The Deutsche Bank Skyliners basketball past in Bamberg in the last six seasons has been about as desolate as the 2007-2008 Oklahoma Thunder where they lost a franchise record 62 games, tennis pro Marat Safin losing 129 Grand Slam matches in a row before reaching a Grand Slam final or the sad demise of lovable actor Mel Gibson who was more in the headlines for his phone affairs then for his critical acting this year, but who is making an acting comeback with The Beaver, and How I spent my summer vacation soon. At times it has seemed that there has been some kind of curse on the Frankfurt club like there had been on the Boston Red Sox for 86 years and still is on the Chicago Cubs who have not won a World Series in 102 years as 2,186 days had gone by from 2004-2010 for The Deutsche Bank Skyliners not winning a game in Bamberg between game four win in 2004 and the First game of the final in 2010 as the long drought was finally broken as it was old coach/new coach Gordie Herbert that was able to win again in game one of the 2010 BEKO BBL finals 65-63. Since this thrilling win, The Deutsche Bank Skyliners have had little luck losing the next three games on the road in Bamberg including game five and the 2010 Champions Cup and being outscored 254-180 in the last three games in the Jako arena. 18 days ago, The Deutsche Bank Skyliners suffered a humiliating 85-58 loss in Bamberg in the Champions Cup, but were as handicapped without center Joe Dabbert and Quantez Robertson and only one true big man with Marius Nolte like as if one small tiny sweet cat was surrounded by five hungry lions, The Boston Celtics had to play without the GAP trio of Garrnet, Allen and Pierce or character Ethan Hunt of the Mission Impossible getting through life unhurt without his slick gadgets. This time, Frankfurt travel to the pretty Bavarian city with their Bucks(Buckman/Bucknor) in their baggage, plus 51 rebounds from the ugly Duesseldorf win and about as much self confidence as former president Bill Clinton has when he is out on the town. Frankfurt had to deal with the Duesseldorf sixth man Murat Didin on Sunday and now four days later have to deal with the Bamberg sixth man their fans. “It is tough playing in Bamberg. The fans are so much into the game. It reminds me of when we played at the University of Dayton. It was sold out and loud each time. It is tough to say if the Bamberg fans are their sixth man, but for sure when you play the Artland Dragons”, joked Phoenix Hagen American Quentin Pryor. Frankfurt can only pray that the game is as quiet as at the Champions Cup, because at times one could of heard the cash registers in the supermarket basement.
The Brose Baskets Bamberg have left off form their big 2009-2010 season by starting the 2010-2011 season winning their first three games. They beat Ratiopharm Ulm 70-59 in their first game at home, then had to grind out a 71-65 win against pesky Phoenix Hagen and last weekend came back home and showed their home court strength dismantling the Eisbaeren Bremerhaven at home 75-66 despite a very weak first half. They came out strong in the second half and stepped up their defense limiting Bremerhaven to only 22 points and giving the impression that they can do anything when only given the command by coach Chris Fleming even when times might look a bit bleak. The Brose Baskets Bamberg
Are the heavy BEKO BBL favourite to win the first back to back titles since Alba Berlin did it in 2002 and 2003. The biggest strength of Bamberg is that they kept a core of last seasons team, but do they have even more depth than last season? If they can stay free of injuries then it could be a very long season for the 17 other BEKO BBL teams when they have to square off against Bamberg this season. “I believe that Bamberg has more depth than last season and their overall team defense is better than last season. They apply more pressure in the half court”, warned Phoenix Hagen AmericanQuentin Pryor. A big compliment to Bamberg skipper Chris Fleming, because during the Dirk Bauerman era, Bamberg prided their game to defense and as Fleming came aboard in 2008, many thought that defense might slide, but in reality defense has developed nicely in the last two seasons. Bamberg is averaging 40 rebounds per game and will be a throne in each opponents side under the boards. “Frankfurt has to win the war of the rebounds”, stated Phoenix Hagen guard Mark Dorris.
