Nobody would have believed at the beginning of the season that Khimki Moscow Region will occupy now the last spot in the Euroleague, isn’t it? The Russian team had only 2 victories in 17 games in the main European competition and 4/9 in VTB League where they are currently on the 8th spot.
In spite of the result, Khimki has a great coach in Rimas Kutinaintis and an impressive roster, full of stars, including Alexey Shved, Jonas Jerebko, Greg Monroe, Dairis Bertans, Jannis Timma, Jordan Mickey, Stefan Jovic and Devin Booker. So what happened with this team? Are they the worst in the entire competition?
There is one problem that was affecting the squad from the first round: the missing players. They started the season without their main scorer Shved and the chemistry was gone because nobody could assume the role of being the leader. The squad was great, the players very talented but this is Euroleague, a competition where all the teams have strong players and great ambitions to win.
Then, if you take a deep look I think there was maybe a round or two when Khimki had at disposal all their players. If Shved was back, Jovic was out, if Jovic was recovered from injuries then other players missed with covid or injuries. Actually, Khimki had the amazing roster only on paper because on the court they had every game fewer players.
Last game against Olympiacos, everybody was betting on Khimki because they needed so bad to end the dark series of losses, but how to beat the Greek team when you have again a lot of absentees? With Monia, Voronov and Vialtsev? They are good guys to help from the bench a couple of minutes but they cannot be the main characters of the story when important starters are missing.
So, the main explanation of the Khimki’s results this season is simply bad luck. With the roster decimated, you cannot reach glory.
Gratian Cormos is a life coach, book writer and mentor living in the city of Barcelona, Spain.
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