With Valentines Day only 48 hours away and some of the thoughts of the players surely contemplating roses, a box of tasty chocolate or a special off weekend trip to Paris with their significant other, however The Deutsche Bank Skyliners still had to focus on the matter at hand getting a win in the always tough Eisbaeren den and showed another top performance on defense bringing back memories to the outstanding win against The Telekom baskets Bonn three days earlier in the cup game. “We went into this game in Bremerhaven wanting to take the defense intensity from the last game. We want to keep it up in the next game splaying defense like this, because we know when we defend like that, that we will always have good chnaces to win”, stressed Skyliner shooting guard Jimmy Mckinney. “Frankfurt was able to get their offense going off their defense while we were unable to let our defense control our offense. Frankfurt slowed down the game and we played into their hands. We simply did not play the way that we should have”, stated Eisbaeren American Torrell Martin.
The Deutsche Bank Skyliners probably still had fond memories of their June 3rd, 2010 game 5 semi final win in the back of their heads while the Eisbaeren Bremerhaven didn´t have sweet memories, but most players weren´t admiting it except Jimmy Mckinney a bit. “Game five was a great win last season, but its anew season with a new system and new play how we play. I didn´t think too much on that game last season”, explained Jimmy Mckinney. “I didnt think about that game five loss one bit”, stressed German national player Philipp Schwethelm. “I didnt think of game five one bit”, added Torrell Martin. “Nobody had game 5 on their mind”, stated Skyliner sport director Kamil Novak. The current BEKO BBL top scorer Dashaun Wood didnt let any past successful experiences by his team get him out of his rhythm. “I heard about the game five game from last season. These two teams seem to have a great rivalry and there seems to be tension. It was important that we got a jump early and was able to set the tone. We got the momentum early and it carried us”, warned Dashaun Wood.
After losing their last BEKO BBL regular season game to The Brose Baskets Bamberg in a kind of poor fashion that would of been equivalent as if Paris Hilton would have found out shortly before an important PR appointment that her shoes didnt match her Prada suit which kind of brought Frankfurt back to earth, The Deutsche Bank Skyliners wanted to return with a super smackdown performance the same kind that 2011 Super Bowl champions Green bay Packers players Donald Lee, Donald Driver and Scot Wells experienced at a WWE event in Green bay following their big win. Ever since the loss to three time BEKO BBL champion Brose Baskets Bamberg, Frankfurt ha splayed 80 minutes of extremly strong and tough play on offense and defense. “Ever since the loss against Bamberg where we did everything wrong, we have done just about everything right against Bonn and Bremerhaven. I always say that we wont reach our best potential until we have every player healthy, but we played the way Skyliner basketball should look like. We executed well on offense and defense”, stated Detroit native Dashaun Wood. The Eisaberen Bremerhaven continue to be up and down this season showing that they are very beatable at home with a 6-6 record losing their third game in a row. “This was one of the harder loses of the season. We´are hurting at the moment. We have been losing too many games that we should of won. We had a very good chance to beat a team that had some injuries. Frankfurt showed how to play team basketball. They played very physical tonight and I feel very beat up”, added Craig Callahan. Skyliner sports director Kamil Novak rarely doesnt have some to criticize, but after the 71-56 win, he was at a loss of words for finding any kind of flaws in the play of the team. “We played very concentrated basketball from the start until the end. We fought very much and played well on offense. We played with a lot of enthusiasm on defense. Then good things come on offense as a result. The key was our strong defense and controlling the rebounds”, added Kamil Novak. “We never found our rhythm. Our biggest problem is that we are unable to produce good shots. We are able to score a lot against weaker teams, but against stronger teams we are unable to score consistently”, added Philipp Schwethelm.