The Brose Baskets Bamberg are seeking their fourth BEKO BBL title in 2010-2011 after winning the coveted trophy in 2005, 2007 and 2010. Bamberg management did a good job keeping a core of players and adding a few key players to help fill small holes. The motto don’t change a winning team too much stuck with coach Chris Fleming as he was able to hold key players like Casey Jacobsen(11.4ppg, 3.7rpg, 2.9apg, FGP: 50.7%, 3PT: 38.5%, FT: 77.0%), Brian Roberts(11.8ppg, 1.7rpg, 1.7apg, FGP: 52.0%, 3PT: 44.4%, FT-2(88.4%)), Predrag Suput(14.9ppg, 4.7rpg, 1.9apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 53.7%, 3PT: 41.6%, FT: 84.6%), John Goldsberry(6.4ppg, 1.9rpg, 3.1apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 59.3%, 3PT: 36.7%, FT: 71.1%), Anton gavel(10.0ppg, 2.3rpg, 2.1apg, FGP: 50.5%, 3PT: 44.1%, FT: 71.7%; EuroCup: 12 games: 6.8ppg, 1.8apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 54.5%, 3PT: 41.4%, FT: 84.0%), 8.0ppg, 5.9rpg, Blocks-2(1.3bpg), FGP: 56.9%, 3PT: 44.4%, FT: 70.8%) and Karsten Tadda(3.2ppg, 1.2rpg, 1.0apg). The team added Reyshawn Terry who is a 26 year old 203cm forward from Winston-Salem, North Carolina. He is a solid small forward who can hit a long jumper and has the size to be a good defender. He’s very versatile and athletic, gives his best in transition. Has the ideal frame for a three, but can easily adapt to play at the PF if needed. He played at the well known North Carolina university from 2003-2007 reaching the NCAA Elite Eight in 2007. Last season, he played for Xacobeo BluSens Obradoiro (Spain-ACB, starting five): 34 games: 12.1ppg, 4.9rpg, FGP: 40.3%, 3PT: 33.6%, FT: 84.6%. This past summer, he played NBA Summer League in Las Vegas (Portland Trail Blazers). The club also signed Kyle Hines who is a 24 year old 198cm power forward/center from Sicklerville, New Jersey. He is a powerful player who loves to attack the basket. Has a good 1-vs-1 game and likes to go inside. He is undersized to play the power forward, but his great wingspan (7-1) allows him to guard taller players and to intimidate. He’s also a great leaper and reads the opponent’s game well “My game is similar to that of Chuck Hayes or Paul Millsap”, commented Kyle Hines.He played at NC-Greensboro (NCAA) from 2004-2008. In his senior year, he played 31 games: 19.2ppg, 9.1rpg, 1.4apg, 1.8spg, 3.1bpg, FGP: 55.6%, 3Pts: 12.5%, FT: 62.8%. Lasts eason, he played for Prima Veroli (Italy-Lega2, starting five): 40 games: 18.5ppg, 8.1rpg, Steals-2(3.5spg), Blocks-4(1.6bpg), FGP-3(64.0%), 3PT: 18.8%, FT: 57.8%.
The Brose Baskets Bamberg already have a huge advantage over most of the other 17 BEKO BBL teams in that they have kept a core of their team. It seems as if Bamberg will keep many teams off guard with not just one style of play. “We can play a multitude of different styles. We have players on our roster that can do everything. The style we play depends on our opponent and style of game they play. We will always be able to tailor our game to match the opponent”, added Bamberg forward Kyle Hines. It seems like Bamberg have no weak spot at any position. “We are a strong team and have depth at every position with a number of players being able to play multiple positions”, said Kyle Hines. But the biggest strength of the Brose Baskets Bamberg is something that every team in basketball any where on earth strive to have. “We simply play team basketball. We have developed a chemistry in a short time. There is no player on this team that is looking for individual stats. Each guy is interested in trying to do what is best for the team to have success”, warned Kyle Hines.
Since Bamberg is packed with so many good players, it could be very rare this season to have a guy scoring 20 points or more. Top scorer in the first three games has been Anton Gavel who is averaging 13,3ppg, 27rpg and 2,0apg. He has been very solid shooting 40% from the field and 41% from the parking lot. Predrag Suput who belongs to a small class that can call themselves the elite best players in the BEKO BBL was injured, but came back and showed that he is his old self averaging 10,5ppg, 8,0rpg and 2,0apg. American Brian Roberts is a spark plug with nonstop energy as he is averaging 9,7ppg, 1,3rpg and 2,3apg. He is very dangerous and can score in bunches if asked too. American Kyle Hines seems not to have had any problems getting used to the BEKO BBL coming from the second division in Italy and is averaging 9,7ppg, 4,7rpg and 1,3apg. German national player Tibor Pleiss had jumped out to a quick start and is averaging 9,0ppg, 10,7rpg, 1,0spg and 2,7bpg. He has shown early how versatile he is and if he keeps up his rapid pace might already be in the NBA next season. American Casey Jacobson is the leader of the team and with 279 NBA games, a player with the most experience on the team. He is averaging 8,7ppg, 3,3rpg and 3,7apg. He is still searching for his form as he is shooting only 29% from the field and 21% from the three point line. Ex North Carolina standout Reyshawn Terry is averaging 6,7ppg and 7,0rpg. He is a very flashy player and already showed his leaping and mini air Jordan flights through the zone in the Champions Cupp. Point guard John Goldsberry is averaging 5,0ppg, 3,0rpg and 1,0apg. He is hurt and young Germans Kartsen Tadda(1,3ppg) and Maurice Stuckey(6,0ppg, 10rpg) might get more playing time as well as Michael Crowell. The goal of the Brose Baskets Bamberg is to win as many titles as possible and the two new Americans Kyle Hines and Reyshawn Terry could make the difference between 0 and a trip to the Bamberg city hall balcony in the summer of 2011. “I think that Hines and Terry are the key. They bring more athletcism to the team and on top of that they are pretty good players as well”, stated Quentin Pryor. Despite the talent of these two Americans, opposing players are already in the right frame of mind and don´t want to get intimidated by them. “They both can play, but I was not impressed more than any other players we play this season”, stressed Mark Dorris.
