That brings me to another sign of the complexity of our sport. Although Hines was excellent defending those mismatch situations, the next action happened in one of the last plays of the last quarter. This could be considered one of the “key” moments of the game. After an off ball screen, a mismatch happens, Dixon against Hines… the small playmaker manages to create the space for his shot, and scores.
For me it is interesting to understand how, a situation which was totally under control for Hines all along the game, gave Fenerbahce the opportunity to “believe” one more time in their chances to win the game.
It has been a controversial topic during the last season, specially in the NBA, if the “hack a” strategy is acceptable. We saw a clear example during the game, and I haven’t read many opinions against it… Here is the moment when Itoudis tells CSKA players to "hack a Vesely" right after he shot an air ball in his last free throw attempt. What is your opinion?
I’d like show now some beautiful offensive plays we saw CSKA execute.
In the first one, they run a high ball screen with Hines rolling to the basket. Help side players, whatever their defensive rules are, put extra focus on the ball, and at this point Kurbanov sets an off ball screen against Bogdanovic (De Colo’s defender) to “create” the pass opportunity to the corner, and to make it easy for De Colo to attack the defender close out in case he decides not to shoot.
Let’s finish with two consecutive plays. One of the moments when CSKA started looking unbeatable that night:
This set that is frequently used by many teams, but here is executed with virtuosity, great timing and it shows CSKA at his best. The way Teodosic fakes the screen and then the shot, to end up passing to Hines, and how the american connects with the corner… Fenerbahce players were “chasing shadows”. The next offense they run it again, and the defenders hesitate, in part because of the outcome of the last offense, leaving a highway to the basket for Higgins to score.
Euroleague season is over, the countdown for next season has started.