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Thread: Kaunas Zalgiris Thread

  1. #21

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    Shawshank, your assumption that time's perspective is the key here is false because in Kazlauskas era there were coaching who worked at the higher level, like Obradovic. I always treat coach by his actual work, not titles. Messina to me is overrated great, he snatched some titles, but from what've seen I never was impressed with his work. Obrodovic in 00's (and 10's) was very very close to what Saras is bringing now.

    Dreamcatcher, I disagree. I would dear to say that I'm the least Lithuanian bias poster in this forum, or one of the leaders at this point. I can make mistakes valuing players/coaches, but I don't have usual Lithuanian partiality which is common for average BB fan. If I see where JV, Domas suck I'll emphasize, if I see where Saras/Kazlauskas suck I'll name. I can also overrate some of Lithuanian players, but not because they are Lithuanians, but because I simply projected something too much for them here or there. I don't treat Saras as the best coach in Europe, I probably agree that you need titles for this, but I treat him as the coach who influences the team and the final result the most from what I can see now. It will be extremely interesting how he will handle Barsa. I project that he will control it not much less (if any) than he controlled Zalgiris, will allow improvisation much less than any other coach would for such talented roster, and at the end of the day he will be controlling the outcome of the game much more than any other coach in Europe at the moment.

    Now, back to topic. I love that Grigonis and Lekavicius staying. And I love that Zalgiris most likely will have to go for solid foreigner. I thought that's the best choice in the first place. Ulanovas loss? I don't know...He's a very unique piece, but I don't think he's a difference maker. So this shouldn't hurt Zalgiris that much. I just don't know how such pieces as Dimsa, Vasturia fit Zalgiris now. I feel they badly needed Saras to lead them. Now to become an integral parts of the team will be much more difficult for these guys.
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  2. #22
    Senior Member Shawshank's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Straight forward View Post
    Shawshank, your assumption that time's perspective is the key here is false because in Kazlauskas era there were coaching who worked at the higher level, like Obradovic. I always treat coach by his actual work, not titles. Messina to me is overrated great, he snatched some titles, but from what've seen I never was impressed with his work. Obrodovic in 00's (and 10's) was very very close to what Saras is bringing now.
    So if Kazlauskas back in the day was 4-5 best europes coach you dont consider that europes elite? Yes Obradovic was better so what?

    I see most of things,players,coaches,playing style you judge simply by your personal taste ,dont take any other seriuos criterias to be objective.

    I try to judge more by results and achievements.If coaches system brings seriuos achievements it means it works ,doesnt matter i like his style or not that irrevelant,main things are results.Its not a beauty contest.Main goal is to win in sport not to look sexy playing it.

    I always thought that achievements and are coaches personal work and proof of his level no?

    but hell STF personal taste means more,who cares about medals,titles .

    Good thing is that STF know everything and will let us know when world elite coaches will make mistakes.Thanks you for that you are so kind for this forum readers )

  3. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shawshank View Post
    So if Kazlauskas back in the day was 4-5 best europes coach you dont consider that europes elite? Yes Obradovic was better so what?

    I see most of things,players,coaches,playing style you judge simply by your personal taste ,dont take any other seriuos criterias to be objective.

    I try to judge more by results and achievements.If coaches system brings seriuos achievements it means it works ,doesnt matter i like his style or not that irrevelant,main things are results.Its not a beauty contest.Main goal is to win in sport not to look sexy playing it.

    I always thought that achievements and are coaches personal work and proof of his level no?

    but hell STF personal taste means more,who cares about medals,titles .

    Good thing is that STF know everything and will let us know when world elite coaches will make mistakes.Thanks you for that you are so kind for this forum readers )
    The point is, that in 00's there were coaches who coached very similarly to current Saras. It's not like everything changed absolutely radically and now every coach is way better than any 00's coach were as you pointed out.

    To me Kazlauskas was borderline elite, not elite. He had some great stretches, but never established himself as unmovable elite coach (the one who transit only between elite EL clubs).

