Credit: Imago Images – Scanpix
Credit Imago Images – Scanpix

After a hot start to Euroleague with two wins and a famous victory against CSKA after being down by 22 points, newcomer Monaco are now having a reality check with one win in the last four games. 

Player of the Game
Rodrigue  Beaubois
Rodrigue Beaubois
Points 17
Accuracy 7-12
Rebounds 3
Assists 7

Seemed to be visibly tired after the loss in Tel Aviv, the club from French riviera finished the double game week by conceding their highest number of points of the season so far against Efes, with a 98-77 loss.  

“We started the game absolutely wrong. We opened the game with Efes’ running open court. For me, they are the most talented team in Europe, basically,” head coach Zvezdan Mitrovic lamented. 

“We had some good moments in the second part of the game. In the second half, our defense started better. We cut the deficit to 6 points. But then Efes started to play much better in defense and we just lost focus.”

One of the bright sides of the loss was Donatas Motiejunas’ overall contribution. 

So far, the Lithuanian big man had his best night in EuroLeague, with 21 points and 5 rebounds (3 of them were offensive rebounds). Apart from being effective around the rim, his pick and pop variety stretched the Monaco offense as he was almost flawless with 6/7 2 FG plus 3/3 FG shooting. 

“It is the coach’s job to set up the strategy for the game so if he is gonna call a place for me, of course, it is not a problem for me to shoot the ball,” Motiejunas said after the game. “I know I can play basketball, and I’ve been showing that for years. I try to grab every opportunity I get. Trying to give hundred percent. That is my goal.” 

On the other hand, the game revealed one of Monaco’s weak spots: failing to keep up with the opponents’ rhythm in the last stretch. Against Maccabi, Monaco was only 4 points down until the last 7 minutes on Tuesday. 

3-pointers this season

Points made: 8,3
Accuracy: 34,0%
Place in standings: 10
Record max: 13
Record min: 3
Most made 3FGs: Danilo Andjusic

Similarly, they controlled the game against Olympiacos 15 days ago during the first half, only to be outclassed by their opponents starting with the 3rd quarter. They lost by 21, which was misleading, considering their overall effort. 

Were there any specific reasons for Monaco to keep falling short of some required efforts in the last minutes? For Motiejunas, there were many. 

“I think there are so many things wrong and it is hard to really say one of them. Miscommunication, organization. We are a really talented team but we have to improve in so many ways.” 

On the other hand, Mitrovic pointed to the lack of game squad, dearly felt in one crucial game aspect.

“We had problems with the point guard position,” said the head coach. “We could not play with Leo Westermann due to injury, our first point guard. That hurt our organizational capacity, and we started to make turnovers towards the end.” 

“Same thing happened in Tel Aviv two days ago. One more point guard we needed. It is very difficult to finish the games with one point guard, especially with high level, intense games. That is what we were lacking,” he added.

Regarding the point guard issue, Mike James’ injury made things harder.

During the third quarter, James appeared to have some words with head coach Mitrovic and his staff when called to the bench. 



Afterward, he left the court to be back in the 4th quarter with some limping and some bandage on his knee. 

Coach Mitrovic seemed to be surprised with a question that implies an alleged argument between him James and any of the people from the technical staff. 

“Are you sure?” he responded to the question on the matter. 

“I just put him on the bench. I did not see anything afterward, I have no idea what happened afterward.”

“I see him having a cut, and there was some blood. I will speak with the doctor again. We’ll have a look. 

With many guards struggling with injuries and other scorers like Rob Gray and Danilo Andjusic remaining scoreless,  Paris Lee stepped up. The Euroleague first-timer provided a solid offensive display with 18 points, 3 assists, and 4/5 three-pointer efficiency, alongside his aggressive defense on Shane Larkin and Vasilje Micic.

Despite all these efforts, Lee’s best Euroleague night did not coincide with a win for his side. The US guard remained humble about his personal contributions. 

“I just try to do whatever the team needs me to do. I’m trying to find a rhythm. I’m kinda up and down. I wasn’t expecting anything. I was expecting to come and play hard.”

“My career high doesn’t mean nothing if we don’t win. We are a good group of guys. We just need all to come together, put it together. Once we do that, I think we’ll figure it out,” said Lee.

Stumbling with 5-6 win/loss and felling behind Anadolu Efes in the standings, Monaco is heading back home to get prepared for the French derby against ASVEL in Euroleague next week. 

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Stambulo Anadolu Efes
Monako Basket
Field goals

Best players

Rodrigue  Beaubois
17 PTS
7/12 FG
0/0 FT
Donatas  Motiejūnas
21 PTS
9/10 FG
0/1 FT
Adrien  Moerman
AS Monaco
Few players
Rodrigue  Beaubois
7 As
0 TO
33 MIN
Mike  James
4 As
1 TO
18 MIN
Rodrigue  Beaubois
24 EFF
67% 2P%
50% 3P%
Donatas  Motiejūnas
22 EFF
86% 2P%
100% 3P%