Maccabi Tel Aviv Looking Ready with Zo Running Point
On Thursday night, Maccabi Tel Aviv was scheduled to kick off their 2022/23 EuroLeague session against Zalgiris with a roster of players that is almost brand-new.
It will be their attempt to land their first continental crown after 2014. The yellow-and-blue had managed to reach the quarterfinals last year before Real Madrid had swept them away easily.
It had turned out to be a one-sided series in which Maccabi had also been unable to reach the finals in the domestic league, as they failed against Bnei Herzliya, under interim coach Avi Even.
However, Maccabi Tel Aviv had had a change of guard during the first quarter in its Winner Cup semifinal when Lorenzo Brown checked in.
This had seem the yellow-and-blue defeat Hapoel Holon 97-91. It had been officially the start of a new era for the team, as they were out with the old and in with the new.
Oded Katash, the new head coach, had been waiting for a month for this moment when his new team had started taking shape and molding.
As for Brown, he was busy with Spain and leading them to the European Championship. Once a dominant guard, the bench boss had had his career derailed because of injuries.
He took his incomplete squad and continued to play exhibition games and realized that they were missing the last puzzle piece that would make the team into one that could be comfortable with going into the EuroLeague.
The puzzle piece
Luckily, the piece arrived and made a great debut, thanks to Katash. He impacted the game almost immediately when he appeared on the Hadera floor boasting his patented headband.
By the time the first frame ended, Brown had been passing the ball easily to one teammate after the other and already had four assists under his belt.
He managed to create chaos almost immediately for his opponents and the impact was obvious on the court.
But, the Spanish-American guard was fully focused on team play and he showed that accolades were not that important to him.
He said that their victory was the most important thing, but added that they still had to prove their worth as a team. He also praised the atmosphere and the trust his coach and teammates had in him.
The Maccabi team did not have a floor general and it had been obvious in the worst way possible, but Brown was able to make a remarkable difference.
The quick first step of the 32 year old, the smooth moves and the explosiveness and dynamite shot were all evident and seemed to be similar to how he had played earlier in the year in Spain.
Brown is capable of doing things that his teammate at Maccabi, Wade Baldwin, cannot and vice versa, which works well for Oded Katash.
The yellow-and-blue coach stated that the point guard plays a key role on the court and Wade had been doing everything up till now, but now Brown would provide some peace on the floor.