Credit: D.Repečka/BasketNews.lt
Credit D.Repečka/BasketNews.lt

Zalgiris Kaunas remained the only team in the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague without the victory. Zalgiris’ head coach Jure Zdovc was pleased with his players’ effort and admitted that there’s a lot of work to be done.

Player of the Game
Vladimir  Lucic
EFF
20
Vladimir Lucic
Points 17
Accuracy 4-11
Rebounds 4
Assists 0

“Congratulations to Mr. Trinchieri for the win. We knew it would be a tough game, we knew both teams were looking for the first win,” Zdovc said after the game. “We played hard but maybe not smart enough to win the game. I don’t really have a big criticism of my players because they tried.”

“Maybe the difference was they had Lucic back, who was the key player for them in both positions, ‘3’ and ‘4’. He has the experience, the tricks, and it was the difference in the end. 

We played bravely, we also needed to use all players. We believed, and maybe even more tonight, but some small things decided the game, and unfortunately, they were on their side,” Zalgiris coach added.

Asked about the changes he made defensively, Zdovc made himself clear that there’s still a lot of room for improvement.

“Tonight, I was not happy with the close-out. We had weaknesses, we have players who are not very fast laterally, and we are still afraid to play defense,” Zdovc explained. “If you’re afraid and put the hands down, backpedaling. It’s very easy for the team in offense to beat you one on one.”

“Okay, it’s team defense, but one-on-one defense is also important in EuroLeague. As I said at the beginning, it’s still 1 against 5. 

There’s one ball, and five men must defend. Especially when we know where the offense will attack and when we know that some players don’t want to pass.

It’s individual scouting to help the defender. But if the defender isn’t aggressive, the others don’t know how to help. You must understand that until now, we had one normal practice.

We have 9 players in the rotation, they’re tired. We don’t have a lot of time to correct things. We had a good defense for 20-25 minutes, but you need good defense for the whole 40 minutes. We’ll try to improve on this”, Zdovc said in a detailed comment.

Zdovc and Zalgiris were expecting to have Emmanuel Mudiay at their disposition, but just before the game, American was ruled out. Zalgiris’ head coach admitted that Mudiay’s absence had an effect on the game plan.

“If you watch a lot of EuroLeague, a lot of teams play switch-all defense. Tonight, we tried it a little bit, but again, because we don’t have much time for practices, we didn’t switch a lot, but we started doing that.

We work on this, and we’re making some progress in offense against switch-all defense. If you compare the Olympiacos game and this one (you can see an improvement). 

Definitely, Emmanuel is important and a key player for us. He was brought here to be the main player. He showed some quality lately, but he still needs to adjust to this intensity and aggressivity of the game,” Zdovc concluded.

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Kauno Žalgiris
Miuncheno Bayern
38%
22/58
Field goals
43%
27/63
44
Rebounds
31
14
Assists
16
2
Steals
7
13
Turnovers
5
31%
9/29
3-pointers
29%
6/21

Best players

Lukas  Lekavičius
17 PTS
4/8 FG
8/10 FT
Vladimir  Lucic
17 PTS
4/11 FG
8/9 FT
Josh  Nebo
13 REB
10 DREB
3 OREB
Augustine  Rubit
7 REB
4 DREB
3 OREB
Mantas  Kalnietis
6 As
2 TO
20 MIN
Corey  Walden
5 As
1 TO
19 MIN
Josh  Nebo
21 EFF
80% 2P%
- 3P%
Vladimir  Lucic
20 EFF
50% 2P%
20% 3P%