Maccabi Tel Aviv's Derrick Sharp 311.
(photo credit: Asaf Kliger)
After toying with BSL and Adriatic League opponents to start the season, Maccabi Tel Aviv faces its first real test of 2011/12 when it opens its Euroleague campaign at Olimpia Milano on Thursday night.
Maccabi has won its first three Adriatic games and its BSL opener by an average of 23.8 points, but it will be coming up on Thursday against an overhauled Milano team which has brought in eight new players and illustrious coach Sergio Scariolo.
Drew Nicholas and Antonis Fotsis join from reigning Euroleague champion Panathinaikos, while Ioannis Bourousis, Omar Cook and Malik Hairston have also all signed.
The Italians have also taken advantage of the NBA lockout, bringing in Danilo Gallinari of the Denver Nuggets.
Nevertheless, Milano has already hit a first bump, losing 69-66 to Scavolini Pesaro in local league play on Saturday.
Jordan Farmar strained a groin muscle in Maccabi’s 95-60 win over Hapoel
Gilboa/Galil on Sunday, but Tel Aviv is hoping he will be fit to play
However, the New Jersey Nets guard is still set to leave once the NBA
lockout ends, and Maccabi is continuing to prepare for that day.
The yellow-and-blue agreed to loan Serbian Milan Macvan to Partizan
Belgrade on Tuesday, freeing up some money to sign another guard.
American Keith Langford is one of the players being mentioned in
connection with Maccabi, with coach David Blatt also telling the Post
that he hopes to add another big men to replace Macvan.
“We are trying to make roster moves that will free up money to bring
another player so it is a combination of things,” Blatt said. “We may
end up taking two different players, one to replace the player released
[Macvan] and one to replace Farmar.
“This is the business side of things that sometimes people are aware of
or less aware of, but this is the reality and we have to work within a
framework and take a lot of things into consideration.”