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Pitino: "We've got to sweep our home games"

The head coach of Panathinaikos OPAP stated after the end of the game against AX Armani Exchange Milan:

"They played great offense tonight. They passed the ball well. Even when we played great defense, with 1 second on the shot clock, they made difficult threes, so they deserve a lot of credit. In the last two games before Milan, we have given up 14 threes and 15 threes, and against AEK [in the Greek League] the other day we gave up 18 threes. It is not the defense on the three that is causing most of these problems.

Look, Milan made three really lucky shots at the three-point line with 1 second on the clock, I am not counting those, but what's giving up the threes is getting beat one-on-one constantly off the dribble, then you are forced to rotate and you give up the three. And that is what is killing, our one-on-one ball containment. We have cured our rebounding woes, which was very bad, now we got to cure our one-on-one defensive woes.

You are not going to win basketball games when you let the other team shoot 46% from the three and 48% from the two. We are not good enough for that. Because of our weakness, I gave my team the challenge to force the other team to 32% three-point shooting or less and we are not doing that. The EuroLeague is a little different than the NBA in this regard. In the NBA to get a 50+ win season, you want to win two out of five road games, and four out of five home games to have a good season.

Our goal was to try and win these two road games, but we had to win one out of two, and we accomplished that. Now we got four out of six home games coming up, we've got to sweep our home games, then win one out of two on the road. We are right on target. Milan needed this game, we needed this game. But, we beat CSKA, which is big, and lost to a team that played very well. We gave great effort tonight, had great enthusiasm, but they were the better offensive basketball team."



DID YOU KNOW THAT…
…In 2014 Tyrese Rice won the Euroleague with Maccabi Tel Aviv and he was named the EuroLeague Final Four MVP.
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