sparked the hosts' offense with a three-pointer and Vladimir Lucic followed with a fastbreak layup before Coach Dejan Radonjic put big man Greg Monroe back on the floor to have all five starters on the floor with 7:40 to go in the fourth quarter.
Little did we know that Radonjic would not make another substitution for more than 7 minutes and his tall lineup of Lo, Vladimir Lucic, Danilo Barthel, Paul Zipser and Monroe would turn the game upside-down. It's not that Radonjic does not usually trust his bench. He rotates a lot and so far this season only one Bayern player is averaging more than 26 minutes per game, while nine different players log more than 14 minutes on average. This game, however, was very different.
"I believed in them", Radonjic said about his starters after the game. "We used our advantages with them on the floor. They also opened the game great, but we can't play five players for 40 minutes."
Bayern's starting five scored 78 of 85 points on the night – which is 91.7%. The rest of the team combined to shoot 2 for 6 on two-pointers and 0 for 3 for three-pointers. Every single Bayern field goal in the second half was made by one of the starters, who also scored all 30 fourth-quarter points. They might have been tired by the game's end, but they brought their team an important home victory. And don't expect this type of night for Bayern to happen soon, again.
"It is good that the players in the starting five stepped up, but in other games, our bench is very good as well," Lo stressed after the game. "I think that is one of the strengths we have, we are deep, we have some players injured who are going to come back. I think we are going to be good."