36 months ago, the world according to the tiny frog footprint town Quackenbruck which is also referred to as Entenhausen was on top of the world as it had just won their first title the BEKO BBL cup in Hamburg against EnBW Ludwigsburg as the image of fan favorite Darius Hall “the wall” partying with fans in the stands as if all had been invited to his daughters birthday party will probably never be forgotten. With all the excitement and success, The small 13,000 town Quackenbruck which has been known to carry 1600 fans to away games(12%of town population) seemed to feel more like a 300,000 city as they were basking in the glory of finally winning that first title and the only thing missing was having Darius Hall do a special winners dance with Donald Duck who supposedly vacations in the Artland. However in the last two seasons, the euphoric rise of the club built by Marko Beens that entered the BEKO BBL in 2003 has rapidly declined like the endorsements of golf legend Tiger Woods has since his scandal with all his mistresses surfaced. The club has missed the playoffs two years in a row despite strong rosters and not reached the TOP 4 again. However this year, The Artland Dragons are back to the stomping ground that they experienced from 2006-2008, will reach the playoffs and need two wins this weekend against Bamberg and Frankfurt/Braunschweig to bring that second big title back to Quackenbruck. Maybe Bayern Munich coach Dirk Bauermann could give his player Darius Hall a few hours off to possibly transform some of his magic flair from the 2008 cup games in Hamburg to Bamberg this weekend?
Currently the Artland Dragons are in third place behind The Deutsche Bank Skyliners with a record of 20-9. So far the team of Stefan Koch is holding their own near the top. They have had two winning streaks of three games and there only rap could be that they have problems winning against top teams. They lost both times to the Brose Baskets Bamberg, but only with a total combined score of 8 points. Their biggest win of the season was a 78-74 win in Berlin. Despite not being able to beat top teams, the club is one that cant be underestimated. “Artland has been a great team this season and continue to get better each week. They are a team that will go deep into the playoffs”, warned John Bynum.
One thing that The Artland Dragons have improved is not getting lost on defense. “Now we don’t lose our defensive focus when we aren’t scoring on the offensive end. Earlier in the year, when we would miss shots, our defensive intensity would go down. Now we are able to move on to the next play, without thinking about our past mistakes”, stressed Artland Dragon guard Bryan Bailey. Since the 83-72 away loss against The Deutsche Bank Skyliners on February 28th, the team must of learned something as they go into the game against Bamberg with a 5 game winning streak and seemed ready to go for that second title. “I like their depth and their guard play, Bailey defends Rice is becoming one of the elite pg’s of the league and they have great players underneath as well as on the wings. Artland can beat anyone in the league and they are playing good basketball, they have the personal to play and win at the same time, but it will be difficult beating Bamberg on their home floor”, warned John Bynum. The Artland Dragons are one of the best offensive teams in the BEKO BBL and can defend with the best of them when they want. They have allowed 70 points or fewer 13 times this season, but at times lose focus and consistency giving up 80 more points in consecutive games. However, they seem ready on the defensive end as well as they limited Giessen to 53 points and Tuebingen to 57 points in the last two games, but the three teams in the cup tournament are another offensive calibur that they will have to be ready for.
The Artland Dragons are led by ex Boston College stand out Tyrese Rice who played in Greece in his rookie year and has exploded in the BEKO BBL this season the same way Dashaun Wood has with Frankfurt. Rice is averaging 16,8ppg, 2,8rpg and 5,0apg. He has scored in double figures 24 times and has carried the club most of the season. Darren Fenn is playing his third season with The Artland Dragons and is averaging 13,0ppg, 6,5rpg and 1,6apg. He has produced 6 double doubles and is a force inside that is almost unstoppable and will hurt you just the same with his three pointer. Combo guard Bryan Bailey is playing his fourth season with the Dragons and is still as aggressive on the offensive and defensive end with 30 years as he was in 2006. He is averaging 10,6ppg, 2,4rpg and 3,5apg and has scored in double figures 17 times. His experience and poise in crunch time will be very valuable for the team. Nathan Peavy is playing his second season with The Artland Dragons and has had injury woes, but since his return as played very solid making the inside game even more unpredictable for opponents. He is averaging 10,3ppg, 4,4rpg and 1,1apg and has scored in double figures 11 times. His quick feet and lateral bonus gives the Dragon an added bonus on defense. With his 26 years of age, he has the needed experience and always is able to find the right solutions on the court. Adam Hess is back for the third team and perhaps three will be a charm for the friendly American from Michigan who might have the best tongue for the German language in the BEKO BBL. Currently Hess is averaging 9,7ppg, and 4,3rpg. He has scored in double figures 15 times this season and rebounds with unending hustle and can hurt you any night with his shooting and his work ethic helps carry the team.
