Credit: Panagiotis Moschandreou/Euroleague Basketball via Getty Images
Credit Panagiotis Moschandreou/Euroleague Basketball via Getty Images

Olympiacos Piraeus currently find themselves in a group of five teams that are 6-2 in the EuroLeague after 8 rounds.

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

The team coached by Giorgos Bartzokas remain unbeaten at their home court, the Peace and Friendship Stadium, which vividly brings to memory older times when the Reds used it as an impregnable fortress that ultimately pushed them to four Final Fours (2012, 2013, 2015, 2017) in six years.

AS Monaco got off on the right foot against the Greek side last Friday night. In fact, the French were up 27-17 at the end of the first quarter. Olympiacos were unable to defend the visitors' early offense and saw his opponents hit one three-pointer after the other.

But then came the storm. Initially, the hosts cut down the deficit to only three points (35-38) at half-time, before going on a partial score of 51-27 that handed them their sixth victory of the EuroLeague season.

Tyler Dorsey took the reins, scoring 16 of his overall 18 points in the last 20 minutes and leading Olympiacos to another success. The Greek-American guard finished the game with 1/6 on three-pointers and 7/10 on free throws but made up for his shooting woes grabbing 7 rebounds and dishing out 4 assists.

Why was so difficult for Olympiacos to get into game rhythm, despite the fact that they were used to starting their games strong? Prior to that contest, the Greeks had won 6 of their first 7 EuroLeague quarters this season by an average margin of 7.2 points. 

"We were struggling defensively," Tyler Dorsey told BasketNews half an hour after the final buzzer.

"They got out in transition but they weren't scoring that much. It was a low-scoring game. We were just missing shots in the first half. Maybe the rims were so tight tonight, I don't know what to say (smiles). We just couldn't figure it out, ins and outs, free throws, everything...

Tyler Dorsey

Tyler  Dorsey
Tyler  Dorsey
MIN: 24.18
PTS: 13.88 (55.14%)
REB: 3.13
As: 2.5
ST: 0.38
BL: 0.25
TO: 1.63
GM: 8

But we found a way to win in the second half, knocking down some shots. We just kept fighting, no matter how bad of a shooting night we had. We played defensively good and that gave us the hump over."

After the game, the Reds' coach Giorgos Bartzokas said that he wanted his players "to switch on defense through the entire second half and have a big man in the paint so that the ball wouldn't approach the basket". Well, that worked alright.

Asked about the defensive adjustments of Olympiacos, Dorsey maintained that nothing essentially changed for them going into the second half.

"No, we did the same thing. We wanted to keep switching and our bigs did a great job on Mike James, containing him and sticking to the game plan on that.

We knew that Monaco want to go to iso and score - and we had to be prepared for that. We came out struggling but in the second half, we adjusted," he explained.

Olympiacos are 6-0 at home court. However, some big road games are coming up with Zenit Saint Peterburg (5-3) being the first on the list.

"We need to find a way to get our first road win," Dorsey said. "Zenit are playing really well, they're going to play at home and so, it's a big, big opportunity for us to show and prove that we can win on the road against a really good team."

The 25-year-old shooting guard is averaging 13.9 points in 24 minutes this season. Against Monaco, he did struggle from the perimeter and the free-throw line, but almost no one will blame him for that.

"I felt good. Defensively, I got to be better in the first quarter. I also think I missed too many open shots - and free throws as well. I usually don't miss too many free throws. Missing those shots stays on my mind but the win is more important. I'm going to get back in the gym and keep golfing," the California-born athlete argued.

Over the course of a few weeks, coaches all around Europe have pointed to Olympiacos as a possible Final Four contender. Monaco coach Zvezdan Mitrovic was the latest addition to that list. But for Dorsey, fighting is all that matters.

"I don't know what they think," he firmly stated. "We're going to fight because no game is easy. Even when we lost, we've been a couple of points away. We are a fighting team and we're going to keep proving it. But it's still early, so we got a lot more to prove".

Next week, Olympiacos are welcoming Quincy Acy to Athens. The player himself -and Giorgos Bartzokas as well - gave the Reds' fans a first taste of what to expect when their new acquisition will be dressed in the red and white jersey. Besides, Tyler Dorsey knows his future teammate all too well, since they have already been on the same team.

"Great guy, energetic, athletic, plays above the rim, can pop as well. He brings a lot of energy. He's one of the most energetic guys I've played with," the 41st pick in the 2017 NBA Draft pointed out.

"He's my brother. I was close with him at Maccabi. I think he's going to be a good addition to this team," he went on to say.

Nevertheless, the most interesting detail is that, regardless of how close they are, Dorsey found out that Acy was thinking about signing with Olympiacos a few days before the transfer became official.

"I didn't know. He was thinking about joining a G League team. He just called me and said he was deciding between us and another team in Europe. He chose here.

It just came out of nowhere, honestly. It was a surprise for everybody. Nobody knew."

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Olympiacos Piraeus
AS Monaco
Field goals
Free throws

Best players

Livio  Jean-Charles
18 PTS
7/9 FG
4/6 FT
Alpha  Diallo
12 PTS
5/10 FG
1/1 FT
Aleksandr  Vezenkov
10 REB
Donta  Hall
Konstantinos  Sloukas
6 As
2 TO
25 MIN
Mike  James
8 As
5 TO
27 MIN
Tyler  Dorsey
23 EFF
57% 2P%
17% 3P%
Donta  Hall
15 EFF
50% 2P%
- 3P%