Ivkovic assessment on Olympiacos
The “red-whites” played five friendly games within one week and at the same time they had been traveling, which makes their performances in Turkey and their victories of course, all the more important. Dusan Ivkovic made an assessment on the five games right after the victory against Efes Pilsen…
“We played five games in a week and pushed the guys a lot. There is a great margin for improvement and there has to be patience and time credit by everyone. I witnessed a great difference from the first game we played in Turkey till this one against Efes Pilsen. At this point, we focus on what we can win and what we can improve. That’s why we have been working”, the Serb coach commented, and then went on to talk in specific about Papanikolaou: “When the pre-season started, I had told me associates to watch out for the young guys. Papanikolaou, Mavrokefalides and Sloukas. I think we have been successful. Papanikolaou had been really scared before these games and it’s positive he has adjusted to the team well”.
And although the young guys are good, the veteran’s are even better… “The experienced players that had been also playing for the Mundobasket are going to find their rhythm later on. Raso made a pre-season after ten years and gave everything he had got. Lucas and Keselj could have done more, but they were facing some problems that left them behind. But they tried and that’s what counts”.
What comes next? “The next two weeks are very important in order to prepare as best possible, in the midst of club events, like the team’s presentation and the official photo shoot. We must remain focused”.
‘Duda’ spoke in particular about the game against Efes Pilsen that has undoubtedly been the most difficult Olympiacos played in Turkey: “We did not follow Efes in their plays, that playing with Nachbar at “4” and Roberts at “5”. We stayed within our own game and that’s what we want for the team. Even if we lost, it wouldn’t mean anything”.
Ivkovic was asked on whether Olympiacos performance in Turkey is an example of how the team is going to be playing: “It’s early to tell about how we are going to be playing. For sure, we are going to be more creative and it shows by the number of assists we pass in every game. However, having that kind of players, we have to reduce the turnovers”, the coach of the Piraeus team stressed and added: “Having young players like Papanikolaou and Keselj, who run and are athletic, we definitely want to run fast breaks and go after the offensive rebounds. We want to play modern basketball and that happens when 25%of the points comes from fast breaks and 60% from secondary ones”.
Finally, the 67 year old coach spoke about the first official game of the season for the Euroleague: “We are going to have played only one official game before the Euroleague premiere and Real will have played more. I believe though that we are going to be ready”.