Current BEKO BBL top scorer Dashaun Wood had another top game deserving the grade of A as he produced 25 points, eight rebounds and seven assists. As always Wood was the head of the team and the whole offense evolved around his play. Wood was unstoppable penetrating either scoring or dishing the ball out to the open man. Wood is already dangerous with his penetration and road runner quickness, but when he combines that with his three pointer that is cooking, then he is beyond unstoppable. Torrell Martin who is challenging Wood for the scoring title spoke in amazement of the quick guard. “Wood has been good all year. He is one of the most consistent players in the league”, commented Torrell Martin. Bremerhaven American guard Tyrone Brazelton who sat out the game with an injury had enough time to scruitnize the play of Wood and might of even gotten some tips from just seeing him play. “Wood has all the tools of a great point guard. He and his teammates are on the same page. He got 8 rebounds which is incredible for a guard. he is the quickest point guard that I have ever seen. I am sure that he could play in the NBA. It always depends on the situation and what a team needs”, added Tyrone Brazelton. German national player Philipp Schwethelm is known as one of the better defenders in the BEKO BBL, but seemed clueless at how to contain the American also. “He is the fastest player that I have ever played against”, said Philipp Schwethelm. With Wood getting high stats in points, rebounds and assists, the question remains, is he capable of getting a triple double in the BEKO BBL? “I have not had one as a professional, but had one in college. Every player wants a triple double, but I dont worry about stats, but just about winning. If I had 13 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists in the fourth quarter, I wouldnt even know I was that close”, warned Dashaun Wood.
With snow and sleet playing havoc about 170 kilometers away in the Artland, the Eisbaeren Bremerhaven might of secretly hoped for the chill to come up north, but the white stuff stayed away and might of effected the team not getting into their comfort zone on the court. The Deutsche Bank Skyliners started the game slowly missing their first four shots and Bremerhaven took the lead on a Torrell martin pull up jumper. However Frankfurt then quickly found their touch hitting their next three shots to take a 6-2 lead. Muurinen scored twice inside getting set up nicely each time by Wood and then the American scored himself on a floater. However the Eisbaeren Bremerhaven then went on a 7-2 run to retake the lead 9-8 getting some help with costly Frankfurt turnovers as Marius Nolte and captain Pascal Roller coughed up the ball twice. Andrew Drevo was able to score twice giving the Eisbaeren the lead. The end of the first quarter was very exciting as the fans witnessed five lead changes. Wood got the play of the game with a nifty reverse lay up where he seemingly went around half the team making it look so easy. Drevo continued to score inside and Frankfurt got a timely three point bomb from Dominik Bahiense De Mello. Callahan then hit a jumper and Skyliner forward closed out the first quarter with a buzzer beater tip in as Frankfurt led 15-14. “After we missed our first four shots, we slowly found our rhythm and we stood well on defense”, stated Skyliner sports director Kamil Novak. The Deutsche Bank Skyliners were shooting 50% from the field and 20% from outside while The Eisbaeren Bremerhaven were shooting 56% from the field and 0% form outside. Both teams had six rebounds and Bremerhaven five turnovers and Frankfurt four turnovers.
Despite a Callahan tip in off a Andre Drevo miss to start the second quarter with Bremerhaven regaining the lead 16-15, The Deutsche Bank Skyliners stormed out on a 11-2 run to lead 26-18. The Frankfurt offense was flowing efficiently as Frankfurt was spreading the ball around well and finding different scorers. Kimmo Muurinen started the run with a rainbow that seemed to go as high as the top of the Sael City hotel in downtown Bremerhaven, De Mello nailed another three pointer, Wood making a lay up and beating the Eisbaeren defense with his lightening first step and Mckinney drooped a three pointer as Frankfurt led 26-28. Frankfurt was able to extend their lead a bit, but most importantly showed toughness and hustle as a team getting loose balls. This was a strength that Frankfurt was doing all night long. “We were unable to get any loose balls against Bamberg, but we did against Bremerhaven. When you get a majority of hustle plays against a eam that playing hard, you seem to suck the life out of them. We did that tonight and that hurt them”, stressed Dashaun Wood. Even though Eisbaeren American Craig Callahan finished with only one rebound, he did a lot of damage inside scoring once in traffic and once all alone as the help defense was no where to be seen. At halftime, the fans had the score of a high scoring NBA type of quarter as Frankfurt led 32-23. “We tried to limit the offense of Frankfurt and Dashaun Wood with a zone. Giving up 32 points is ok, but scoring only 23 points was unacceptable”, added Eisbaeren Bremerhaven manager Jan Rathjen. The Deutsche Bank Skyliners were shooting 46% from the field and 29% from the three point line as the Eisbaeren Bremerhaven were shooting 39% from the field and 0% from the three point line. Frankfurt was slowly getting a grip on the boards at 16-13 and had only 8 turnovers while Bremerhaven had 9 turnovers.