    Surely, I value team's achievements. To me, to bring Zalgiris, with this budget and talent, to top 8 territory and even final 4 one year, was extremely huge achievement. Winning EL is huge because EL format is brutal. You can make absolutely best team, but there's no series so you can lose one game in a fluke. But let's mind that Kazlauskas had much bigger talent. Edney could take over the game the way Pangos, Micic couldn't. Bowie was huge. So Zalgiris had 2 true perimeter stars. Stombergas as a wing was dropping 13ppg. Quality all around roster. It was huge win, but Zalgiris also had tons of individual and team talent.

    My point is, that in this data, this stretch of Saras' Zalgiris, I've seen more impressive and more dominant coaching performance than I've seen in 1998-2000 Zalgiris.
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  4. #24

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    Plaza and Alex Mumbru are among candidates for head coach position. The latter, IMO, would be a perfect! It may be a blow for Kulboka at this point, he has been giving him some credit.
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  5. #25
    Senior Member LuDux's Avatar
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    Zalgiris minute distribution with in EL with Rivers on board minus 3 blowouts and 2 games that Landale and Jankunas missed
    Geben 4, Landale 21, Leday 21, Jankunas 15, Hayes 21 (total 82)
    Ulanovas 25, Milaknis 22, Rivers 21, Lekavicius 21, Walkup 28, Jokubaitis 1

  6. #26

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    Love the new head coach choice. Instead of going for average Lithuanian, they picked intriguing potential and globally relevant figure who might work into the greatness of coaching. I do think he will study Saras' ways carefully as well and will mix something into his own. Interesting!
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  7. #27
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    Losing Saras is huge, there's nothing to add about coaching/scouting part, he was mastermind in club's rise, but also he helped to lift whole organisation to new level, brought back to club that winning mentality, which we lacked since Kazlauskas days. That was one of the main weaknesses in club for years. I really hope that we will manage to keep it somehow and not fall to that slump when we were heading to away games against top clubs not to lose big and that was already ok or overall were seen as strictly home team. For that reason I was kinda against the idea to bring Lith coach. We never had good experience with average Lith coaches and with all due respect to current (younger) LT coaches generation, I just can't see who could lead Zalgiris now. Maybe Maksvytis in few years. Maybe Kairys. I think this Schiller guy worth a risk, knew the name, but didn't know almost anything about him as I follow NBA too randomly, what to say about G-League, but as much as I've read about him during these days, his profile is really close to what Zalgiris needs. It might work out great, it might be a fail, but as I wrote - IMO it worth a risk.
    Talking about roster, Ulanovas leaving was only a matter of time, lately every summer he was thinking about trying his luck abroad and wanted that badly, so finally he will have a chance, good luck to him. Even tho, I have a feeling that next summer he might be back Changing Leday and Landale with Rubit and Lauvergne looks decent on paper, but Lauvergne's injuries' history is worrying, of course if not it, we would barely get a chance to sign player of his caliber, so maybe it will turn out as great deal. Rubit is proven player, who didn't really got a chance in Oly's mess last season. But his game/stats in short playing stretches were good enough to expect him to bring back his game from Bamberg days.
    What I would like to add now is obviously SF with a good shooting touch, Nunnally is the name floating around for couple of weeks. IMO for Zalgiris it would be decent choice. Also will continue my rants about a need of creative PG. Last season I criticized management and Saras for not bringing creative PG after Perez failed to impress. Coach managed to hide this issue under his schemes, good ball movement, but that worked only when our shots were falling. But when it didn't, we were in deep trouble, creativity was big issue. Walkup can execute well, but he is not a creator. Lukas is SG in PG body. Vasturia is kinda creative all-around player, but I can hardly see him helping too much right away. There were talks about him being loaned, but that was like month ago, maybe new coach will have different idea.