The Artland Dragons recently added ex NBA player Robert Kurz to the roster to help under the boards. Kurz played at Notre Dame and 40 games for the Golden State Warriors. Since coming from the CB Granada in the ACB, the American is averaging 8,8ppg and 6,6rpg and is a solid big man coming from the bench that has no ego problems. 32 year old Ruben Boumtje Boumtje who played 35 games for the Portland Trailblazers and is the fourth leading shot blocker in Georgetown history behind NBA greats like Patrick Ewing Alonzo Mourning and Dikembe Mutombo is averaging 17 minutes a game and is still able to shine on any given night with his rebounding, shot blocking and at times offense. German Alexander Seggelke is playing his second season for The Artland Dragons and is averaging 6,1ppg, and 2,7rpg. He is one of those players that always gives 110%, shows no fear and is simply an all rounder. he doesn´t complain about his role, but just goes on the floor and performs. Johannes Strasser is playing his first season with the Dragons and has a lot of experience having won three cups and one BEKO BBL league title with Rhein Energie Cologne. His very best asset may be his well rounded defensive skills with which he can guard both the opposing point- and shooting-guard. Relentlessly he can hound an opposing point guards full court not giving him air to breath or room to pass. He also is known for hitting clutch three pointers. Currently he is averaging 5,5ppg, 1,4rpg and 1,7apg.
The Brose Baskets Bamberg have a huge advantage over most of the other 17 BEKO BBL teams in that they have kept a core of their team. This season Bamberg has kept 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. Bamberg simply don´t think much, but know how to win with great character, basketball intelligence equivalent to Albert Einstein in modern physics and an automatic valve that is turned on in each game with defensive intensity. The biggest part of their success is their defense. It starts with their guard play of Goldsberry, Suput and Tadda that continue to disrupt the opponents point guard each play and never letting up. Guys like Jerry Green, Lou Campbell or Branislav Rakovica were shut down because of this this season. On offense, the club plays dictionary team basketball and has by far the best ball movement in the BEKO BBL. It really doesn´t matter who has the ball, an open man will always be found. Bamberg has so many prolific shooters and each guy has a knack for moving without the ball. Besides good shooters, the club has robust inside play with Kyle Hines, Tibor Pleiss and Predrag Suput that all have different games, but just wear down teams time in and time out.
The Brose Baskets Bamberg started off the season so hot winning their first 17 games in a row that it seemed like talk of an undefeated season was not a far fetched idea. However the Gloria Giants Duesseldorf proved that anything is possible in the BEKO BBL as they upset Bamberg 72-69. “A season is long and tough and it is really tough to go undefeated at anything. One should not forget that Bamberg played very many games already”, stated John Bynum. They have blown away most of the competition with ease holding teams to under 70 points 21 times. They average 81 points per game and have only built on the strong team chemistry that was already present early in the season. “Bamberg seem to get better with each game that they have played. The Euroleague games also have helped them get better”, added John Bynum. Despite the strong play of Bamberg and that the second half of the season is always tougher than the first half, this could still be an advantage for some more upsets. “In the second half of the season, teams are able to see more of a pattern of play of their opponents and know more about each individual player by film and other things that they didnt have in the first half. After playing a team once, you are better at evaluating things better and you can also see them play against teams before you as well”, said John Bynum. However this saying hasn´t really held its own, since Bamberg lost only once in the second half of the season to BG Goettingen on the road, and still remain unbeaten at home and the question is just how much of a favorite will Bamberg be? “Well anytime you play in front of your home crowd you have a significant advantage and with that being said, yes it is a significant advantage”, added John Bynum.