One might of expected to see the Eisbaeren Bremerhaven come out of halftime after managing only a paltry 23 points to come out with more intensity, but Frankfurt jumped out on a 7-2 run to lead 40-25. Muurinen started the run with 5 consecutive points with a three pointer and jumper from the wing which was filtrated by a Wood hustle play getting a loose ball. Quantez Robertson finished the run with a jumper as Frankfurt led 40-25. The Eisbaeren Bremerhaven tried to cut down the big Frankfurt lead getting production from Canadian Sean Denison who made a nice spin move around Chris Moss and a jumper from Philipp Schwethelm, but the Eisbaeren continued to have no resistance on defense allowing Wood to nail a three pointer and Mckinney show his penetration talent making a floater over Denison as Frankfurt still led 45-33. Frankfurt closed out the third quarter with 7-0 run to close out the third quarter with a very comfortable 52-33 lead. Wood made a floater and two free throws and Chris Moss scored inside. “We wanted to come out with a lot of energy in the third quarter the same way that we did against Bonn and we did”, stressed Skyliner sports director Kamil Novak. The Deutsche Bank Skyliners were shooting 43% from the field and 33% from the parking lot while the Eisaberen Bremerhaven were shooting 40% from the field and still 0% from the parking lot. Frankfurt had the overwhelming 28-18 rebound edge and only nine turnovers while Bremerhaven had 12.
With 10 minutes to play, the Eisbaeren Bremerhaven had to make a move sometime and did coming out on a 12-5 run to cut the Frankfurt lead to 57-45 and get some new life into the Bremerhaven Stadthalle. Eisbaeren coach Doug Spradley brought in American swing man John Allen who scored inside twice. Bremerhaven also took advantage of the Frankfurt foul trouble inside as experienced American Craig Callahan beat young 18 year old Carl Lindbom inside. Young German Anthony Canty struck back with a huge three pointer as the Eisbaeren were starting to feel more at home with some frost somehow having slipped in as the snow was coming down hard outside the arena. However as is so often the case, it was Dashaun Wood who came up with a clutch basket subbing his penetration with this second three pointer. However this didnt faze Bremerhaven as they struck on a mini 5-0 run as Canty scored inside and Martin nailed a three pointer. The Deutsche Bank Skyliners led only 60-50 with three minutes to play as Skyliner skipper Gordon Herbert took a timeout. The timeout did wonders as Frankfurt went on a 6-0 run to lead 66-50 putting the game as well as out of reach with two minutes to play. Wood scored on a floater, nailed two free throws and Super Tez also scored twice from the free throw line. Bremerhaven then went on a mini 5-0 run to cut the Frankfurt lead to 66-55 as Denison scored a nice hook shot over Mckinney and Callahan scored inside, but time was running out as there was under a minute to play. Wood wasnt done yet on the offensive end hitting another three pointer and scoring inside. Callahan closed out the scoring with a hoop inside as Frankfurt won the game 71-56. “The key to winning this game was our defense. We pressured the ball well, not get easy post touches and stopped their transition”, added Jimmy Mckinney. “It wasnt so much what Frankfurt did, but more what we did. We tried to make the right plays to much which led us to hold the ball longer which made us stagnant”, added Tyrone Brazelton.
The Deutsche Bank Skyliners were led by Dashaun Wood with 25 points, eight rebounds and seven assists. Kimmo Muurinen added 14 points and five rebounds. The Eisbaeren Bremerhaven were led by Craig Callahan with 17 points. American Andrew Drevo chipped in with 10 points and five rebounds. The Deutsche Bank Skyliners won the rebounding duel 35-24 and there has been criticism that at times Bremerhaven has problems not playing with a true center when they play with two four players Drevo and Callahan. “You dont really see any centers in the BEKO BBL with 20/10 stats. Drevo and Callahan can shoot and open up the floor. We prepared well for them and we just played with a lot of effort for 40 minutes in the zone”, commented Dashaun Wood. “I think that you have your advantages and disadvantages playing our style with the four position players. We just didnt play with any energy. I hardly got any rebounds. Nolte did a good job in the zone”, stressed Craig Callahan. It wasn´t only Wood who did a lot of damage, but Quantez Robertson who was the foundation on the court. “Frankfurt exploited things on our defense. Tez didnt score much, but he is the glue of that team. He did the little things that you didnt see on the stats sheet like taping balls, getting rebounds or clearing space”, added Tyrone Brazelton. The Deutsche Bank Skyliners will need Dashaun Wood and the glue Quantez Robertson as well as every other member of the team as they go on the road again and meet The New Yorker Phantoms Braunschweig on February 20th at 17:00.