    Few cents to OT about Kazlauskas. In my book he was elite, no question about it, but as whole LT bball in that period when he started to shine (starting with Sabas generation leaving the stage), wasn't recognized as one and didn't get all the praise he deserved. Beside Kazlas, I mean mostly local players talent. We had so much of it, but lot of guys stuck in LT for too long. Such talent like Stombergas needed to win Saporta with 35pts final performance, then EL to get some attention... If situation would've been like it is nowadays, he would've been gone since some 1995. Overall, that decade club basketball was ruled mostly by Yugo coaches, then Messina, one Greek coach, who coached Oly, AEK and brought both to finals, damn, forgot his name, and slow, defensive, tactical bball was fashionable, especially in final stages of season lot of games were finishing even in 50-60s points range and that was a norm. Just remember that the same Kinder won EL in 1998, a year before Zalgiris, letting AEK score just a bit over 40pts. Kazlauskas turned it totally upside down, winning the league with offensive game, smart defense. It was innovative, brave, that change of direction, going against the trends and beating them all, beating big teams was elite alone. But it was taken a bit too cautious by foreign bball circles. Again, nowadays, top clubs would be after him right away, but back then it was seen a bit like one hit wonder or smth, nobody really wanted to change the whole concept. The same story with NT, he was amazing being able to adjust to the rosters he had - once he could play fast, creative game, like in his first stint, then like in last reign, he could totally change the gameplan, which looked to be doomed to fail, but still reach decent results. Afterall, it's kinda rare case when coach had success in both - coaching club and coaching NT. It's damn tough and shows how versatile coach is.
    I won't compare Kazlauskas with Jasikevicius. One is a legend, other is on a way to become such. The difference is that for Saras is easier to be in a spotlight nowadays, unlike Kazlas, he surely will get all the chances he deserves abroad and I believe he'll take it


  8. #28

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    Seems like roster selection is done.

    PG. Walkup, Lekavicius, Jokubaitis
    SG Grigonis, Vasturia, Dimsa
    SF Garino, Milaknis, Lukosiunas
    PF Hayes, Rubit, Jankunas
    C Lauverne, Geben, Blazevic

    Despite a bit of lack of facilitating and pure creativity in both Walkup and Lekavicius, I like position 1. Both are growing players yet already established. I think Walkup will be OK at 1 with a bit more freedom. If he survived Saras strict ballgame, he will survive a bit more uptempo (I believe) and liberal BB at 1. Lekavicius should run more as well and he likes that. Jokubaitis hopefully can give decent 10min and sometimes to have a great games here and there. Solid position.

    Grigonis makes this position intriguing because he may go for some 14-16ppg kinda season if he will be unleashed more and will have more touches and ISO situations. If Grigonis would collapse it would huge blow because both Vasturia and Dimsa are not established EL players and at the moment I have no idea whenever they will actually become permanent EL players. Under Jasikevicius, they would have expressed role at the mid of the season and would benefit the club, now it's 50/50. Kinda see very up and down season for those guys. Questionable position to say the least, specially that Milaknis and Lukosiunas won't provide much there as well.

    SF seems to be decent with proven players in Garino, who is also a glue guy I assume. I hope he would have a good shooting season, because his mechanics looks great, but his accuracy goes up and down each Euroleague season. Milaknis will deliver a little bit. Vasturia hopefully as well. Lukosiunas is a wild card. I think average position, depending whenever Garino can give bigger offensive boost than he used to in Baskonia and whenever Vasturia will actually contribute.

    PF Seems to be nice. I like both Hayes and Rubit. Both can switch at D, both can stretch the floor a little bit, both are good defenders (Rubit great shot blocker). Jankunas hopefully can be decent for a little role at PF/C for some minutes. This position is good, IMO.

    C: As already mentioned by various people centers position seem to be too traditional, too slow, filled with rather similar players. Maybe Lauverne can go some vegan and to be more mobile as he used to be, I don't know, but none of them can switch, none of them are great defenders. Pretty crappy position to be honest, unless Lauverne would really surprise. Expect Rubit finishing the games at C.

