Maccabi Tel Aviv: Bagatskis, new ideas, old problems

Maccabi TA has scraped very important win against Dacka Dogus 93-92, but this winter morning can’t be sunny enough for “Yellow” fans.

Not due the fact that Maccabi lost huge lead in just one quarter. The problems are deeper.

New head coach (4th this season) Ainars Bagatskis has brought his philosophy to this team and he has already started his coaching job to implement ideas which are close to his basketball realm. Still, there is huge gap at this moment.

Ainars prefers pick and roll play with great scoring Point Guards, he likes shooting power from position 3-4, as well as big movable guys at 5. From all of that he got just parts. Maccabi PGs are capable of p&r play, but they are not constant scoring threat (at least to say it like that). Sony Weems likes to lead the team, but he prefers penetration and hustle play instead of pure small forward roles, while Iverson and Zirbes are solid, but not the best centers for Bagatskis ideas.

Mike Zirbes demonstrated power in 4th quarter versus Dacka Dogus, yet it was more product of sloppy defense in the paint, than his brilliance. Weems, who was highlighted as the biggest problem of this team, exploded as well. His 24 & 8 look impressive vs Blatt, but he has to prove it at every Euroleague night.

Final question is this – Is Bagatskis long term solution or just coach who will end up this terrible year? I suppose that Ainars depends hugely of results in both competitions, as well as the fluidity of his team play, yet if Maccabi decide to resign him we will watch something very different next year. Maccabi US style of play will be the past, while Maccabi of p&rs and p&ps will be born.

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