Amara Studmeier’s career has known quite a few peaks. I mean, only if you refer to his selection as rookie of the year in the NBA or six All-Star appearances as peaks, yes? The man even occasionally flickered on the small and big screen as an actor, or at least as a type of actor. Suppose in the cult (terrible and horrible) film McGrover. But the Amara probably never thought that at 37 he would be cast to play the role of the Joker in the Final Four final game in the Holy Land.
But that was exactly the case. And in the wake of one brilliant casting decision, made by Yannis Sapropoulos, Studmeier was launched into the opening five, as part of an unexpected front line that included Othello Hunter and him together. The truth? A front line of two chins we barely saw this season, except for a few small touches by Hunter and Black in the early stages. And this Greek surprise emerged into the air for several reasons. Also for the internal rotation management needs of the Yellows, but mostly to find a way to disrupt Daryl Monroe’s attacking play on the one hand, and ride on Zack Henkins’ colored softies on the other. And it worked, for the champion, at the level of the Snoopy Disco.
From the moment he returned to play Hunter this season, he was running and looking tired and injured. His numbers and figures, let’s say in the exhausting quarter-final series against Hapoel Tel Aviv, did not mention the monster that weakened this season on expansions in both the Euroleague and the local arena. And all this even before we talked about the surprising vulnerability he demonstrated on the side where it is supposed to be. For example, when it comes to the defensive treatments against Yam Madar’s pick and roll.
But Sapropoulos knew someone needed to narrow down Daryl Monroe’s steps. And this man is Hunter. And that defensive decision lowered Monroe, Guy Goodes’ offensive anchor, to a terrible shooting percentage (3/9 to 2 points). Monroe also snatched 3 rooftops inside his face. Including Hunter’s block on him here, which kicked the first on one side and ended with the dunk of that Hunter on the other.
Time to go back to Amara. We’ve already talked about casting as a joker, and this joker cast himself as the neighborhood bully. One that plays BULLY BALL, and prevails, in (very) physical basketball, over opponents. Because if Guy Goodes’ Rishon Lezion ran in the semifinals against Jerusalem, and not just at the beginning of quarters, back moves to an effective basket by Daryl Monroe, then Maccabi did it better than it did yesterday. For example here, when the wise student Studmeier teaches Henkins the laws of determination, strength and power.
Or here, when Studmeier does not spare his tribe from Diangelo Harrison either, but especially from Henkins, whom he takes for a painful walk to the ring area.
So it’s true that Amara has never won titles in his tribe as a basketball star in the major leagues, but he understands and understands exactly what needs to be done, and how hard he can and should hit. He learned this tough approach in the flesh of Hankins, who in the coming years is supposed to take quite a few steps forward and reach interesting places, but who, with the exception of one aggressive flicker in the semi-final against Jerusalem, showed from the moment he joined Rishon LeZion how far he is at this stage.
If last season it was Damon Simpson, who in a record show swept Jerusalem in the semifinals but evaporated against the Yellows in the final, this time it was Henkins who was wonderful on Sunday, but ruined his team in the final and on both sides of the field, when his presence in color was meaningless. Notice, for example, Guy Goodes’ reaction here after another pick-and-roll move that finds Hankins stuck nowhere.
And to be fair, we note that it was not just Henkins who was beaten. Here, notice here, after Henkins goes on to double-guard Danny Abdia, how Studmeier makes contact with Daryl Monroe to the point of a lock that changes offensive spacing and defensive attention. And on second viewing, with your permission, notice Alex Hamilton’s late defensive reaction, another one that disappeared yesterday when his team needed his services, forgetting his role in the defensive rotation and not arriving in time to stop Tyler Dorsey.
Amara Studmeier provided his team far beyond what she expected to receive. The man who won an expedited and special citizenship track with the kind help of Hapoel Jerusalem, who also did not exactly make an effort to win his good services again this season, was the Yellows’ main offensive anchor throughout the final game. Including in significant moments. Including a particularly crucial moment, where another back move to his basket produced Monroe’s No. 5 offense.
Forever without Wilbkin
And with already offensive anchors, so wow. How bad Wilbkin was yesterday. And left for a moment only the shocking statistics: 1 out of 14 for three points, 2/16 from the field, efficiency index 3 (the lowest in Maccabi). And also left a shocking Airball like the one here, at a critical moment of the game.
Because in a direct continuation of Wilbkin’s falls in the series against Hapoel Tel Aviv, or in the previous two losses against Rishon Lezion, it seemed again that the chronic resentment from which the team’s franchise player suffers has a distinct professional expression, which causes Wilbkin to short moves and simply throw away – because he has no power , Because he did not want to make an effort and move a ball.
Therefore, with all due respect to the six assists listed on the statistics page, Wilbkin released the ball from his hands especially when there was no other choice. Like here for example, when double guarding him at the start of the game led to his hockey assist, through Abdia to Hunter.
Or here, when Monroe and Tishman’s increased defensive attention, in the minutes when Maccabi danced on the floor, led to an easy delivery to the citizen Sandy Cohen, who decided that this was exactly the time to prove his contribution to Israeli basketball, with the first half completely out of his mind.
Clearly foreign and denied publications link Wilbkin’s continued future at Maccabi Tel Aviv to his willingness to cut his future salary. As requested or will be requested, most likely, all other salary recipients are in yellow. When the national champion tries to recruit foreigners with a budget of 200-300 thousand dollars, it is clear that any way they manage to offset salaries in general and a replica salary of her American-Turkish in particular, can help put alongside him an assisting team that he explains above.
