The Deutsche Bank Skyliners Give A Oscar-Like Gladiator Performance whipping The Artland Dragons 83-72.

On the eve of the 2011 Oscars, some movie fans might have gotten their Sunday rolling with some past awards moments dancing in their heads like the famous Halle Berry speech wanting more time for to talk after being named the first African/African to win in 2002, the inspiring and heart felt speech by Tom hanks for his best actor win in 1993 for portraying an aids victim in Philadelphia, 72 year old actor Jack Palance showing the world in 1992 his virility doing push ups after finally winning after four decades of acting for City Slickers, Robert Opal interupting the 1974 show as David Niven was introducing Elisabeth Taylor by running across the stage nude or the legendary stroll across the chairs by Italian actor Robert Benigni for winning best foreign movie for “Life Is Beautiful, but despite the historic day in films, there was still a basketball game to play as The Deutsche Bank Skyliners showed another spirited, inspired and hard fought win despite not having captain Pascal Roller and Dominic Bahiense De Mello getting by The Artland Dragons 83-72. After the win the players had some time to reflect about the Oscar like team performance. “This win was like any Rocky movie. They came out and punched us and beat us up bad and we were down by 14 points. We fought back and got the lead, but at the end they punched us again coming back. It was like a boxing match and we got beat a little, but better to go out with a win than with a loss”, stressed Skyliner guard Dashaun Wood. “This win reminded me of Gladiator. We fought hard and  a gladiator never stops, but always fight back”, stated Skyliner forward Roger Powell. “This game reminded me of the movie “Cop Out”. We had a great start, but then slid off just like the movie did”, added Dragon gaurd Tyrese Rice. “This game reminded me of the movie “Life with Martin Lawrence and Eddie Murphy”, said Skyliner Quantez Robertson. “The movie 300 comes to mind in describing this game. I wouldn´t call this a Oscar performance though”, commented Skyliner foreward Kimmo Muurinen.

The Deutsche Bank Skyliners won their fourth game in a row as they won the season series against the Artland Dragons. Frankfurt seems to amaze everyone every weekend this season with their style, but especially in the last weeks by the way they are able to pull out wins despite being undermanned. “This teams surprises me again every time. I was a little nervous before the game. We had watched Bamberg-Artland in the hotel last weekend in Braunschweig and knew how good they were. But we came out and played as if we had no injuries at all. It seemed so easy in the second half. We played team basketball. Mckinney and Tez play close to 40 minutes, but everyone helped with Franke and Moss playing well and Powell back from his injury and playing like he was never gone. I am so proud of the team and hope that we can continue to play like this in the future”, stated Skyliner center Marius Nolte. The Artland Dragons lost their second game in a row and after their fantastic start in the first quarter lost their intensity and were taken out of the game by The Deutsche Bank Skyliners who understood to play consistent on offense and defense. “Frankfurt did a better job executing for the whole game. After our big run, Frankfurt came back and push up their level of defense. When we were down by five points at the end, we were unable to answer and lost control. Frankfurt switched very well on defense and we didnt do a good job getting the ball inside. We were settling for too many jumpers”, stressed Dragon center Darren Fenn. “This was a total team win. Getting Roger Powell back really helped us in our big rotation. Mckinney and Tez did a good job bringing the ball up giving Wood a rest”, stressed Skyliner forward Kimmo Muurinen.
Skyliner fans got the first look at 25 year old 206cm forward Robert Kurz who recently signed with the Artland Dragons after starting the season in the Spanish ACB playing with Granada averaging 13,9ppg and 9,1rpg. He played at Notre Dame and entered the NBA as a rookie playing 40 games for the Golden State Warriors in 2008-2009. The Artland Dragons are happy to have him. “We got Kurz for an extra inside presence and had been playing well in Spain. Stefan Koch had been following him and getting him was good for both sides. He wanted to go since he was not happy anymore in Spain”, added Dragons assistant coach Tyrone Mccoy. Kurz who played in the NBA and was averaging 35 minutes in the ACB and now only 18 minutes has to get used to the limited role, but so far has been blending in nicely. “Kurz is a great teammate and he knows the situation and his role. He is just trying to fit in and help the team. He fits in great with our big man rotation”, added ex Skyliner Tyrone Mccoy. Deutsche Bank Skyliner sports director Kamil Novak added that Kurz is a very versatile player with a good touch and a guy who will help the team. However Kurz also has a hidden talent. “He is a very hard worker that has a NBA type work ethic. He is a strong kid and is a lot stronger than he looks”, warned ex EWE Baskets Oldenburg guard Tyrone Mccoy.
The Deutsche Bank Skyliner fans got their first headache before the game as the players were warming up and captain Pascal Roller and Dominic Bahiense De Mello were on the sidelines in street clothes. Frankfurt showed again that despite injuries, nothing would get in their way. “The reason why Frankfurt continues to perform so well despite injuries is because each guy is a competitor and no player has a let down. Even guys that might be prone to struggle, they dont playing consistent”, warned Tyrone Mccoy. Later fans got their first introduction with the mask of Roger Powell who looked scary and a little like a lost phantom. Dashaun Wood took his movie love to bat with a good description of the Powell mask. “His mask looked like he was a bank robber. It reminded me of the movie “Set it off” where four girls rob a bank”, added Dashaun Wood. Powell was about to give up his day job as player and substitute as a mascot too soon. “No I would not jump in for the mascot dunking kong. He is doing a good job. I love our mascot”, stressed Roger Powell. 4840 people made the way into the Ballsporthalle for a Sunday matinee, but were quickly got a big lump in their throat as The Artland Dragons jumped out on a 16-3 lead. Darren Fenn and Adam Hess jumped out of the blocks getting hot making 14 of the first 16 points. Fenn scored inside three times and Hess nailed two three pointers. “Hess was very hot and the Dragons are hard to stop when they have guys on fire. We fought back into the game with our defense”, stated Marius Nolte.
In almost every article I write I mention that basketball is a game of runs and as quickly as Artland got hot, they got cold as The Deutsche Bank Skyliners closed out the first quarter with a 17-6 run to trail only 23-20 after 10 minutes. Frankfurt spread the offense production around as Roger Powell drained two three pointers despite riding a 23% shooting percentage from the parking lot. Super Tez got the Frankfurt intensity to sky rocket with a fast break hoop and a steal and lay up. Nolte also scored on transition as Wood gave a pretty behind the back pass to Powell who fed the German. Wood also made a three pointer. “Artland started very well while Frankfurt missed a lot of shots. Frankfurt came back had better ball movement and played as a team”, stated BBC Sparta Bertrange(Luxemburg) forward Lucas Hargrove.

