Panathinaikos: Ataman's strategy for game 4.

Panathinaikos: Ataman’s strategy for game 4.

Written by Themis Prokopiou.

Undoubtedly, Panathinaikos’ playoff series against Maccabi Tel Aviv stands out as one of the most intriguing matchups at the moment. Besides the on-field tensions, there have been notable off-field controversies, with Panathinaikos vehemently protesting certain refereeing decisions.

However, what remains pivotal is understanding Panathinaikos’ strategy against Maccabi Tel Aviv, known for boasting the best offense in the Euroleague competition. To gain insight, we just need to take a look at Game 2, where Panathinaikos secured a convincing 95-79 victory.

The key players.

First, let’s examine the key players for Game 4. Panathinaikos will need to capitalize on the strengths of two players who have demonstrated their reliability on the court and can significantly contribute to the team’s performance. The first player to highlight is Ioannis Papapetrou, who has emerged as a formidable presence that caught Maccabi off guard. He has the potential to elevate his status to one of the standout performers in the series. In exceptional form, Papapetrou has showcased his ability to carry Panathinaikos by offering solutions both offensively and defensively. In Game 4, I anticipate a repeat of his offensive impact from Game 2, with Papapetrou likely to transition to the perimeter while D. Mitoglou assumes the 4 position. Positioned on the perimeter, Papapetrou will provide offensive solutions by capitalizing on scoring opportunities from the 3-point line, thus drawing Maccabi’s defensive big men towards him.

The second player poised to play a pivotal role in steering Panathinaikos towards a 2-2 tie in the playoff series is Kentrick Nunn. Almost single-handedly altering the course of Game 3, Nunn now has the opportunity to shine even brighter. He will command a significant share of possessions, with Panathinaikos heavily relying on him to generate offense. Panathinaikos’ offensive strategy will prioritize swift movement in space, exploiting Maccabi’s current defensive vulnerabilities. This approach is expected to yield three or even four scoring opportunities per minute for Panathinaikos. Anticipating an offensive showcase, Panathinaikos aims to match or surpass the season’s highest point total in the Euroleague, which stands at 99 points.

The paint is not a friendly territory.

In the frontline, Panathinaikos finds itself in a challenging position. This was glaringly evident in Game 3, where Mathias Lessort bore the brunt of the load, facing tough matchups against Maccabi’s formidable big men. Josh Nebo, a player known for his no-nonsense approach, poses a significant challenge, leaving Panathinaikos unable to rely as heavily on their own frontcourt players, particularly in Game 4. While the battle for rebounds will undoubtedly persist, Panathinaikos’s strategy will pivot towards the perimeter. Furthermore, the acquisition of Aleksander Balcerowski highlighted the team’s limited options in its frontline.

Dinos Mitoglou is expected to step up in this regard, replicating his performance from Game 2 and emerging as one of the primary contenders on the boards.

Can Panathinaikos advance to the Final Four?

Certainly, the answer is a resounding yes. Panathinaikos boasts a deeper roster compared to Maccabi, and if they execute tonight’s game plan effectively, they stand a strong chance of securing an iconic victory in Belgrade. Such a triumph would provide them with the much-needed psychological boost heading into Game 5, potentially propelling them to qualify for the Final Four.

Against Maccabi, defense alone is not the key, as their offensive prowess is undeniable. They possess the ability to navigate through even the most robust defensive strategies to score. Therefore, Panathinaikos should prioritize running the floor, as it presents excellent scoring opportunities. This strategic approach aligns with the analysis provided for betting purposes in my match analysis.


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Posted in Blog, Panathinaikos AKTOR Athens, Teams.

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