BasketballBetween Karnik and the Lions, the divorce is inevitable
Our specialized journalist dissected the last day of SB League. With a strong emphasis on the poster between Friborg Olympic and the Geneva Lions.
Divorce in sight at the Pommier?
In Switzerland, it is impossible to hope to compete with Olympic without a dominant player in the low post. Bringing him back to the end of the lake at the end of the summer, the Geneva Lions had high hopes in James Karnik, the man who “was to dominate the championship in the paint”. Although he arrived with knee tendonitis, the Canadian had delivered a very promising opening match against Neuchâtel (20 points). With care and time, everyone hopes things will go back to normal. It is not so. The pain remains too intense and Karnik has missed several matches and decrees the arrival for a month of medical freelancer James Padgett.
For his return on Saturday, after the international break, the former Boston College player was transparent (no point in 14 minutes) during the defeat in Freiburg (86-81), deprived of Jonathan Kazadi (gastro). Before the start of the season, Geneva coach Alain Attallah explained that his team was built so that its titular foreign pivot plays 30 minutes, at least. Other than against Union, that has never been the case. The problem has been going on at Le Pommier for three months. And since it is still not settled, the divorce seems inevitable.
Why Bryan Colon passed away
A poem. Thus, it is necessary to qualify the first half of Bryan Colon against Friborg Olympic (21 points when joining the locker room). The captain of the Lions used all his offensive palette, picked up speed and provoked mistakes from Davonta Jordan and Yuri Solca, cut out the Friborg screens and found address from afar. And then ? Nothing, or almost nothing (3 points later). One might be tempted to believe that it’s only because Friborg coach Petar Aleksic has found the parade and adjusted his defense. But looking closely at this third quarter, we can see that Bryan Colon fades first, to leave the ball to a rusty Jeremiah Paige after a month off, then shows himself clumsy.
How to explain it? You have to go back to the end of the first half to find part of the answer, when Colon felt unwell. “He was sick in the morning and slept the whole way on the bus before the game,” whispers a voice from the club.
Monthey, deceiving appearances
This is the sequence that went on a loop and made the buzz on Sunday evening: we see Massagno there, led by two points by Monthey in the last seconds. Until this monstrous long converted shot, out of balance and facing the fine defense of Markel Humphrey, by Dusan Mladjan, the eternal, as we reminded him not long ago.
Did the Boars lose the match on this? No. They lost it just before when, and while coach Patrick Pembele had lined up the Vranic–Langford–Humphrey trio together, the Valaisans were unable to lock the rebound on Ticino freelancers on several occasions. And they were punished, 75-76 final score. For Monthey, who recorded the return of his leader Lottie (26 points) – and therefore saw Chandler regain his role as lieutenant – it is a fourth consecutive defeat. Landenbergue, Eberle and Fritschi are still absent but it would be good for morals to react in Neuchâtel on Wednesday.
Should we rethink the attack in Nyon?
We will wait for a few meetings to judge the contributions of the new BBC Nyon players. Little used this weekend in Lugano (85-79 defeat), with 11 and 8 minutes respectively, Eric Fongué and Joshua Norbal were not of much help. As often for some time, Davonte Brooks excelled with 24 points at a high shooting percentage (10/16). As often too, Colin Dougherty missed his points but not behind the arc, where, with 28% success in six matches, he remains well below expectations. With already more than 100 shots taken this season, the American fullback has generated a lot of play. In comparison, Jérémy Jaunin has shot half as much (52).
Should we redirect the attack a little around the Jaunin – Brooks axis and center it less around Dougherty? It can be a line of thought for Stefan Ivanovic. And then what about Maleye N’Doye? With 22 minutes and 6 points on average, does the 42-year-old Senegalese veteran really bring what we are entitled to expect from a third foreign player? It is permissible to doubt it.
Neuchâtel confirmed at Boncourt
We will start by apologizing to Boncourtois and Neuchâtel readers. But as the “cameras did not work in the Cauldron because of a technical problem” – according to Swiss Basket – we saw nothing of the derby of the Jura arc. Under these conditions, we must therefore interpret the figures. Dominating in the first three quarters, which they finished with an 18-point lead, the Neuchâtelois held on (82-73) and confirmed their victory against Massagno before the break. Mitar Trivunovic’s base five was very successful with five players at more than 11 units, including Nate West, author of 24 points.
With this second victory in a row, the residents of La Riveraine are in the battle for places 7 and 8, synonymous with the quarter-finals of the SBL Cup on December 21. Still with this in mind, Wednesday’s Nyon (10th) – Boncourt (7th) will be worth a lot. But the Boncourtois will have to do without their guide and captain Josh Brown, touched after 12 minutes against Union. The American point guard dislocated his wrist and was released Sunday night. He will be absent for at least two months. A real tile for Etienne Faye’s group.