Serb Milan Macvan 311.
(photo credit: Maccabi Tel Aviv Website)
Maccabi Tel Aviv coach David Blatt is pleased with the acclimation of Milan
Macvan and could hand the Serbian his yellow-and-blue debut in the team’s final
Euroleague regular-season game at Prokom Gdynia on Thursday night.
Aviv already wrapped up first position in Group A two weeks ago and extended its
continental winning streak to eight games with a victory over BC Khimki Moscow
However, Blatt is still determined for his team to claim
yet another win in an almost meaningless game and maintain its current momentum
ahead of the start of the Top 16 in January 20.
“The game isn’t important
from the standpoint of the standings, but I think both teams consider it to be
an important game because both are serious and professional teams with pride
that want to perform well in every game,” Blatt said.
“There’s no need to
try new things at this point before the Top 16. We’ve got a good system going
that has worked well for us, and we’re just trying to improve, maybe to add a
thing or two.
We’re not going to make any drastic changes because there’s
no need to.”
Maccabi has got high expectations from Macvan, handing the
21-year-old forward, who is regarded as one of the brightest prospects in
European basketball, a four-and-a-half year deal.
However, Tel Aviv is
not expecting him to become a key member of the team any time soon and Blatt
plans to slowly introduce him to his rotation.
“Macvan’s integration into
the team has been smooth and very natural, just as I expected it would be,” the
coach said. “The faster he becomes acclimated, the bigger his impact will
“His signing has lifted the team, even though the situation was also
good before he arrived. He still needs to learn our system and he will progress
with every day of training. We have a month to prepare for the second half of
the season and the way we do so will be crucial.”
Macvan was pleased with
his first day of training at Maccabi.
“The guys are great and have given
me a lot of support,” he said. “Despite the high expectations I don’t feel any
pressure. I know I have to learn Blatt’s system and I will try and pick
everything up over the next few days.”
Prokom was thrashed 99-58 by
Maccabi at Nokia Arena last month and regardless of Thursday’s result will
finish bottom of the group.
“Gdynia is in the same situation as we are,
in that the game doesn’t decide anything, since we’ve already secured first
place,” Maccabi forward David Blu said. “Despite that, we want to win and to
come to the game with pride, and we’re sure they will come to a game on their
home court in the same manner.I’m sure it will be a good game.”