Credit: Tolga Adanali/Euroleague Basketball via Getty Images
Credit Tolga Adanali/Euroleague Basketball via Getty Images

Anadolu Efes Istanbul started the double week with a hard-fought but eventually comfortable victory against Olympiacos Piraeus in Istanbul.  

Player of the Game
Rodrigue  Beaubois
Rodrigue Beaubois
Points 29
Accuracy 10-14
Rebounds 5
Assists 1

Aside from winning second time in a row for the first time in EuroLeague this season, coach Ergin Ataman was particularly happy with signs of improvement of fundamental areas on the boxscore. 

Ataman also reflected a sigh of relief after not disappointing the huge crowd who did not leave Efes alone after some shaky results at the beginning of the season.  

“Of course, this is a good victory for us.” Ataman started his words. 

“We lost in our last home game two weeks ago. After the win on the road in Berlin, this game was particularly important because tonight there were more than 10,000 fans that believed in us,” Ataman continued. 

“I believe we had a good concentration tonight, we made only 6 turnovers which was very important for our offensive system. We also had 21 assists, we shared the ball well,” the head coach added. 

The discernible offensive struggles of Efes that were very visible in the first weeks seem to fade away gradually.

This was the fourth game in succession that Efes scored more than 1 point per possession, which carried the Istanbul side to the second-best offensive rating of EuroLeague, behind Barcelona. 

Besides, Efes cleaned the glass with 26 defensive rebounds (6 came from Krunoslav Simon), which corresponded to 74% rebounding efficiency in defense. 

In other words, Efes remained one of the most stringent teams to let second-chance points to their opponents. (Currently in Top-5 defensive rebounding team) 

Rodrigue Beaubois

Rodrigue  Beaubois
Rodrigue  Beaubois
MIN: 24.57
PTS: 10.9 (45.28%)
REB: 2.4
As: 1.6
ST: 0.5
BL: 0.4
TO: 0.4
GM: 10

“I believe that especially in the last quarter, at the most important time of the game, we made a great defense. They could not shoot the ball in 24 seconds on a few occasions. “

Shane Larkin’s defense on Kostas Sloukas and Tyler Dorsey was very effective in the most important minutes towards the end,” Ataman underlined. 

“We did not make the mistake that we did in the previous game. We took our defensive rebounds.” 

The man of the match was Rodrigue Beaubois. The French guard had his Euroleague career-high 29 points, with 20 of them coming in the first half. (Efes had 44 points in the first two quarters)

Beaubois’ shooting was excellent: 10/14 from the field (3/4 2FG and 7/10 3 FG). He also made 2 steals, added 5 rebounds, and an assist.

But for Ataman, the timing of those shots was also crucial in a night where neither Micic (1/10 from 3FG) nor Larkin (1/4 FG) could find much rhythm with their long-range shooting. 

“We found Rodrigue Beaubois tonight,” Ataman noted. “He was very hot in offense with his shots when others missed too much. Micic only scored 1/10; also, Larkin was not shooting well as well. Beaubois gave us a lot when we had a problem in the offense.”

“As a team, we had a great job tonight as we did in Berlin,” Beaubois commented after the game. 

“Every game is important, and it is very important for us to be able to win tonight in front of our fans. They were amazing tonight.” 

Beaubois’ defensive pressure on Olympiacos’ leading scorer Tyler Dorsey was decisive. 

At the very beginning of the game, Beaubois ‘sacked’ Dorsey for a dunk on the other side of the court. A few possessions later, Dorsey was rejected on his shot by Beaubois, not once but twice. 

On the Beaubois-Dorsey matchup, Ataman also admits that they were left with a dilemma on the starting line-up. But the late final selection proved very right in the end. 

“We don’t usually give a strong focus on personal assignments,” Ataman admitted. 

“Honestly speaking, we were left with a dilemma on whether we should start with Beaubois-Micic or Micic-Larkin guard combo. 

We could not decide until this morning. In the end, we considered the potential defensive aspect of the matchup, we agreed on Beaubois. He had longer arms to stop Dorsey. Indeed, he managed to cut the impact of their best offensive player,” he added. 

On this point, Beaubois remained humble and pointed towards a collaborative effort.

“I think it is teamwork. Obviously, we know that he is a good scorer, so I tried to do my best on him. I think we did a great job in defense, especially in the second half. That is how we need to do it to win games.”

Despite the win, Efes still has some room to improve in the offense. 

New addition Elijah Bryant struggled to find regular minutes on the court playing only a little bit more than 8 minutes, in which his shot selection was questionable. He finished the game with 0 points on 0/3 shooting. 

“When we had many injuries, Elijah Bryant gave important support to us,” Ataman defended his player. “We are made of players who won EuroLeague and who are accustomed to playing together on the court: Micic-Larkin-Beaubois-Simon quartet makes us feel more comfortable on the offense.”

“Elijah Bryant also seeks to join this offensive setup, but usually, he becomes the third choice for using the ball. He is not very familiar with that role, so he could not adapt to the game’s rhythm. He gave a good fight, though.

But he will get used to it. In the previous years, we used James Anderson for that spot. We don’t doubt the players’ quality. It is a long season, and there can be many injuries or bad forms from some players,” Ataman concluded.

With this win against Olympiacos, Efes reached 4-6 and climbed to 11th place in the standings. Their next game is against Monaco on Friday, in Sinan Erdem Dome.

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Stambulo Anadolu Efes
Pirėjo Olympiakos
Field goals

Best players

Rodrigue  Beaubois
29 PTS
10/14 FG
2/3 FT
Aleksandr  Vezenkov
17 PTS
6/8 FG
3/3 FT
Adrien  Moerman
Aleksandr  Vezenkov
Shane  Larkin
6 As
1 TO
25 MIN
Konstantinos  Sloukas
4 As
1 TO
20 MIN
Rodrigue  Beaubois
33 EFF
75% 2P%
70% 3P%
Aleksandr  Vezenkov
26 EFF
100% 2P%
50% 3P%