If Euroleague season resumes, Maccabi Tel Aviv won’t be a title contender

At the beginning of this Euroleague season, Maccabi Tel Aviv looked like a true title contender, with one of the deepest rosters in the entire competition. They were affected by injuries and they signed even more players to replace the missing ones and their roster became even bigger and stronger.

When the virus starts to spread and the Euroleague was temporary cancelled, the Israeli powerhouse occupied the 5th place, tied with CSKA Moscow both teams having 19 wins and 9 losses. In my opinion, they were a real candidate to reach the Final 4 and then who knows, it’s just a game where anything can happen. Just as in 2014 when they beat Real Madrid in the Final, surprising the whole world.

Now the situation changed a lot for Maccabi Tel Aviv. They free some the majority of their American players, keeping only the guys that are having a contract for the next season too. Between them Scottie Wilbekin, Othello Hunter, Elijah Bryant and Angelo Caloiaro plus some of the local players like Deni Avdija or with double citizenship which is the case of Amar’e Stoudemire, Jake Cohen, Yovel Zoosman and John di Bartolomeo. The roster looks good enough for the Israeli league where their only tough competitor will be Hapoel Jerusalem. But in the Euroleague will be impossible to even think about fighting for the title.

The players that will more probably miss for Maccabi Tel Aviv, if the Euroleague season resumes are key players hard to substitute like: Tarik Black, Quincy Acy, Aaron Jackson, Tyler Dorsey, Nate Wolters and Jalen Reynolds. Without them, not even a miracle can propel Maccabi Tel Aviv in the Final 4 of the European competition. It’s a pity that the season started very well for them and now this is the unlucky end of their journey.

Photo credit: Euroleague

Gratian Cormos