Panathinaikos Aktor – Olympiakos: Sluka’s rhapsody, decisive grand and a shot

Stephanos Makris analyzes Panathinaikos Aktor’s victory over Olympiakos in Game 5 of the finals of the Stoiximan Basket League with the help of Hudl Instat. Sluka’s recitation and the way he opened up the Red-Whites’ adjusting defense, Grant’s role and Williams-Goss’ missed shot will go down in history.

The Panathinaikos A.K.T.R Made the final turn. He was 0-2 and returned with Stoiximan Basketball defeated Olympiakos 87-82 in Game 5 of the league finals to win the championship..

The Sports 24 Hudl analyzes the success of “greens” with the help of Instat.

Olympiakos’ adapted defense in the pick-and-roll and the “Greens'” response

Olympiakos entered the court strong with a 2-13 escape. This is due to how the Reds chose to defend in the pick and roll. Olympiacos wanted Mathias Lesser out of the equation as a roller. To do this, he chooses to help from 45 degrees (from the weak side), by “testing” the Frenchman, or by going outside the pass. Here is an example:

I set the pick and roll at 12-13 meters throughout the series. Milutinov plays high flat (behind). Conan is up to the task.

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Nunn passes to Lesser, who drives to the basket. But Kanan comes straight to the rescue.

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Kanan steals the ball.

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Olympiakos, after taking the defenses collected in this way, took the “greens” by surprise. He cut off Lesser’s feed on the pick-and-roll (the Frenchman only scored one basket in a pick-and-roll situation). But Panathinaikos AKTOR had the answer.

Putting Sluka on the ground, Ergin Ataman decided to make him a screener in the first phase. It became clear later that the “greens” chose to attack in a different way: to cut assists from 45 degrees, they sent three players to the base. But to do that, they had to punish Olympiakos in the first phase who changed their approach:

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Slukas screens wet and goes to 45 degrees. Tenor moves to the baseline (in the so-called Dunker Spot, just outside the “painting area”), with Juanjo and Grigonis in the corners.

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I drive to the basket with a walkup assist. I go to Sluka at 45 degrees.

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Slukas attacks Walkup’s close defense.

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Slukas hit a layup.

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Panathinaikos AKTOR seemed to have found something at that point. A little later, he ran a different setup, but stayed true to his logic of keeping 3 players on the baseline to minimize assists:

Nan takes a screen from Huacho as Olympiakos transitions to the screen. Slukas goes to the corner.

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I’m getting ready to drive. Williams-Goss is on display, but can’t help himself. Panathinaikos AKTOR again has three players in the starting lineup (Lesor is in the Dunker Spot). McGissig prepares to help Nan.

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Slukas moves up a bit and goes into the corner to give Nunn the option to pass as he comes in. I passed the ball to him.

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Slukas scored three points.

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Slokas opened up the defense of Olympiakos and Grant

These two baskets by Sloukas started to upset the balance in Olympiakos’ defense. Then the “Greens” captain began to put more effort on the ball, having a glorious first half with 25 points.


Slukas beat Milutino’s drop with a shot after a drop. Catch and shoot shots from teammates’ passes. He showed the way. Ergin Ataman usually lives and dies with the trio of Sluka, myself and Grant in this matchup, opting for their ability to shoot and create after the dribble. Not coincidentally, these three players finished in the top three in attempts. Nunn had 13 points on 4/17 shooting, Slukas had 29 points on 10/14 shooting and Grant had 15 points on 6/8 shooting. The trio hit 39 of 60 shots on the “greens”.

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Slukas brought up the somersault competition in the first episode. While the Greens were tied at the end of the third period and the start of the fourth, the Greens followed up with Trefoil after scoring back-to-back points. And I was the one who (mis)fired the decisive shots in the final. “Greens” attack mainly by shooting their defenders in the pick-and-roll or second-down (in a catch-and-drive situation, a player receives a pass and dunks). One such stage is the grands nailing stage which is the definition of catch and drive.

Olympiakos’ reaction and Williams-Goss’ “one shot – one match”

Olympiakos found itself in the hunt from the second period onwards. It is also true that He gave it all. The “red and whites” returned to the competition, almost all offensive plans in the second half were based on his shorts and pick and pops of Peters (21 points, 4 rebounds) post ups. The American forward was a permanent screener of the “red and whites” from the 3rd period, disrupting the defense of the “greens”.

Peters’ constant movement without the ball created an imbalance. The American hit the crucial shots. But mostly it got his attention. Even when he doesn’t get the ball, he opens up lanes and creates situations for his teammates. In the end, coach Bartzokas played his last card, moving Papanicola to the center position next to Peters. With this formation, the “red and white” managed to bring the match to a point, they opened up the distance in attack and carried out a decisive defense.

Olympiakos had the ball in hand in the final. Williams-Goss was the player to get the ball because he was a guard who coordinated creation and execution better than anyone else on the team’s roster. The American took the screen from Peters (as he did all night), emptied Juancho, had a perfectly free shot from the top and a chance to put Olympiakos in front of the score. And he missed. The rest is now history as the match went to a shootout. Let’s talk about a 5-second violation in the final with a score of 85-82. But no one can guarantee that the shot will be made, since the “greens” will go for a mistake.

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Some may recall that a few months ago, Williams-Goss missed an easy layup (and then won a 1/2 foul shot) in the second round championship game against the Greens. But that’s basketball. A game of moments. The most magical moment in this game is the phrase “one shot, one match”. In this case, that shot from Williams-Goss could have won the title. Probably not, because Panathinaikos AKTOR might have the last attack. As this is a theory we will never know.

The story is simple: if someone had told Olympiakos at the start of the season that their entire season would be decided on a single possession, Williams-Goss would take a free kick, they would have accepted it. It is. The situation couldn’t have been better planned for the “Red and Whites” based on the way their roster was built this year. But the shot didn’t go in.

Panathinaikos AKTOR won after Euro League and Stoiximen Basket League. He came back from 0-2 down to do it. In the match of the year, he excelled in the details. He won because he made the shots he needed, while Olympiakos missed his chance. In the 12th “Eternal” derby of the year, the 82nd match of the season for both, practically everything was decided in one possession. That certainly says a lot. For both.

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