The Brose Baskets Bamberg are led by ex NBA player Casey Jacobsen. The 29 year old 198cm shooting guard/small forward is playing his third season with Bamberg after winning the BEKO BBL title with the team in 2007 and 2010 and Cup in 2010. The American from Glendora California is an outstanding player, a great competitor, both a scorer and a shooter. He can defend, take the charge, and he’ll get a rebound in a crowd because he’s tough. A complete player who plays hard, and plays smart. He played 287 NBA games for The Phoenix Suns, New Orleans Hornets and Memphis Grizzlies. He played at Stanford from 1998-2002 and in his senior year averaged 21.9ppg, 4.5rpg, 3.5apg, FGP: 44.1%, 3PT: 37.2%, FT: 77.6%; Finished career ranked 3rd in all time points (1723), 6th in points per game (18.1), 2nd in three point field goals (22) and 4th in three point percentage (.427). Left Stanford as the sole or co-owner of 49 school records. He was drafted by the Phoenix Suns (from Boston) (NBA,1rd(22). He played In France for in 2005-2006 for Ceramica Vitoria (Spain-ACB): Euroleague: 25 games: 9.0ppg, 1.6rpg, 2FGP: 55.5%, 3PT: 44.5%, FT: 76.7%; Spanish League: 44 games: 7.0ppg, 2.3rpg, 2FGP: 57.0%, FT: 77.0%. In 2008-2009 he played for Alba Berlin winning the BEKO BBL playing Euroleague: 16 games: 6.6ppg, 2.5rpg, 1.1apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 38.7%, 3PT: 37.1%, FT: 68.4%; German League: 43 games: 9.3ppg, 2.6rpg, 1.0apg, FGP: 53.0%, 3PT: 44.6%, FT: 76.8%. Last season for Bamberg, he EuroCup: 14 games: 10.5ppg, 2.9rpg, 2.0apg, FGP: 50.0%, 3PT: 39.2%, FT: 79.6%; German League: 40 games: 11.4ppg, 3.7rpg, 2.9apg, FGP: 50.7%, 3PT: 38.5%, FT: 77.0%. Currently, he is averaging 12,2ppg, 3,4rpg and 3,2apg. he is shooting very well at 44% from the field and 45% from the parking lot.
Predrag Suput is a 32 year old 200cm power forward from Serbia. he is playing for The Brose baskets Bamberg since 2007. He is a strong player(could play 3-2-4 position) good defender, excellent shot from outside. Strong penetration under the basket. Before coming to Bamberg, he played for top European teams like Partizan Belgrad and Hemofarm Vrsac. Last season, he played Eurocup playing 13 games: 13.1ppg, 4.2rpg, 2.2apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 55.8%, 3PT: 33.3%, FT: 88.5%; German League: 45 games: Score-4(14.9ppg), 4.7rpg, 1.9apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 53.7%, 3PT: 41.6%, FT: 84.6%. Suput belongs to the top power forwards in the BEKO BBL and can score in so many ways that even when he kills a team with a seemingly impossible shot in traffic, you just have to smile and sigh in astonishment. Currently he is averaging 12,2ppg, 4,3rpg and 1,7apg. Anton Gavel is a 26 year old 189cm combo guard from Slovakia that has experience and can score quickly and in bunches when needed. He started his basketball career for BG Karlsruhe and then played for Giessen from 2004-2006. In 2004-2005, he was a big factor in almost kicking out Bamberg out of the playoffs. That season he played 39 games: 12.7ppg, 2.9rpg, 2.5apg, 1.7spg, Blocks-3(1.5bpg), 2FGP: 53.2%, 3FGP: 35.7%. The next season, he was even better as he played 30 games: 16.0ppg, 2.7rpg, 3.0apg, 1.8spg, 2FGP: 46.3%, 3PT: 38.5%, FT: 52.4%. he then got valuable experience playing in Spain in the ACB for PolarWorld Murcia from 2006-2008. In 2008-2009, he played for Aris Thessaloniki (Greece-A1). Last season he played for Svit (Extraliga, starting five), Slovakian League: 2 games: 22.5ppg, 5.0rpg, 3.5apg, 1.5spg; in Nov.’09 moved to Brose Baskets Bamberg (Germany-1.Bundesliga, starting five): German League: 36 games: 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%. Currently, Gavel is averaging 10,1ppg, 2,65pg and 1,9apg. He is shooting well at 43% from the field and 40% from downtown.
