The reasons Katash continues: degrees, attractiveness and the schedule
With degrees it is hard to argue: There are quite a few “micro” issues that Katsch will require later on and will be detailed below, but in Macro, Katsch’s power is as follows: two state cups, one winner’s cup, 68% success in the league (in the full seasons he is in office), and 79% success In the Champions League. This is a statistic that every coach was proud of, and every team had a “stamp” on it, so even though the team did not qualify for the playoff finals in the last three years, Jerusalem decided to give more weight to what the team did manage to achieve.
Fun of basketball: Simona Pianijani, for example, recorded greater achievements. He won the championship and reached the semi-finals of the EuroCup. Danny Franco also won the championship and was a step-back-described step. And while Franco’s basketball was handsome, and Pianigani’s style was unobtrusive at times, Katshi basketball is a different opera.
It could be a pick-n-roll perfected to a genius level or a calculated exercise from the depths of a timeout that wins a game or lethal ability in bursts – for the vast majority of the time Katsch’s Jerusalem played fun and attractive basketball that was a feast for the eyes and a nightmare for video editors. Sometimes we forget that sport is also entertainment, and that Katsch knew how to provide.
Lack of alternative and urgent schedule: The reality of the Corona creates a situation where Hapoel Jerusalem has to put up a staff within three weeks from today, maybe even less, since the Final 8 of the Champions League is scheduled for September 30. In such a situation, creating a shake-up in the system with a new coach, who will probably require new tools and perhaps a larger budget that certainly will not be – this is a risk that Jerusalem did not want to take.
This brings us to the issue of the alternative. When you want to replace a coach, he has to be better than the current one. Can anyone determine that foreign coaches such as Luca Banky or Elias Zoros are better than Katash? More suitable than him for a team like Hapoel Jerusalem? In the more limited Israeli market, there is no worthy alternative, so the whole decision to continue with Katsch was natural and necessary.
Needs improvement: Israelis’ output, lessons learned and return to the finals
Three years of drought: Three times Oded Katash led Hapoel Jerusalem to the Final Four, and three times it ended in disappointment in the semifinals. Each season has its own story, but the bottom line is that Jerusalem has not been in the finals for three years, and Katsch has an equally big part in the matter than anyone else in the system, if not more. In Jerusalem, less attention was paid to the first season, in which Katsch did not build the team, and also to the current season, with all the consequences of the corona, so this point was a less decisive factor in the decision.
There is no output from the Israelis in Money Time: Along with the failure to reach the playoff finals, Katsch has not been able to benefit even close to being the maximum of his Israeli roster. Only the Israelis of Jerusalem scored 12 points in the semifinals of the Final Four, only 28 of them scored in the same position last year against the same Maccabi Rishon LeZion, and in the semifinals of 2018 they contributed only 21 points. In the cup final this year, in which Jerusalem actually won, Blatt, Timur, Levy and Zalmanson together scored only 16 points.
The counter-argument was that it did not matter, and what did it matter who scored how many, and that was a legitimate argument. But the Israelis are the basis of every group, of course in the long run, and when they get the feeling that at the moment of the decision “they are not being built on” then the attitude will be accordingly. And when you add to each cauldron the fact that Katsh is also the national coach, then it is not clear why the Israelis are not able to contribute more.
Different years, similar losses: there are many similarities between the relegation of Jerusalem in the semifinals this season and the relegation of last season. In both games Jerusalem was left unanswered by Bigman who did as he pleased with color – last year it was Damon Simpson, this year Zack Hankins, in both halves, as we demonstrated, the Israelis did not function and in both games, a complementary player like Nimrod Tishman was the one who hurt Jerusalem with some crucial clutch baskets.
The difficulty in dealing with dominant highs was also repeated in the relegation in the Champions League quarter-finals last season against Tenerife. Colton Iverson, remember? He is the one who did as he pleased against Amara Studmeier and Josh Evans. What’s funny is that the same Studmeier, this time in yellow, made a defensive and offensive school for Zack Hankins, who punished Jerusalem time and time again in the semifinals. So the tools were there, but they were not manifested, and here Jerusalem will want to see immediate improvement.