The second week of Euroleague didn’t spit up any surprises for neither of the Lithuanian clubs. The good, the bad – what was bound to happen – happened. Rytas took a comfortable victory overall despite a very scary fourth quarter. Siena proved to be too strong for Žalgiris even without Kšištof Lavrinovič, piling up the greatest part of their lead with a 13-0 run during the last four minutes of the first half.
Orleans 62-69 Lietuvos Rytas
Rimas Kurtinaitis beat his former coach Philippe Herve to bring an anticipated victory back to Vilnius. Rytas took the control of the game from the word “go” and managed to maintain a solid lead until two unexpected blows – Baynes tumbles over an Orleans player after being faked into a block attempt, Popovič (league leader in assists with 9,5) takes a huge block together with an even bigger collision with a French big man. At this point things started to get out of hand and Orleans started eating into the Lithuanian lead. An impressive four points in the first nine minutes of the last quarter… But all’s well, that ends well.
3 things I liked:
- Martynas Gecevičius is not slowing down after the outstanding performance versus Efes Pilsen. Gecevičius burried 4 of his 6 long-range attempts and is leading the Euroleague sharpshooter list with 64,3 per cent from downtown. In addition, his 18,5 PPG puts him into the Top 10 scorers list.
- Rebounding – Rytas is joint top with Barca in rebounding and 15 offensive rebounds (41 overall) in the win against Olreans has to do with it.
- Kurtinaitis decision to create chances for the 3 points shooters. Though the total three-point percentage is not out of the world with 36 per cent made, most of the bad shots came in the last quarter when nothing was working.
3 things I didn’t like:
- The fourth quarter. 16-8. Enough said.
- Injuries – not the best thing in any team. Both Baynes and Popovič will be available for the Olympiacos game.
- Not taking care of the ball. 17 turnovers – 5 by Popovič (almost a double-double once again 11 points and 9 assists).
Montepaschi Siena 84-64 Žalgiris
All “Champion” brand products in their shop had been for sale with a 20 per cent discount yesterday. And yes this has something to do with the Žalgiris game – both teams wear the company’s jerseys and the game finished with a margin of 20 points separating the teams. Oh those businessmen, they always find something to attract the people… Anyway, what is now 20, might not have been 20 for the last 4 minutes of the first half. A 13-0 Siena run that decided the final outcome way before the game finished. This was the tenth straight road loss in Euroleague for Žalgiris.
3 things I liked:
- Žalgiris didn’t get humiliated like Cibona did a week ago. This would have been brutal… The team has a lot of young guys and getting murdered would have broken them down entirely.
- Marcus Brown has started to look at least something like his old self with a nice stat line. Draining threes (3 for 3), shooting those good old tear drop shots. 17 points in only 22 minutes.
- I got myself some stuff with a discount.
3 thing I didn’t like:
- The non-existant connection (or at least a laggy one) between the backcourt and the frontcourt.
- Lack of strength down low – even Sabonis is starting to speak out about the problem now. A new player on the way? Who’s free? Čukinas on the move? Only my thoughts, nothing certain.
- 20 TO. Krapikas was speaking about how Žalgiris needed to keep this number down. Mission failed.