Brian Roberts is a 25 year old 188cm combo guard from Toldeo, Ohio who is playing his second season in Bamberg. He played at Dayton from 2004-2008 and reached the NIT Elite 8 in 2008. In 2008-2009, he played for Saham Galil Gilboa (Israel-Premier League, starting five): 28 games: 15.5ppg, 2.3rpg, 2.4apg, 1.4spg, FGP: 56.3%, 3PT: 32.1%, FT: 88.5%. Last season for Bamberg he played 14 games: 10.5ppg, 2.6rpg, 1.3apg, FGP: 52.4%, 3PT: 41.3%, FT: 80.0%; German League: 43 games: 11.8ppg, 1.7rpg, 1.7apg, FGP: 52.0%, 3PT: 44.4%, FT-2(88.4%). Currently Roberts is averaging 10,7ppg, 2,1rpg and 3,2apg. He is shooting 47% from the field and 41% from outside. 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 Chuck Hayes or Paul Millsap”, added 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%. Currently Hines is averaging 10,2ppg and 4,5rpg. 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). Currently Terry is averaging 9,9ppg, and 5,2rpg.
German national player Tibor Pleiss is playing his second season for The Brose Baskets Bamberg. He is a 21 year old 214cm center that was born in Bergisch Gladbach. He started his basketball career for Rhein Energie Cologne in 2006-2007. In Cologne he played 39 BEKO BBL games and two ULEB cup games. He won the BEKO BBL cup in 2007 with Cologne. He started his German national team career at the European championships in 2009 in Poland. Last summer, he played at the World Championships in Turkey playing 5 games: 8.2ppg, 6.0rpg, 1.0bpg, FGP: 44.1%, FT: 91.7%. Last season for Bamberg he played 14 games: 8.1ppg, 5.4rpg, FGP: 54.4%, FT: 77.1%; German League: 45 games: 8.0ppg, 5.9rpg, Blocks-2(1.3bpg), FGP: 56.9%, 3PT: 44.4%, FT: 70.8%. Last summer he was drafted at #31 in the second round of the 2010 NBA draft by the New Jersey Nets and then traded to the Oklahoma Thunder. Currently the long German is averaging 9,3ppg and 6,6rpg. John Goldsberry is a 28y ear old 191cm point guard from Vandalia, Ohio that is playing his third season in Bamberg. He played at North Carolina-Wilmington from 2002-2006. He played his rookie season for the Bayer Giants Leverkusen in 2006-2007. In 2007-2008, he played for the Dragons Quakenbrueck (Germany-1.Bundesliga, starting five): ULEB Cup: 14 games: 8.0ppg, 1.9rpg, 4.1apg, 1.6spg, 2FGP: 75%, 3FGP: 48.8%, FT: 70.4%; German League: 38 games: 7.8ppg, 1.6rpg, 4.0apg, 1.4spg, 2FGP: 53.4%, 3PT: 39.4%, FT: 85.2%. He won the BEKO BBL Cup in 2008 for the Dragons. Last season for Bamberg he played 11 games: 5.3ppg, 1.9rpg, 2.5apg, 1.5spg, FGP: 40.0%, 3PT: 35.5%, FT: 76.5%; German League: 39 games: 6.4ppg, 1.9rpg, 3.1apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 59.3%, 3PT: 36.7%, FT: 71.1%. Currently he is averaging 4,3ppg, 1,9rpg and 4,1apg and is shooting at 41% from the field and 39% from the three point line.
