After thrashing its last two Euroleague opponents, Maccabi Tel Aviv will have to ward off complacency against Alba Berlin.
By ALLON SINAI
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 Berlin.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 B.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.”AdvertisementLior 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.”