… Another derby thrown away by our basketball team. Today’s 93-100 home loss to Olympiakos means we only have one win from seven derbies this season. A couple years ago I may have expected that since we’ve rarely fielded a half-decent team these past few seasons, but I was hoping this year would be different.
Really, things very easily could have been different. Sure, the referees at some of the games were pretty terrible (today against Olympiakos, and two weeks ago against Aris, for example) but half the derbies we’ve played this season we could have easily won had we not given them up so easily. Today’s game was not lost because Olympiakos was the better team but because we made unnecessary errors and missed free throws that we should have easily scored. The loss against PAOK in Thessaloniki was lost because we somehow let a massive lead slip away due to poor defending and a lack of concentration when attacking. How many more derbies will we let slip away from us like this?
The team deserves credit, they really do. They’ve played some great games against the smaller teams in the league and had a good run in Europe. But for some reason as soon as they face either Aris, PAOK, Olympiakos, or Panathinaikos, they just can’t hold on. Even when they start games so well, even when all it takes to win is making one out of two three points, they just don’t seem able to do whats needed and I really don’t know why. Its getting rather unbearable at this point and it makes me scared of what they playoffs might have in store for us.
The worst part about all of this is the fact that our team has shown that they have what it takes to beat any team in this league, apart from maybe Panathinaikos. Just look at today’s game for example: Was it easy? Absolutely not, but we managed to play level with Olympiakos for the whole match and most of the two periods of extra time. Really, the only difference between the two teams was the lost free throws towards the end of the first period of extra time that could have won it for us. Even Olympiakos’ coach said that we could have won the game.
I don’t know what else we need to do at this point to be able to firmly place us back in the top three. The first choice might be to get more players but I wouldn’t even say thats our priority at this point. The team we have now has shown that they’re capable of winning against the bigger teams. The players aren’t our problem right now, our problem is something deeper. Is it with what the coach is saying? Is it a fitness issue? Or perhaps its Psychological? Hopefully someone finds the answers soon, because otherwise I fear we’ll see more of the same next season.