    Overall, I think Zalgiris staff made what I expected. Solid job under corona and Saras less circumstances. As I said I like the risk with the coach, he should bring interesting things, even though he may fail big time as well. The roster didn't exceeded my expectations, but really match them. I think Walkup, Lekavicius, Grigonis, Hayes, Milaknis (and proven EL players as garino, Rubit and probably Lauverne) gives Zalgiris that solid ground to expect to do at least OK. Almost all established EL players are growing players and poised for strong season and everything else depends on the new coach, how he will utilise those mediocre guys like Dimsa, Vasturia and young guys like Jokubaitis, Blazevic. I could see the depth problems as a threat (imagine Dimsa, Vasturia, Blazevic, Geben, Lukosiunas, Jokubaitis, Jankunas struggle...none of them are established EL players yet, IMO, and Jankunas may be too washed out already), but overall I think pretty optimal take with some risk under current circumstances
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  9. #29
    Moderator Mindozas's Avatar
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    Schiller seems to implement much faster game, more counters, that might help to hide creative PG missing, but in half-court offense there might be problems. Remember last game vs Zenit. Or some games before triples started to fall. Oh boy. I'd gladly push Walkup or Lukas to SG instead of Vasturia and would've added one real PG to run the offense. But that's my view, maybe coach and P-Mo are ok with current and will surprise me. Other than that it looks ok. Only worry is injuries. I'd have been very happy to see Garino signing in 2019, guy definitely had lot of potential, then followed by great World Cup, but another injury of the same knee he had before, it all in such relatively short stretch is worrying for sure. Maybe this break helped him to heal it properly, he is young enough, but if smth will go wrong it will cost a lot. Also heard he is not that cheap. So a gamble here.
    Wrote about Lauvergne and the same issue already too. Other than that, I absolutely don't see any problems with such C line, it's like experts like Vysniauskas forgets that Rubit can easily play 5 and did a lot of it in Bamberg. Lauvergne also looks like lost some kg, at least from videos, maybe will be faster a bit, will revive his shooting touch. He wasn't worthless at it afterall back in the days, when even played 4 for some stretches. It's mostly psychological issue. Anyway, key is no injury, then I believe we'll be fine with frontcourt. Btw, intriguing to see what impact of such long break will have on Jankunas. Finally no need to rest cause of injury, heal smth, only practice and prepare. Some says in first sessions he again looks a bit faster than a snail
    I also expect Grigonis to lift his number to some 15ppg, he seems to be ready to take that leader role.
    Btw, Jokubaitis revealed that some players might still be loaned. Interesting. Maybe Blazevic, cause if Rubit will have minutes at 5, for him playing only in LKL is pretty worthless

    Overall, interesting season infront of us. Looking at other clubs creating solid teams, and having no magician Saras on helm, I don't see us seriously fighting for PO, but I hope to stay in contention for it as long as possible


  10. #30
    Senior Member Shawshank's Avatar
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    Mindozas

    Jankunas is 36.5 old age now he can rest as much as he wants it won't help

    Jankunas age is same as Songaila and Javtokas was last year in Zalgiris. I expect him looking similiar to those 2 in last season.

    If you play Rubit at center, what zalgiris gonna do with 4 centers Lauvergne,Geben,Jankunas,Blazevic on the bench?


    Obviously plan is to play Rubit at pf.Otherwise frontcourt doesn't make sense.

    I agree with Vysniauskas front court looks too big and slow for today's standards atleast on paper.

  11. #31
    Moderator Mindozas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shawshank View Post
    Mindozas

    Jankunas is 36.5 old age now he can rest as much as he wants it won't help

    Jankunas age is same as Songaila and Javtokas was last year in Zalgiris. I expect him looking similiar to those 2 in last season.
    Take it easy Obviously I don't expect him to bring back his 2016-17 shape. Just wrote that I'm curious about it and that's it. But what you are wrong about is that being healthy and rested means A LOT in his case, it was awhile when he had such comfort. otherwise he would already be in Javtokas' office as assistant. Btw, Jankunas played as PF last season mostly and did that really well for what we could expect from him

    Quote Originally Posted by Shawshank View Post
    If you play Rubit at center, what zalgiris gonna do with 4 centers Lauvergne,Geben,Jankunas,Blazevic on the bench?


    Obviously plan is to play Rubit at pf.Otherwise frontcourt doesn't make sense.

