Credit: Reuters – Scanpix
Credit Reuters – Scanpix

AX Armani Exchange Milan kept their dream run in the first 45 days of Euroleague with a demonstrating win against Fenerbahce Beko in Istanbul and rose to 8-1.

Player of the Game
Nicolo  Melli
Nicolo Melli
Points 6
Accuracy 3-4
Rebounds 6
Assists 0

Shutting down their opponents to 3 points in the first and 9 points in the third quarter, Milan showed their two-way impotence in the court.

While Fenerbahce produced their worst offensive display in Euroleague with 43 points, this is the fourth time that Milano did not let an opponent pass 70 points. 

"We made a good defense for 40 minutes, and during the first and third quarters, we were good in the offense, too." Ettore Messina expressed.

Milan's sole defeat came against Bayern in an away game, and the Italian coach emphasized the threat of Fenerbahce was not something to be taken softly.

Maintaining the high level of aggression, Milan forced Fenerbahce Beko to 16 turnovers. (their worst was 18 turnovers against Bursaspor in Turkish League).

Besides, the offensive load was well distributed among the whole team, where Shavon Shields was the highest scorer with 13 points,  and 10 of all 12 players gave points contribution.

Their main lineup with Melli-Hall-Hines-Shields and Datome created a +20 differential in the plus-minus index. 

"The game against them in Istanbul is never easy, we knew it beforehand," Messina continued. "Fenerbahce just played a great game in Moscow. They probably had a bad night, but we had a very good night."

Alongside the defensive prowess, high accuracy with an effective selection of shot locations was behind the historic win. Milan hit 11 of 32 three-pointers, but five of the misses came in the garbage minutes of the game when the result was already revealed.

3-pointers this season

Points made: 9,9
Accuracy: 36,6%
Place in standings: 1
Record max: 14
Record min: 3
Most made 3FGs: Devon Hall

Throughout 3 quarters, they played with 25/48 FG (52%) from the field. Inside the restricted area, they were almost flawless with 11/12 FG, and 6 of them were assisted shots.

Besides, Milan gives special importance to the corner threes as they kept 50% accuracy with 3/6 from the right corner, their favorite spot (season average: 49%).

"There is an interesting statistic. Last year, all the four teams that played in the Final Four shot more threes and more threes in the corner than all the other teams all over Europe. So, of course, we wanted to create that type of shot," Messina remarked. 

Also, the Italian coach did not forget to quote from another great basketball icon Greg Popovich about the 3-pointers and the corner threes, in particular.

The duo worked together at San Antonio Spurs during 2014-2019. For the record, Spurs are currently the most efficient team in the NBA when it comes to corner 3s with 50% accuracy. 

"I think a great part of that is because we have good ball movement and well-passing big players aside from our guards. So that we can create that sort of an opportunity. As Greg Popovich would say, unfortunately, modern basketball depends on the 3 point shot.

You shoot it well from the three, you have a good chance to win. You don't shoot well from the three, you are close to losing the game. It is what it is," Messina concluded. 

We want to hear from you. Be the first to comment!
Thank you for reporting a comment

Add comment

We have the right to remove comments which are offensive, contains abusive language, or violates other rules of the website
Stambulo Fenerbahce
Milano Armani Exchange
Field goals
Free throws

Best players

Pierria  Henry
12 PTS
4/7 FG
2/5 FT
Shavon  Shields
13 PTS
5/10 FG
0/0 FT
Ahmet  Duverioglu
AX Armani Exchange Milan
Few players
Fenerbahce Istanbul
Few players
3 As
Sergio  Rodriguez
7 As
5 TO
17 MIN
Jan  Vesely
21 EFF
75% 2P%
0% 3P%
Nicolo  Melli
17 EFF
75% 2P%
- 3P%