The Artland Dragons were shooting 60% from the field and 60% from outside while The Deutsche Bank Skyliners were shooting 53% from the field and 75% from outside. Frankfurt had the slight 7-6 rebound edge. Both teams had three turnovers a piece. The Artland Dragons already had 8 team assists.
In the second quarter would stay very tight as The Deutsche Bank Skyliners held the lead except for two times where The Artland Dragons had the lead. Quantez Robertson kept the momentum going for Frankfurt as he got the club easy fast break points on the fast break. Nolte and Wood were unable to male all their free throws and Tyrese Rice gave The Artland Dragons the lead back at 27-26 with a perfect made floater that really looks like something he practices as diligently as free throws. Despite losing the scoring battle against Wood with 29-19 and hype in the BEKO BBL, Rice seems to be taking it in strides. “There was a lot of hype between Wood and me. It was a great match up and I enjoy playing against a guy like him. I dont worry about what the writers write, but just play the game. Wood shows the same by just playing basketball and not being distracted”, stressed Boston College alumnist. Frankfurt then went on a 6-2 run to lead 32-29. Whenever Frankfurt shows some kind of spectacular play, there is a good bet that Wood and Super Tez may be involved.  Wood found a small crack the same way a mouse does in the wall when escaping the paws of a hungry cat as he scored on a lay up. Then came the most spectacular play of the game as Tez made one of his usual patent steals fed Wood who slowed down letting the American sky high for an ally op dunk that got the crowd going. “I watched him do that a lot at Auburn. I saw him do a windmill in a game”, stressed Quantez Robertson friend Lucas Hargrove. “That alley-op got the team and fans excited”, added Quantez Robertson.
The Artland Dragons then retrieved the lead back as Rice made another spectacular lay up which he shot high off the glass. Despite the 33-32 Dragons lead, Frankfurt was doing a great job keeping Hess and Fenn away from the hoop. Frankfurt then regained the lead 35-33 with a spectacular running three pointer from Wood that brought back memories to the similar type of shot from Larry Bird in a game against Portland in 1992 as he poured home 49 points in the Boston Garden and Clyde Drexler 41 points. Frankfurt closed out the second quarter strong as Jimmy Mckinney nailed a three pointer and Wood scored coast to coast. Kimmo Muurinen sent both teams in half time with a buzzer beater mid distance jumper from the wing as Frankfurt led 44-39 after 20 minutes. “Frankfurt continued to play well. They wanted to make up for their poor start in the first quarter. They were passing the ball extremely well and their intensity on defense was high. Artland was playing well as a team also, but Frankfurt was playing better team basketball”, stressed Auburn alumnist Lucas Hargrove. The Deutsche Bank Skyliners were shooting 53% from the field and 45% from three point land while The Artland Dragons were shooting 47% from the field and 43% from three point land. Artland retook the rebounding lead 15-13, but had seven turnovers while Frankfurt had only four turnovers.
In the third quarter, The Deutsche Bank Skyliners were able to build on their lead as they caught the Artland Dragons off balance going on a 6-0 run to lead 50-39. Frankfurt was playing sound basketball keeping the pressure on on defense, getting to the free throw line and getting two buckets from Muurinen and a pull up jumper from Wood. The Artland Dragons then caught Frankfurt losing a little concentration as Nathan Peavy stumbled through the zone as no Skyliner picked him up and finishing with a running two handed dunk and after a long break Fenn returned to the scoring list with a runner. Frankfurt led only 50-43. However The Artland Dragons were unable to get some consecutive stops as Frankfurt went on a 11-2 run to lead 60-45. Frankfurt did  a great job under the basket getting some extra chances punishing the Dragons for not getting defensive rebounds. Muurinen started the run with a dunk getting a perfect extra pass feed from Wood. Powell then made a lay up after taking advantage of a second chance. Wood hit a three pointer and Powell was rewarded with a one handed dunk after Muurinen once again was doing the dirty work fighting and tipping the ball around as three Dragons were in his face. In the last minutes, Alexander Seggelke and Quantez Robertson traded three pointers and Bryan Bailey made a jumper from the wing. After three quarters, The Deutsche Bank Skyliners led 63-52. “Key to winning this game was the third quarter. We played the way we usually do with aggressive defense that led to easy baskets”, stated Kimmo Muurinen. “They got a lot of second chances and got put backs. We didn´t do a good job on offense not taking advantage of what the defense gave us”, stressed ex Golden State Warrior Robert Kurz. The Deutsche Bank Skyliners were shooting 48% from the field and 30% from the parking lot while The Artland Dragons were shooting 45% from the field and 40% from the parking lot. Frankfurt had the rebounding edge again at 25-19. The Dragons only had 4 assists in the second and third quarter combined after getting 8 in the first quarter. Frankfurt had only 6 turnovers while Artland had 11 turnovers..
The Deutsche Bank Skyliners continued to play their game in the first minutes going on a 11-4 run to lead 74-56. Jimmy Mckinney started the run with a bomb form the wing over Ruben Boumtje Boumtje and played superb defense on the other end as Chris Moss and Roger Powell were like a big wall not letting Kurz get a shot off. Powell scored inside and the club also got successful free throws from Wood and Moss. Robertson continued to show his stroke from outside making a three pointer. With time running down and the energy level, The Artland Dragons did have one last gasp of air as they scared Frankfurt with a 12-2 run to cut the Frankfurt lead to 76-70. Kurz started the run with a quick hoop inside and then got another beautiful flaoter by Rice which looks like a clock work in his release and a lay in. Boumtje Boumtje then blocked Muurinen which led to a Seggelke three pointer. Muurinen then fouled Rice behind the three point line as Frankfurt suddenly only led 76-70 as Rice made all three free throws. Artland then had two chances but Kurz and Seggelke missed and Wood punished them with four free throws sealing the win. Wood then made a lay up scoring six consecutive points. “We had a chance at 76-70 but Wood made the important plays then as well as through out the game”, stressed ex Bremerhaven center Darren Fenn.”The second half was one of our worst performances this season. We had some good moments, but that simply wasnt Artland Dragons basketball”, warned Robert Kurz. “We played good team basketball. We played consistent and that is how we always want to play”, added Dashaun Wood.

