Tuesday, November 28, 2023

The Unicaja bench loses steam in attack

He Unicaja They were a very admired team last season. Beyond the revolution from the sports management and the coupling of all its pieces, Ibon Navarro’s squad finished fifth in the Endesa League – tied with 4th, Tenerife – for doing many things well and even being the best in many others. For example, points scored from the bench. However, factors such as the physical condition of the interior players and the lack of form of other players have turned one of the great strengths of the scorer into a more than obvious weakness.

The Los Guindos team does not have a typical quintet, anyone can be a owner. In fact, it is usually the characteristics of the rival that define whether Alberto Díaz or Kendrick Perry plays point guard, if Kameron Taylor, Tyson Carter or Tyler Kalinoski are placed in the ‘2’ or if Will Thomas or Will Thomas starts at power forward. Dylan Osetkowski. That aspect, fortunately, has not changed. What it has done is the scoring effectiveness of the players who come out as substitutes.

Last year, Unicaja led the classification of points scored from the bench with a average of 45.97 per game in the regular season. Above the four Euroleague players who go beyond the 12 players available for the call: Baskonia (43.94), Real Madrid and Valencia (41.18), and Barça (36.74). The great success of a squad in which, as was said from the beginning, anyone could play more than 20 minutes per game.

From 1st to 13th

Now, at the start of the season, the drop in this statistic has been notable. Unicaja is no longer 1st, but occupies 13th place and scores 36.50 points, being only 43.58% of the total score for him 52.64% from the previous season. A classification that the four Euroleague teams do not lead, by any means, – all ahead of the Los Guindos club. The best scorer in this aspect is Zunder Palencia, whose bench registers 55.86% of the total points, followed by Bilbao Basket (53.42%).

Dylan Osetkowski was the leading scorer as a substitute last season. ACBPHOTO

There are many reasons. In fact, they are all part of the reasons why Unicaja has reached this point with a balance of 1-3. Against Lenovo Tenerife -the only league victory so far-, the bench scored 47 points. Despite posting 92 in the loss to Zaragoza, only 27 came from the substitutes. A step forward that the bench did take in the stumble against the Valencia Basket with 50 points -23 Perry- to pull the handbrake again before the Gran Canaria: 22 of 69.


This reduction in productivity from the bench is motivated by the physical condition of the centers, not being able to offer even 60% of their possibilities or the drop in form of certain players. For now, the team has lost up to 10 points thanks to the Carter, Kalinoski and Taylor. In that aspect he shone last year Osetkowski, being one of the 15 best in the league Endesato now be a starter and replace a Will Thomas who has become earthly or a Kravish who left his first 2 points of the season on the island.

In short, the loss of scoring from the bench is one of the many causes that could explain the situation in which Unicaja finds itself. A facet that is already being worked on.


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