    I agree with Vysniauskas front court looks too big and slow for today's standards atleast on paper.
    Nobody wrote that he will play as C only, read carefully Rubit was brought as PF more, but you must be naive to think that in nowadays basketball he won't be used as C and that wasn't in plans too. In small ball, with Hayes at PF, Rubit surely will have his minutes at C. As I wrote, Rubit is used to play in that position and has no problems about it. Blazevic/Geben... c'mon, can you seriously count on them in EL? Blazevic is future project, after Jokubaitis words I'm not even sure if he won't be loaned. Geben is limited guy with limited role, it would be great to see him improved during this break, but he has his ceiling too. I'd lean towards scenario where he will keep his role, some 10mpg guy. Of course that's a guess, cause god knows what Schiller has in plans


  12. #32
    Senior Member Shawshank's Avatar
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    Im very chill, i dont see where you comming up with diffrent ideas

    How many Lithuanian bigs you know that was still moving well in euroleague level after 36? Big Arvydas thats it basically all list .Jankunas now will be just sparing partner,loockeroom leader and will have little flashback once in month with 8pts+4reb and next year going to zalgiris office.


    Geben was solid in 10minutes last year in euroleague.Jankunas never played together with Geben.He played most of his limited time together with Leday. Dont know where you are comming with those that he played most of his time as PF.But i have alot memories how Jankunas try to run to 3pointer and never in time to guard shooting men.Those days when he could guard PF is over.

    Im saying facts Zalgiris has 4 centers and PF/C Rubit.Hayes is SF-PF player.I dont know what zalgiris office thinks and how they think to rotate bigs,but that Zalgiris have too many old school bigs thats true.

    Other concerning thing that Lauvergne and Rubit is shaky shooters,Blazevic,Geben wont shoot at all from distance.Jankunas last year 3/21 from treepointer.No bigs will streach the floor

    In todays basketball bigs must be able to switch in defence and shoot atleat open shots.I dont see alot of players with such abilities in Zalgiris.Thats what Vysniauskas meant about old school froncourt.
    Last edited by Shawshank; 08-22-2020 at 03:11 PM.

  13. #33
    Moderator Mindozas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shawshank View Post
    Im very chill, i dont see where you comming up with diffrent ideas

    How many Lithuanian bigs you know that was still moving well in euroleague level after 36? Big Arvydas thats it basically all list .Jankunas now will be just sparing partner,loockeroom leader and will have little flashback once in month with 8pts+4reb and next year going to zalgiris office.
    That's ok that you're chill, but here comes your eternal problem - you are too lazy to read what was written and you directly jump on conclusions Only thing I've wrote that I'm interested how Jankunas will look like after the break, without any forecasts or smth, bam, here comes Shawshank with Sabonis examples... Are you serious, mate?

    Quote Originally Posted by Shawshank View Post
    Geben was solid in 10minutes last year in euroleague.Jankunas never played together with Geben.He played most of his limited time together with Leday. Dont know where you are comming with those that he played most of his time as PF.But i have alot memories how Jankunas try to run to 3pointer and never in time to guard shooting men.Those days when he could guard PF is over.
    But he was defending against them very fine, especially in later stages of the season. As I wrote - I have no idea how he will look like now and it's not the vital thing for Zalgiris what so ever. So take it eazy, nobody is putting Jankunas into starting roles

    Quote Originally Posted by Shawshank View Post
    Im saying facts Zalgiris has 4 centers and PF/C Rubit.Hayes is SF-PF player.I dont know what zalgiris office thinks and how they think to rotate bigs,but that Zalgiris have too many old school bigs thats true.

    Other concerning thing that Lauvergne and Rubit is shaky shooters,Blazevic,Geben wont shoot at all from distance.Jankunas last year 3/21 from treepointer.No bigs will streach the floor

    In todays basketball bigs must be able to switch in defence and shoot atleat open shots.I dont see alot of players with such abilities in Zalgiris.Thats what Vysniauskas meant about old school froncourt.
    Vysniauskas and co talked only about Lauvergne, Geben and Blazevic as C options. That's what was wrong here. Rubit was totally off the screen for them, while he is more than capable to play C and can shoot some. And he will. Behind him at PF there'll be Hayes, who is getting better and better at shooting, just needs more confidence and clean his head. He started to do that lately. In EL C rotation will be: Lauvergne, Rubit, Geben/Blazevic. PF: Rubit, Hayes, Jankunas. That's my guess. With Rubit and Hayes on court I think there won't be much issues with stretching the floor. But talking generally, we have no money to bring versatile and at the same time EL-level frontcourt, so it is what it is. I'm fine with that so far and see no big concerns regarding frontcourt, except for injury issues. Let's wait for first friendlies and see how Schiller is dealing with that