The Deutsche Bank Skyliners were led by Dashaun Wood with 29 points, nine assists and five rebounds. Quantez Robertson added 18 points and seven rebounds. Roger Powell had a strong comeback with 13 points, five rebounds and two assists. The Artland Dragons were led by Tyrese Rice with 19 points. Adam Hess and Robert Kurz produced 11 points a piece. Alexander Seggelke and Darren Fenn chipped in with 10 points a piece. The Deutsche Bank Skyliners won the rebounding duel and showed the strong rebounding Artland team that they played with more effort. “Frankfurt did a good job on the offensive boards. We are a good rebounding team, but Frankfurt hurt us with their second chances. Frankfurt was switching a lot, double teaming the post and forcing turnovers. We werent patient enough”, added Robert Kurz. Frankfurt held Artland to 72 points and showed again that they are one of the best defensive teams in the BEKO BBL. “We finally have understood the defensive principle. It is not important how we defend one on one, but how we perform as a team. Each guy helps each other and it feels like we know each other is blindly”, stressed Marius Nolte. “Adversary makes us strong. We have dealt with many injuries this season and we have responded well. If a team can respond well, you tend to get better”, warned Roger Powell. The team now has a week to prepare for the annual Hessen derby in Giessen. “I know some Giessen fans and I know how intense the rivalry is. I like how there are so many emotions involved. That is how basketball should be like”, stressed Marius Nolte. The Giessen 46ers host The Deutsche Bank Skyliners on Saturday March 5th at 20:00.

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