The Deutsche Bank Skyliners visit Bamberg with a 1-1 record with still a lot to prove and some revenge on their minds after the 27 point loss in the Champions Cup 18 days ago. Frankfurt played a solid game in Oldenburg for 39 minutes, but losing the lead in the last minute and the game 70-67 and then came home to give ex coach Murat Didin a big headache and a 58-43 loss. It was a sluggish win, but despite the horrible shooting and 18 turnovers that felt more like 30 turnovers, the team only gave up 43 points even if Duesseldorf was no where where they want to be this season. Frankfurt still can improve in many areas and will be put up to the test against the tough Brose Baskets Bamberg. Top scorer of The Deutsche Bank Skyliners in this young season so far has been Jimmy Mckinney who is averaging 10,5ppg. 5.5rpg and 1,5apg and is coming back to the form of his rookie season where he was a consistent scorer. Though he still is looking for his consistent shot as he is shooting 31% from the field and 25% from outside. AJ Moye who is back in the BEKO BBL after a season in Finland is averaging 10,0ppg and 7,5rpg and has done a fine job helping out under the boards. Brad Buckman who came late to the team and has a short term contract until the end of October is averaging 8,5ppg, 4,5rpg and is shooting 40% from the field and 50% from outside. The 26 year old Texan has shown his physical side even though he fouled out against Duesseldorf in 10 minutes and will have to continue to bang against Bamberg. New point guard Dashaun Wood is averaging 8,0ppg, 6,5rpg and 3,0apg and has played solid. He is another guard who hasn´t been lazy and coming back to help under the basket. Canadian Jermaine Bucknor also hasn´t been with the team for more than two weeks yet and is still searching for his form and is averaging 7.0ppg, 2,0rpg and 1,0 apg. He has shown on defense though that he is a guy that you can rely on. German Dominic Bahiense De Mello who is playing his 6th season in Frankfurt is averaging 5,5ppg, 1,5rpg and 2,0apg. He had a strong game against Duesselodrf and keeps proving that he can come off the bench and contribute on both ends of the floor. German Marius Nolte has been the biggest bright spot this season. He is averaging 5,0ppg and 3,5rpg and has grown into a starter. After the difficult season last year, he got married over the summer and so far seems to have found a cure for his poor free throw shooting as he is 6/6 this season. Kimmo Muurinen has also proved in the first two games that he is a solid role player at the position four as he is averaging 5,0ppg, 5,5rpg and 2,0apg. Captain Pascal Roller has struggled so far this season as he is averaging 3,0ppg, 3,0rpg and 1,5apg. His minutes continue to dip more and more as he is averaging 17 minutes per contest. His shooting percentages of 9,1% from the field and 16,7% from the three point line seem more like a typing error, but it is reality and having a big shooting break out game in Bamberg would be a plus for his self confidence and for the club.
Even though The Brose Baskets Bamberg are the defending champions, have a record of 3-0 and have possibly the deepest roster together with Alba Berlin in the BEKO BBL, is their any weakness to detect with this team? “I believe that every team has a weakness. I would say attacking the bigs off the screen. I went at them late in the game and got 10 points. I waited a bit too long to attack. Frankfurt should do it right away”, stressed Mark Dorris. “Frankfurt should play as much pick and role as possible. Bamberg have a problem with quickness”, warned Quentin Pryor. The Bamberg guards of John Goldsberry, Brian Roberts and Anton Gavel are extremly dangerous on offense and letting them get into an offensive rhythm is not recommendable. “Frankfurt has to apply as much pressure as possible to their guards and take a lot of time off the clock so they have less time to run the offense. Frankfurt also has to limit them too one shot and don´t let Bamberg get to the free throw line”, stressed Mark Dorris. Frankfurt also has to watch Casey Jacobson and Tibor Pleiss. “Frankfurt has to slow down Jacobson. He is involved in each play and keep Pleiss off the glass”, warned Quentin Pryor. Frankfurt has a sound game on offense and enough weapons to put points on the boards. “Our perimeter play is very strong”, warned Brad Buckman. Frankfurt also will have to be alert at all times and take advantage of the moments where Bamberg may be taking a snooze. “Frankfurt has to get the ball up the court as fast as possible and attack before Bamberg can set up their half court defense. Bamberg will sleep at times on transition”, stressed Quentin Pryor. The Brose Baskets Bamberg host the Deutsche Bank Skyliners on October 13th at 19:30.