  14. #34

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    Any broadcasting links of today's Zalgiris Vs VEF?
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  15. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Straight forward View Post
    Any broadcasting links of today's Zalgiris Vs VEF?
    Should be a game behind closed doors. I think the first time we'll see current Zalgiris in EL Preseason Tour


  16. #36

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    Schiller thrown Vasturia into starting line-up, maybe simple experiment, or maybe indication that he likes him (Garino still not suited?). I liked how Hayes dropped 5 threes, Zalgiris needs his offensive aggressiveness. I like how Lauvergne looks, seems tuned physically, really wealthy off-season it seems, and 6 assists look very nice. If he provides that kind of mobility and passing touch in EL, this might be great signing. Walcup looks great physically, his upper body is ripped, obviously poised for strong season. Milaknis is ageing nicely, no signs of decline, just doing his job like a machine. Grigonis will mess around, he wants to be No.1 even in friendlies, leadership swagger is there now sharper than ever:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CxW4FqZf0W4
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  17. #37

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    My take on Zalgiris' season day view. Schiller is not that bad as it seemed in preseason (some panicked to hysterical level...like Tiskevicius). Jokubaitis is huge, the swagger is impressive, and he's sneakingly big and athletic PG. Grigonis needs to improve physical condition, he tends to be too passive defensively and lacks stamina. Lauvergne loos pretty nice and I though Rubit was decent. Hayes can't suck like that, should get things together. I'm super tired with Walcup's meaningless kneading of the ball (I realised today) and hesitant decision making. Vasturia can't play. Overall, huge boost for Zalgiris after neurotic preseason
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  18. #38
    Senior Member Svajunas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Straight forward View Post
    My take on Zalgiris' season day view. Schiller is not that bad as it seemed in preseason (some panicked to hysterical level...like Tiskevicius). Jokubaitis is huge, the swagger is impressive, and he's sneakingly big and athletic PG. Grigonis needs to improve physical condition, he tends to be too passive defensively and lacks stamina. Lauvergne loos pretty nice and I though Rubit was decent. Hayes can't suck like that, should get things together. I'm super tired with Walcup's meaningless kneading of the ball (I realised today) and hesitant decision making. Vasturia can't play. Overall, huge boost for Zalgiris after neurotic preseason
    I will just say, there are two people that sticks out. Schiller and Vasturia. Both of them are not el level. Schiller showed that in 2nd Q when he had opportunity to stop oly run, but didn't call time out. Vasturia showed that throughout the whole game showing nothing.

    19yo kid outplayed him badly.
    Hayes has to get his shit together.
    Grigonis is not there yet.

  19. #39
    Moderator Mindozas's Avatar
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    Don't be so harsh on Schiller, at least not now, it was his first EL game against experienced Bartzokas and his physical, defensive bball, which is not really Schiller's cup of tea. Of course he made mistakes, game was quite chaotic at times, but we stayed in it even after trailing by double digits after 3qtr. That's huge plus that team showed "cojones", after that Oly run in 3rd I was afraid that we will go back to glorious Brazys/Krapikas/Sireika and co days and the game is done. But team found a strength to go back to it, played some decent defense. Jokubaitis deserves all the praise, amazing showing in the end, finally a youngster who can play at EL level, we didn't have such for years, I mean in Zalgiris. Vasturia indeed looks bad, but he plays a bit out of his position, seeing him at SF in EL is quite sad. Hopefully it will not take too long for Garino to comeback. Overall, this game was another proof that we lack creative PG too bad, Walkup at times is pain in the eyes, especially in such halfcourt offense, against rival like Oly, Milaknis is a bit misused too. Good that we won, but still lot of room for improvement


  20. #40
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    Would yiu think that smth is not ok with a coaching stuff if you wouldn't know that there isn't Saras anymore? I personally wouldn't. There were many games like that before: bad quality, loosing, but fighting, defending and staying in the game. I expected worse. Completely new coach without Euro experience, long break, but the team was there.

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