Tuesday, January 30, 2018

ABA Liga round 18: Crvena Zvezda - KK Partizan 86:74

The blog is still alive, so am I. It’s winter break now, no football, no handball, as for basketball, let’s not talk about it.
This time I still watched basketball. An eternal derby is an eternal derby.

I still follow the happenings though. The basketball team got a brand new management, new president included. Head coach Miroslav Nikolić was sacked, now Nenad Čanak is sitting on the bench. Among players Patrick Miller has left, Đorđe Gagić arrived, or rather returned. Two foreigners were signed, too, Vaughn and Sy.

Dear Everyone, the team is still like a butterfly fart.
At the beginning of the first quarter we were leading. Then it was gone soon.
Both teams made a lot of mistakes. At first it was 5:10 for us, then Zvezda equalized. (12:12) Then they took the lead (16:14), as for us, well, I find no better words, we made brutal mistakes, such ones that simply aren’t allowed on this level. We could take back the lead at the end of the quarter, though we needed an amount of luck, too (we could score two 3-pointers in a row, yes, we needed luck for that!). The first part ended with 22:24, we could barely score field goals, most of our points came from free throws.
As the second quarter started, we could keep the lead here and there, with 1-2 points only though. Then Zvezda slowly started to overwhelm us. They were just one bit more determined than us, but that was enough. They visibly got together as a team better than Partizan. Our game lacked every idea, yet it was full of basic mistakes.

I noticed two things. First that there was no derby atmosphere at all. There were a lot of fans there (most of them were Zvezda-fans though, Grobari were barely allowed), but the game missed the usual “we-kick-out-the-walls-of-the-sports-hall”-feeling. There was no battlefield spirit on the court either, the game was almost average. Oh, my God, I remember when Simonović threw Milutinov to the ground, or when Zvezda-fans threw a firecracker among Partizan-players. Those were the days…
The other was told me earlier by a fellow Grave Digger, and here I had to agree with him. Namely that this is all what these players are able to. They simply can’t do more. They can’t play. They can run, they can fight, but they can’t play. (I add that they can’t function as a team either.) We have to lower our expectations.

The half-time result was 49:43, Zvezda tried with something that reminded of basketball, but even they were their own shadows.
We had no antidote even for that.

The image of the game didn’t change for the third quarter either. We reduced the difference to 53:52, but we couldn’t equalize. From here Zvezda jumped to 58:54, and until the end of the quarter we scored two (2) more points. In more than five minutes.
The opponent scored a row of 3-pointers, we just watched them with a kind of dry apathy. The third part finished with 71:56.

This means a 13:2-series by the neighbours. Duško Vujošević would lay the entire team on his knees now, one after the other, and spank their arses with shovel.

As for the last quarter, only two things could be mentioned. First that Zvezda couldn’t make the 20-point difference despite all efforts, the other was that Gagić was fouled out, and during those approx. 34 minutes he scored two (2) points.

The football season starts on 17th February. I try to survive somehow until then.

Scene from the game: two Cokes for Marinković, 3 Valium for head coach Čanak (photo: Facebook/KK Partizan)

Crvena Zvezda: Kešelj, Dangubić (12), Davidovac (7), Lazić (8), Dobrić (18), Janković (8), Rochestie (5), Omić (6), Lessort (13), Ennis (7), Jovanović, Bjelica (2)

Partizan: Williams-Goss (17), Vaughn (4), Sy (7), Tadić, Aranitović (9), Marinković (15), Tanasković, Veličković (20), Pecarski, Gavrilović, Gagić (2), Šalić

Current championship standings:
1. Crvena Zvezda 33 points
2. Budućnost 33 points
3. Cedevita 31 points
4. Mornar Bar 29 points
5. FMP 27 points
6. Partizan 27 points
7. Zadar 26 points
8. Igokea 25 points
9. Cibona 24 points
10 Petrol Olimpija 24 points
11. Mega Bemax 22 points
12. MZT Skopje 20 points