David Blatt 370.
(photo credit: Adi Avishai)
Three road wins in seven days have turned Maccabi Tel Aviv’s early season
struggles into a distant memory.
Maccabi enters Sunday’s BSL game against
Bnei Herzliya at Nokia Arena brimming with confidence after climbing to the top
of Euroleague Group D with Thursday’s 76-74 victory at Lietuvos Rytas
After beginning its BSL campaign with two defeats in its first
three games for the first time in club history, Maccabi beat Hapoel Gilboa/Galil
in Gan Ner last week and will be aiming to finally improve to a winning record
with another victory against Herzliya on Sunday.
“We had a good game, but
like in any game you have some better moments and some worse ones,” said Maccabi
coach David Blatt following the team’s return to Israel from Lithuania on
“What’s important is that we won a second straight difficult game
on the road.”
For the first time this season, Blatt will have Devin Smith
at his disposal in local action, with the key American swingman being rested in
Tel Aviv’s past four BSL games due to an ailing knee.
leads the league in points per game (84.0 ppg), but it has recorded just a 3-2
record, suffering tight defeats to Hapoel Tel Aviv and Maccabi
Even with Sofoklis Schortsanitis to sit out Sunday’s game ahead of
Thursday’s Euroleague showdown with Panathinaikos, Tel Aviv should have a
significant size advantage under the baskets.
Herzliya will be counting
on another stellar performance from Ndudi Ebi in the hope of limiting Tel Aviv
in the paint, with the Nigerian currently leading the league in redounds (10.6
rpg), blocks (2.8 bpg) and steals (3.0 spg), while also averaging 14.4
Maccabi Haifa will look to make it seven wins in a row in all
competitions when it visits Maccabi Rishon Lezion on Sunday.
has been in relentless form, winning five games over 11 days, Rishon has
struggled desperately in recent weeks, losing its past four contests by an
average 20 points.
Also Sunday, Hapoel Eilat hosts Maccabi Ashdod and
Barak Netanya visits Hapoel Holon.
Hapoel Jerusalem visits Ironi Ness
Ziona on Monday while Hapoel Tel Aviv goes to Gilboa.