What Maccabi should have done in the last minute against Valencia?

Maccabi have lost yesterday wasting an important lead in Valencia. The fate of the game decided in the last possessions and what happened is a lesson to be learned for any player and coach. It happened to Maccabi, but it can happen next week to other teams.

You have 36 seconds, 3 points advantage and the ball possession. What do you do?

1. The classical solution is to keep the ball till the end of your 24 seconds attack and try to shoot in the last/lasts seconds. But from anywhere? Including a desperate 3 pointer with almost no chance to enter the basket? Hell, no!

2. A better solution is to try to penetrate de defense with a pick and roll and to score as closer to the basket you can or catching a foul that takes you to the free-throw line.

3. A much better solution is to keep the ball till the end of your possession, committing a deliberate 24 seconds violation. With this strategy, you minimize the risk of a fast break from your opponents. You are not giving them the opportunity to score a 3 pointer or an and-one basket easily. You wait 24 seconds without attacking the rim and as a consequence, you lose the possession. In the next 12 seconds remaining you can defend better without risk of a fast break, avoiding what actually happened yesterday when Derrick Williams scored a huge 3 pointer tying the game at 80.

Maccabi should waste the 24 seconds and then, if necessary, to commit a normal foul offering only 2 free-throws to Valencia Basket. Then they would have the possession again and 1 point ahead and now Valencia would have been forced to foul Maccabi, in order to take them to the free-throw line.

Instead of this in the last 12 seconds of the game, Maccabi received a 5-0 run and lost the game in an embarrassing way.

Image: EuroLeague

Gratian Cormos is a life coach, book writer and mentor living in the city of Barcelona, Spain.

He is the author of the book “How to bet on basketball” available here for only 11 euros.

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