Photo credit: AS Monaco Basket
After a season in Doctor Jekyll and Mister Hyde mode, the Roca Team will continue to display its two diametrically opposed faces from one evening to the next until the end. After a successful Match 3, the Monegasques have “fallen back into their ways”, by Yakuba Ouattara’s own admission, while Sasa Obradovic seems disillusioned. The Principality’s players will have to play a decisive Match 5 on Saturday at the Astroballe.
As bewitching as it is annoying, this AS Monaco team will remain completely incomprehensible until the end of the championship. In a rollercoaster season, the Roca Team never knew how to stabilize, not even in the final. Worse, this series against ASVEL perfectly embodies Monegasque mood swings: an authoritarian entry victory at the Astroballe (82-74), the heaviest defeat in the history of the finals (54-91), a magnificent reaction to afford the rocking match (83-80) then an inexplicable collapse (68-85) when the chance to be crowned at home arises.
With just 7 assists, Sasa Obradovic’s men have hinted at the worst of what their game has to offer. No collective fluidity, no movement, no desire to share the ball, defensive boulevards abandoned to the Villeurbannais, opposing shooters placed in an armchair… What deeply irritate the Serbian coach, who no longer even takes the trouble to hide that his team drives him crazy. The 1998 world champion no longer seems to have any springs, unable to find which lever to activate, dependent on the goodwill of his leaders. But at least with such a fickle group, a poor performance is rarely followed by another day without. Did the Monegasques play without a sense of urgency knowing that they had a joker available? Saturday, in a match without tomorrow, the story will certainly be different. But putting the champion back in the game is clearly a dangerous game…
Yakuba Ouattara : “We clearly paid for our start to the match, we didn’t get into it in the best way. When you take an entry burst like that, it’s hard to come back. Why do they find their address? Because we give them confidence from the start. Defensively, we didn’t have the same aggressiveness as in the previous match. We put them in confidence and a confident team takes in its shots. During the first quarter, they hardly shot at three points, they only attacked the racket. One, two, three lay-ups… Afterwards, of course, things were rolling for them. Tonight, we fell back into our ways. Since the start of the season, I have said one thing: we are an unpredictable team. We have two faces and today we showed the bad. It’s been the same fight all season: when you start to play individually and want to carry the team one after the other, you get into trouble. On the other hand, when we start playing together like in Matches 1 and 3, it’s another story, we are difficult to play. There, there is a lot of frustration because we would have liked things to happen differently. Losing is one thing but it’s above all the way… We don’t honor our supporters by producing basketball like that. Saturday, it will be necessary to arrive ready, to fight until the end, during 40 minutes. I remember the epilogue of 2019 where the third quarter was fatal to us. The match will be played over 40 minutes. »
Sasa Obradovic : “We have seen these two faces since the start of the season. I really don’t understand… We were absolutely not ready to play this kind of match. Everything we talked about before, everything we said we had to do, disappeared. For me it is very hard. I can’t understand… There’s a plan, and you can’t get out of the game because of a bad whistle, a shot from your teammate. We walk out of dating because of things like that. I miss players who are together, who talk together. We give ourselves a clear direction then we play a total opposite basketball, I can’t coach if it’s like that. It is very difficult to adapt. I want to give freedom to my players. I can accept that they want to show their talent. But that’s not how you win big games: you have to focus 100% on defense first. It’s the same scenario as in Match 2: we give easy points and on the other side of the floor, we take turns shooting instead of thinking about sharing the ball, involving everyone. We know that is our weakness. It may have also cost us the Final Four: sometimes we stop playing completely, we no longer deploy the same intensity. Now we have to calm down and remember what allows us to win games. The mark must be better distributed, like what we see on the side of ASVEL. Our chances will be higher that way. This match is supposed to be behind us now, let’s see how we get our confidence back and attack Match 5 with absolute confidence. Otherwise, it won’t work. »
June 23, 2022 at 11:12 am
As bewitching as it is annoying, this AS Monaco team will remain completely incomprehensible until the end of the championship. In a rollercoaster season, the Roca Team never knew how to stabilize, not even in the final. Worse, this series against ASVEL perfectly embodies Monegasque mood swings: an authoritarian victory to enter the Astro…
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