‘What have we done?’ must be ringing in the ears of Lietuvos Rytas players and coaches after a shameful loss to Tartu Rock, the hosts of the BBL Cup. The Lithuanian domination in this tournament lasted forever (three years is a long time, isn’t it?) as either Lietuvos Rytas or Žalgiris had won the tournament on all of the three previous occasions, every single time from its establishment in 2007.
And now all of that is over. However, is it really that bad?
The simple (and maybe only) answer would definitely be a ‘Yes!’ or a ‘Duh!’, but not only because of the obvious reasons. I don’t mind losing to an Estonian team, who have some decent local talents – shit happens… But what really got me upset was the way Rytas played. It was truly horrific to watch! You can play poor – people can forgive that, but when the players on the court show no effort, no hustle, no self-respect it just drives me nuts.
I could think of one counterargument – who would give a damn if Titanic sank in the process of construction? Damn, they don’t build ships in water, do they? Anyway, you probably get my point…
The season hasn’t started yet and that was visible on the court. I couldn’t see any plays in Lietuvos Rytas game, ten players played ten minutes or more and, perhaps most important of all, Rytas’ players were out of sync as one wise man said.
I’m not going to slaughter anyone for the lost cup, but the guys at Lietuvos Rytas have a lot to work on before the start of the Euroleague season. All I want is some effort at this stage…
The only player I could see working and giving his best was the talented 18-year-old Jonas Valančiūnas, who got only eleven minutes of court-time this against Rock (6 points, 3 rebounds, 1 block) after collecting 9 points and 9 rebounds to go with 2 blocks for a ranking of 19 in the semifinal against Ventspils.
Jerry Johnson had a fairly decent game individually (14 points, 3 assists), getting to the basket for a couple of lay-ups and runners adding some long-range shots. However, he didn’t get his teammates involved and that’s what he will have to do for this team to be successful in the future.
This would have been a long list, but I’ve decided to point out only one thing here. And it’s probably wouldn’t be at the top of the ‘The bad’ list…
Martynas Gecevičius’ attitude on defense is very surprising. After looking to have fixed this issue with coach Rimas Kurtinaitis on board, the shooter is coming back to his old ways. No effort whatsoever (or just no energy after some excessive partying after the World Championship), flopping at every little touch and going the easy route and just hacking players instead of working with his feet.
That’s all for this time, folks!