Pitino: “We did a fabulous job in the first half”

The head coach of Panathinaikos BC OPAP, Rick Pitino, stated after the game against Khimki Moscow Region: "We did a fabulous job in the first half of exploiting the mismatch at the offensive end. Both DeShaun Thomas and Dinos (Mitoglou) at the 'four' spot were 13-for-18 (two-point shots). Since I have been here, DeShaun has been playing awesome basketball. The only thing we did wrong in the first half was that we gave up 7 threes. But the good thing in the second half is that we gave up only one, which was a real commitment by the players to make sure they didn't get beat at the three-point line. You have to understand that the other team and the other coach are paid athletes and paid coaches, so when you hurt a team with mismatches and post-ups, they are going to make adjustments. He is a good coach and they are a good team, and they will make adjustments. And every good team, especially them, because they shoot so well, is going to have a run. They key against a good team is stopping their run and getting momentum back, and we did that tonight. We are still undefeated at home and now, we go to a road game. I told the team before the game that we have eight games left in the EuroLeague, and we have to win seven, so the pressure is on. Now, I have always looked at pressure as the greatest word an athlete or a coach can have. Pressure is the greatest gift, the greatest privilege an athlete or a coach can have. Although losing two key games against Zalgiris and Milan at home put us in a tough situation, this gift of pressure is the greatest gift that Panathinaikos can have because you will find out who is ready, who wants it bad. You will understand that excuses are a sign of weakness and pressure is a great gift, so we are looking forward to this challenge."