Credit: BNS
Credit BNS

Following Olympiacos' sixth EuroLeague win of the season against AS Monaco, the Reds' coach Giorgos Bartzokas referred to how his team reacted after a bad first quarter and the addition of Quincy Acy.

Player of the Game
Tyler  Dorsey
Tyler Dorsey
Points 18
Accuracy 5-13
Rebounds 7
Assists 4

"The game was as we expected it to be. We knew that Monaco are attacking early on offense. We needed to be ready to play defense early.

In the first quarter, we weren't ready to do that, and our execution on offense was a bit poor. We gave them a lot of points in primary and secondary transition, and that's why they scored 27 points in the first quarter," Bartzokas said initially.

"But for three quarters, our defense was really solid. We took confidence from that, and we managed to read whatever their defense was giving us. We won by 20 points on a bad shooting night where we attempted a lot of uncontested shots and missed free throws. It's a win that we really appreciate.

Monaco are a very strong and talented team. I want to give credit to our players and fans. We will try to keep our crowd in the stadium and increase their number," the Greek coach went on to say.

The experienced tactician broke down the way his team defended, placing particular emphasis on guarding their paint.

"We only gave up 11 points in the second quarter. What we had to do was not allow access to our paint. Monaco have many players keen on playing one-on-one and on isolation. We had to guard our paint behind the player defending the ball so that they would have to pass the ball at least 3-4 times".

For Bartzokas, the fact that the hosts were only three points behind at half-time made him believe.

"We could win the game, as long as we had the same defensive direction. We wanted to switch on defense through the entire second half and have a big man in the paint so that the ball wouldn't approach our basket. Papanikolaou did really well at that," he explained.

Free throws this season

Points made: 12,6
Accuracy: 70,1%
Place in standings: 7
Record max: 18
Record min: 9
Most made FTs: Mike James

On the eve of the contest with Monaco, Giorgos Bartzokas had made clear that all questions regarding the signing of Quincy Acy, who is expected to arrive in Athens this Sunday, should be directed to him after the game. So, he had plenty to comment on Olympiacos's latest addition.

"I wanted him both as a player and a name. Even if he played at point guard, we would still sign him. It doesn't have to do with injuries. I tried to bring him to Barcelona when I was coaching there, but it didn't work. He then played with Maccabi," he said.

"He's a player that ties the team together with the way he plays and defends. He's very supportive to his teammates. We looked at him at the beginning of the season but now was the right timing to sign him," he further revealed.

"The downside to it is that he will need some time to get into game shape. But we're a winning team, and that's why we don't need someone to get us out of a problematic situation. We want him to take his time. We believe that we're a tough team and that we have added another player that sacrifices himself for his teammates. 

I am very happy and optimistic, and I want to thank the management for making this signing possible," Bartzokas concluded. 

On the other end, Zvezdan Mitrovic acknowledged that Olympiacos played "clean and perfect defense," thus taking a comfortable win.

"Tonight, we played one quarter, and then Olympiacos started playing perfect defense; amazing, aggressive, clean, without contacts, without fouls," the Montenegrin coach of AS Monaco said.

"We couldn't score anything inside the paint. We also missed a lot of threes, all of our leaders shot with a terrible percentage. Our idea was to speed up the game. In the first quarter, it was working, but then Olympiacos played perfectly."

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