Maccabi Tel Aviv's Malcolm Thomas 370.
(photo credit: Adi Avishai)
After thrashing its Euroleague opponents by an average 30 points in its last two
games, Maccabi Tel Aviv coach David Blatt will have to first and foremost ward
off complacency within his roster ahead of Thursday’s visit to Alba
Maccabi all but secured its wins over Chalon-Sur-Saone and Prokom
Gdynia by halftime in the past two Thursdays to improve to 4-0 in Group
However, Blatt knows that Tel Aviv could be vulnerable should it take
its foot off the gas at any stage in the German capital.
“Berlin is a
good place to play, the problem is that Alba is excellent when playing at home,”
Blatt said. “This is a difficult game in a tough arena.”
Maccabi is tied
with Zalgiris Kaunas for the most points scored in the Euroleague through four
games with an average of 84.5 points but Alba coach Sasa Obradovic is hoping his
players will rise to the occasion against the yellow-and-blue and snap their
two-game losing streak.
“Playing against one of the favorites in the
whole competition is a great challenge for us,” Obradovic said. “Having seen how
Maccabi played in Chalon, we know they have no problems with playing on the
road. But we should not think so much about them, but more about our own game,
which still has a lot of room for improvement.
“We have to learn from the
mistakes we made last week in Malaga and avoid the missed easy layups and the
unforced turnovers, which cost us the victory there.”
Lior Eliyahu is one
of three Maccabi players who average more than 10 points per game and he will be
aiming to bounce back in Berlin from his disappointing six-point performance
against Prokom last week.
“We are confident entering this game because we
are in good form,” said Eliyahu. “A road game in the Euroleague is always
difficult and Alba does well at home and plays very responsibly. We will have to
be focused to win in Germany.”