View from the bench: Week 8

Dec 09, 2011 by AITO GARCIA RENESES - Barcelona Print
Aito Garcia RenesesWorld-renowned as a master teacher of basketball, Aito Garcia Reneses holds a place as one of the most prestigious coaches in Europe. He won a silver medal at the 2008 Olympics to go with a ULEB Cup, two Korac Cups, nine Spanish Leagues and five Spanish Cup titles, just to name a few of his accomplishments in almost four decades on the benches of basketball powers like F.C. Barcelona, Joventut Badalona and Unicaja. Aito, as everyone in European basketball knows him, is also a regular contributor to the Mastermind Coaching Seminars of the Euroleague Basketball Institute. He joins to give his coach's point of view and analysis on Turkish Airlines Euroleague games.

EA7 Emporio Armani Milan has not managed to find an optimal balance yet. Coach Sergio Scariolo's team hardly threatened Anadolu Efes in the first minutes when suddenly, with a 0-8 run, they managed to tie the game at 13-13. After that they never got close on the scoreboard. As such, I will comment on some specific plays, without explaining the consequences they had in the bigger picture.

Omar Cook

In Clip 1 you can see how Cook escapes a direct screen with his dribbling and how the defending big man is way behind the play. Recognizing the situation, Cook has time to shoot for an open three and convert it.

In Clip 2 we can see how Cook is one of the best on-the-ball defenders, applying pressure that is really hard to overcome, especially for a player of the style of Kerem Tunceri. The Efes guard is playing better every day as a floor general, controlling and dishing assists, plus shooting with skill from the long range. But he is still uncomfortable in front of defense like Cook's, and commits the offensive foul.

As always, head coach Ufuk Sarica's team played with great dynamics, alternating man-to-man defense with zones and also a full-court press that kept their opponents behind all game.

Ersan Ilyasova

Ilyasova has managed to help his team on defense all season long with steals, rebounds and - in this game especially - blocks.

In spite of not looking as comfortable offensively, you can see him in Clip 3 hitting a three on a pick-and-pop play with Tunceri.

On one of the occasions when Efes switched to a zone (Clip 4), they created problems for Milan's offense. The visitors nonetheless did a good job on this play, even though they could not score in the end because Ilyasova appeared for a great block.

Kerem Tunceri

In Clip 5, Tunceri dishes from the transition pick-and-roll with a bounce pass off the dribble to Esteban Batista (Clip 5). They use the fact that the Milan defender was not going to the low post, which is where Batista normally gets the ball. When the defensive help comes, it's much too late for the quickness of the pass.

Let's also see a typical Tunceri basket (Clip 6), as Batista sets a screen for him, twice, rolls, comes back and offers a third pick. While the Milan defenders are busy dealing with the screens, Tunceri displays his shooting abilities once more.

Sasha Vujacic

In the previous game I saw him play, Vujacic got my attention with his scoring abilities, but I missed some other resources in his game. In this game, I discovered some of his other qualities. Even though he can still improve his technique, his skill at creating baskets both with the ball in his hands (Clip 7) or getting it on the run (Clip 8), are undeniable.

Finally, in Clip 9 we can also see the passing abilities of Vujacic.