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

Following Olympiacos Piraeus'blowout win over Maccabi Playtika Tel Aviv in Piraeus, Giorgos Bartzokas pointed to the big disparity between his team's performance in its last two games.

Player of the Game
Konstantinos  Sloukas
Konstantinos Sloukas
Points 18
Accuracy 4-8
Rebounds 3
Assists 2

"We bounced back after a tough loss to Efes," Bartzokas noted. "We were really decisive from the first minute. Our performance in the first quarter was very good on both ends, and we set the tone that we wanted to win that game. We made a serious game and deserved to win."

"A team that wants to win titles needs to know how to use its fouls in order for them not to be unsportsmanlike and get the team out of trouble. We're working on that in our practices and our meetings.

We see that many EuroLeague teams struggle in one game and play excellent in another, and vice versa. I think it's normal. Games are hard, there is no day off, and sometimes teams give up if the game doesn't go their way," the 56-year-old coach mentioned.

Olympiacos started somewhat slow in the third quarter. At some point, Tyler Dorsey came up to his coach, and Bartzokas told him something. In the next play, Dorsey made a tough basket.

"I told him that he had taken two almost impossible shots and that he should let the game come to him," the Greek coach revealed.

"I emphasized that he would get some open looks. He then took a spot-up shot and gave a dime to Fall. Sometimes, players play emotionally and have extra motivation when facing their ex-teams," he added.

Olympiacos finished off the game against Anadolu Efes in the worst way possible, suffering a 20-3 partial score in the fourth quarter. However, after a historic low came a historic high for the Reds, as they were up by 27 (35-8) after ten minutes into their Maccabi game.

Points this season

Points made: 78,5
Accuracy: 46,4%
Place in standings: 7
Record max: 95
Record min: 63
Best scorer: Scottie Wilbekin

"Indeed. After our worst quarter came our best one. This shows the team's character. Our ego was hurt, both individually and as a team," Bartzokas confirmed and went on to admit.

"I was a bit harsh on our players, talking to them in the locker room in Istanbul. I really like it when a team reacts and plays with pride."

Asked about Shaquielle McKissic and his role, he noted. "He played well tonight, but generally speaking, I trust him a lot. The team has been built differently this year. There are more games this season. Thomas Walkup said that if a player is not content with his role, he cannot play in the EuroLeague. If your spirit is not positive, this will reflect in one's performance."

Much has been said and written about Olympiacos being very strong at home, where they boast a EuroLeague-best 7-0 record, and weak on the road (0-4). But for Bartzokas, that's not the right way to view the team's run so far.

"I will try to avoid the simplistic approach that we are good in home games and bad on the road. We will probably lose some games at home and win some others on the road. We just prepare the team for the next game," he said.

"The main difference compared to last year is fans pushing the home team. We don't believe that we're going to dominate every night. Players have less time available to help their team," Bartzokas continued.

On the other end, Maccabi Tel Aviv coach Ioannis Sfairopoulos, who came back to Piraeus to face his former team, noted that nothing really worked for his squad against the Reds.

"It was a tough night for us. Obviously, we started off without concentration and energy to match up the speed in Olympiacos's game. When you're not mentally ready to play such a tough game, it's hard to come back," said Sfairopoulos.

He also pointed out that Maccabi's previous EuroLeague contest against Monaco in Tel Aviv soaked up much of his team's energy. 

"We play a lot of games, and the one against Monaco demanded a lot of energy. So, maybe this is the reason for our lack of energy and concentration. We tried to fight in the next three quarters, but the difference was so big that we could do nothing more.

There are some nights in EuroLeague when nothing works, and we had one of those nights. We need to forget this game because EuroLeague is a marathon."

The Greek coach also extended his gratitude to fans of both teams for the way they welcomed him and his current team.

"I want to thank Maccabi fans for coming here and supporting us. I also want to thank Olympiacos's fans who didn't forget me," he said.

Asked about his view on the upcoming Olympiacos-Panathinaikos Greek League game, to be held next Monday at the Peace and Friendship Stadium, Sfairopoulos replied.

"Those games are always competitive. It doesn't really matter in which condition each team is before the game. What matters is the way that teams approach the derby," Sfairopoulos concluded.

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Pirėjo Olympiakos
Tel Avivo Maccabi
Field goals

Best players

Konstantinos  Sloukas
18 PTS
4/8 FG
8/8 FT
James  Nunnally
14 PTS
4/17 FG
4/4 FT
Moustapha  Fall
11 REB
Maccabi Tel Aviv
Few players
Aleksandr  Vezenkov
6 As
0 TO
23 MIN
James  Nunnally
5 As
3 TO
30 MIN
Konstantinos  Sloukas
29 EFF
100% 2P%
33% 3P%
Roman  Sorkin
14 EFF
40% 2P%
100% 3P%