On the other hand, and although they won this championship without him, it is quite likely that even if Wilbkin hardens his position and refuses any kind of cut, his team will have no choice but to surrender to his (legitimate) position. Hoping that when he returns to play in the old Elijah hand, next season, he will do so with a little more desire and a little less faces.
It was not a big night for the Forwards of Sapropoulos. The power given by the Abdia duo to Cloiaro and the relative advantage over local rivals were not reflected in the offensive yesterday. Also thanks to a quality play by Oz Blazer from the other side, who set an index (15) that offset the two together. And on the other hand, Abdia collected Cloiaro 13 joint rebounds, including several significant ones, including Cloiaro’s three on offense, which perpetuated an absolute 6:13 advantage in favor of the winner.
Including this return ball, in critical condition of the game. Note the movement and presence of Cloiaro throughout the offensive posture here. And at the same time, notice (around 1:07) the tired Harrison losing eye contact with the man next to him.
And there was another champion forward, named Jake Cohen, who last night was supposed to be his farewell game to the yellow-and-blue uniform. He provided a weak and unfocused playoff all along, and not just on his defensive, problematic side anyway. And yet, as an integral part of this forward discussion, one must also talk about the size options that come from its direction. And when Guy Goodes went, early in the fourth quarter, to his Super Small Ball lineup, with one high and four guards by his side, snatched his penalty in time and cash as the ball was thrown in when Harrison found himself guarding Cohen.
Maccabi Rishon Lezion’s game last Sunday ended when Harrison goes from person to person and explains to him that Adam Ariel’s three-pointer saved his career. After all, it was Harrison who put his team’s victory in jeopardy when he missed two critical free throws at the end.
And yesterday, in a direct continuation of Harrison’s previous performances against Maccabi Tel Aviv, both in the Gilboa / Galil uniform and in the orange uniform, the tattooed redhead showed how much basketball he has. He successfully made, in one season, the transition from a bottom team in France to leading a team a distance or two from a championship plate. Harrison rained 5 shots on the yellow defense’s head. Like here for example, after a defensive exchange against Jake Cohen.
And as for example here, after precise management – and SBLNI – in the face of another defensive replacement of Maccabi Tel Aviv.
But beyond threes, Harrison was sharp enough to squeeze in 11 offenses and varied enough to produce for his team in more than one way. And if only he had gotten more help from all sorts of missing friends, including from Alex Hamilton, who recognized his colleague’s dominance and simply faded, Harrison’s memorable performance yesterday might have ended with more soup soup.
Five concluding remarks
1. I have nothing bad to write about last night’s judgment. And at least in real time, from where I sat yesterday in the old Elijah’s hand, I saw nothing that would make me stop my habit of trying not to write or speak ill of people holding whistles. My problem is not with Sfei Shemesh, Erez Gurion and Tzachi Havdali, who were assigned to manage the Final Four final game. My problem is with the method of choice. The referees’ association has developed a procedure for itself in which everyone is given the opportunity to judge in the two annual Final Four events, with those who are included in the semi-finals not being referees in the final game. And vice versa.
I can not understand it. If Shemesh, Gurion and Hadali are the best referees or outstanding players of the season or outstanding players in the playoffs, then they will also judge in the semifinals. And if Amit Black, Omar Estron, etc. deserve to be judged in the semi-finals, then it is inconceivable that this would disqualify them from running the most important game of the season. The judges’ union needs to change this silly procedure, and determine before the start of the Final Four event, according to the criteria it will choose, who are the best of his sons at the moment. And those will whistle in the semifinals. And from these, it will be decided who excelled and is entitled to move on towards the final game itself. The best teams, who are entitled to enjoy the best services of the best judges, should reach the finals.
2. So Maccabi Rishon Lezion reaches the final again and is defeated again. Just like what happened to her in previous finals in the State Cup or in last season’s Final Four. And it’s true that if you come, then you have to take. And it is true that she received the Yellows in a clearly unimpressive squad and this time did not have to play against a clear home advantage of the champion. And yet, the right spoon far outweighs any counter-argument. Rishon LeZion has positioned itself in the last two seasons, under the management of Guy Goodes, as the third best team in the previous country. Wait, actually why third when it reaches all the finals?
3. Yannis Saprolophus said in an end-of-game interview that the last game season was the toughest of his career. And one can understand exactly what he meant. Especially when it comes to managing a team where players fall asleep at a dizzying pace, with an injury chasing an injury and an injury chasing. Against this background, we need to further appreciate the basketball that his team presented this season, especially in the Euroleague. His Maccabi managed to win big games this season, against significant teams, each time missing a significant player. That is, when more than once absent from its staff a number of significant players. So alongside the obvious difficulty, which should at the same time also entail the production of various lessons, Sapropolus can mark V for one of the most impressive seasons in his coaching career, if not the.
4. And yet we arrived in spite of everything. There is nothing like bats from China to give us a new and different perspective to elements we thought were self-evident, and to appreciate even the awful Final Four method, which is finally supposed to disappear from our lives for the coming seasons. So they say that after martyrdom, so thank you, the Final Four method, for all the positive and exciting experiences you have given over the years. We’ll take it from here.
5. Oh, and that’s it, Mr. Abdia Jr.. You are very pleasant to us. Now take it from here. We will follow up on the matter.