The DBB team plays to fall in love
The Basketball Game That Never Was
Germany’s basketball players put on an outstanding 40-minute basketball game but are still falling behind at half-time. It’s hard to believe really. As well as what happens after the break: the DBB team brings crazy energy to the field.
Can you fall in love with basketball? Yes, you can. Can a basketball game be nearly perfect? Yes, it can On Tuesday night in Berlin, the German national team played what could very well be the most impressive game in (German) history in a few decades. In order for people to understand what happened against the favorites of Greece in the quarter-finals of the European Championship, a comparison with football is acceptable, so that people who previously viewed this sport in a rather distant light can understand. That game at the Mercedes-Benz Arena was on the scale of Germany’s 7-1 win against Brazil in the 2014 World Cup semi-finals or Bayern’s 8-2 Champions League victory against Barcelona two years ago. The word “historical” is big and inflationary in use. But nothing else happened.
German football players crowned themselves after the humiliation of the hosts of the World Cup, FC Bayern grabbed the handle of the pot. What about German basketball players? They are in the semi-finals and could end a 17-year sporting drought against Spain. The last time the medal was at the 2005 European Championships, it was silver and Dirk Nowitzki’s team conceded a clear victory in the final. against Greece. Of all things. Was it revenge? Irrelevant. It was crazy. From the first to the 36th minute. In turn, Dennis Schroeder got into his last three, put plus 21. The matter was finally decided. Breathe.
Every throw hit – what a madness
Breathe. Finally. Previously, the game did not allow anything like this. It was an absurd duel, constantly in anaerobic mode. Relentlessly intense, brutal in tempo. After a good six minutes, more than 50 points had already been scored. 28 for Germany, 23 for Greece. The result is hard to believe. DBB’s play impressed everyone – almost literally, but Giannis Antetokounmpo wasn’t going to defend himself. Which is not an accusation. Because having a plan to take the best basketball player in the world out of the game is one of the most difficult tasks in the sport. But not among the unsolvable, as Germany impressively demonstrated after the break. But before entering the cockpit, there was still a lot of time – and many spectacles. Germany started threes to call out, Antetokounmpo plowed the area. Breathe? Not!
The DBB team functioned as an outstanding team against which the Greeks fought with their superstar and poisonous energy monster Giannoulis Larentsakis. The 28-year-old is one of those guys you don’t want to play against. Aggressive and constantly provokes. Not unfair, but annoying. Franz Wagner, Germany’s greatest basketball talent of the time, took it painfully. Again and again he clashed with Larentsakis. What a duel. What a show. Both defended themselves like a rock, held back by flashy glasses and clear words. If the Greek had not fixed his third foul at the very beginning, this duel could have escalated. Maybe it’s a good thing it didn’t.
Monster Energy from Monster Throw
It was one of many exciting fights. Most of them went to Germany. It’s unbelievable what mental strength this team brought to the floor. It didn’t bother me for a second that the offensive show wasn’t rewarded with a big advantage. It was even the other way around. During the break, the Greeks were in the lead and had an advantage on their side. In the last second of the second quarter, Kostas Sloukas delivers a crazy shot from the middle of the field. A scene that can break an opponent. But not the German team. It must have sucked a monstrous energy out of that buzzer – because what happened after the break was even more hilarious than anything you’ve seen before, just in the opposite way. It was a game that told a story that no one had heard but not experienced.
The second half was no longer an open exchange of blows, no run and shoot with an increasingly wild degree. The fascination of the game was filmed by the German with defensive energy and callousness when throwing. Giannis Antetokounmpo, this man who does not really need to be protected, did not find his way into the German zone. If he finds every little gap in the first two quarters and attacks profitably, there will be nothing left. Just another wall. “Greek freak” received only those litters that he did not like. His colleagues could not compensate for this. They didn’t have a plan B that worked.
Germany, on the other hand, relied on plans O for Obst, S for Schröder, T for Theis and W for Wagner. Threes continued to pour in (Obst and Wagner), Schroeder attacked the basket like an angry bull (sometimes with excessive show and arrogance), and Thies fought off everything that came across his path. At 20:1, the Greeks were exhausted, represented, defeated. Antetokounmpo was ejected midway through the final quarter after his second unsportsmanlike foul, followed shortly by Schroeder with two technical fouls. Minor flaws in a game to fall in love with, a game that was remarkably close to sporting perfection.