The team is also filled with talented young Germans led by Kartsen Tadda who is a 22 year old 189cm guard. He has been with Bamberg since 2007. He started his basketball career at Troester Breitenguessbach in 2005. Last season for Bamberg he played Eurocup 14 games: 4.1ppg, 1.4rpg; German League: 45 games: 3.2ppg, 1.2rpg, 1.0apg. This season he is averaging 3,2ppg and 1,2rpg. He played 10 Euroleague games this season. he is known as an aggressive and relentless defender. Maurice Stuckey is a 20 year old 187cm guard that was born in Augsburg. He started his basketball career in 2005 for BG Leitershofen. He then moved to Ehingen/Urspringschule (ProB), where he played from 2007-2009. Last season he played for Troester Breitenguessbach (ProB): 20 games: 17.6ppg, 3.8rpg, 2.2apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 62.4%, 3PT: 31.8%, FT: 85.3%, played also at Brose Baskets Bamberg (1.Bundesliga): 4 games: 1.3ppg. At the last European Championships U20 in Croatia he played 9 games: 8.0ppg, 2.9rpg, 1.7apg, Steals-5(2.2spg), FGP: 34.6%, 3PT: 29.2%, FT: 75.0%. Currently he is averaging 2,4ppg. Phillip Neumann is a 18 year old 210cm center that was born in Cologne Germany. He started his basketball career for SSKC Aschaffenburg / TV Langen U16 team in 2007. In 2008 he played for Franken Hexer (ProB): 21 games: 4.5ppg, 4.1rpg, Blocks-5(1.0bpg). Last season, he played for Baskets Bamberg junior team: 21.0ppg, 12.8rpg, had also license to play at TSV Troester Breitenguessbach (ProB): 20 games: 8.4ppg, 6.4rpg, 1.1bpg, FGP: 56.6%, 3PT: 33.3%, FT: 61.0%. Recently he played at the European Championships U18 in Vilnius (Lithuania) -10: 9 games: 12.1ppg, 8.4rpg, 1.4bpg, FGP: 47.4%, 3PT: 26.3%, FT: 62.9%. Currently he is averaging 1,6ppg in limited time. The team also have 20 year old 203cmcenter Erik Land who grew up in the Bamberg youth system and started for Troester II Breitengussbach (Regionalliga) in 2005. He came to the Baskets Bamberg (1.Bundesliga) last seaosn playing 4 games: 0.3ppg, in Dec.’09 moved to TSV Troester Breitenguessbach (ProB, starting five): 26 games: 15.8ppg, 6.7rpg, FGP: 57.7%, 3PT: 35.6%, FT: 69.4%. Currently he is averaging 1,3ppg. The team also brought in German/American Michael Crowell who is a 25 year old 203cm forward that was born in Pensacola, Florida. he played at Idaho(NCAA) from 2006-2008 and in his senior year played 28 games: 10.9ppg, 5.3rpg, 1.5apg, FGP: 44.1%, 3Pts: 45.9%, FT: 79.1%. In 2008-2009, he played for Cantabria Lobos (Spain-LEB Bronze, starting five), Spanish League: 11 games: 2.1ppg; in Jan.’09 moved to BC Scholz Recycling Weissenhorn (Germany-Regionalliga): 11 games: 12.0ppg. Last season, he played for the Verve Scottish Rocks (United Kingdom-BBL): 32 games: 8.7ppg, 3.6rpg, 1.1apg, FGP: 52.6%, 3PT: 42.8%, FT: 65.2%.
When breaking down the teams with the individual positions, the guard position edge goes to The Brose Baskets Bamberg despite the strong guard duo of Tyrese Rice and Bryan Bailey. Rice is the second bests coring point guard in the BEKO BBL after Dashaun Wood, but not as explosive or consistent as Wood. If rice has a off night, the Artland offense will be greatly effected. Bailey is a strong player that can do so many things, but scoring will be a plus, but his defense will have to be excellent against Bamberg. Strasser gives experience and his three pointer from the bench. However The Brose Baskets Bamberg are stronger and more valuable with the guard trio of Goldsberry, Gavel and Roberts. Goldsberry probaly the most unselfish player at the moment in the league can change a game with his defesne as he once had 10 steals with Leverkusen, Gavel will hurt you with his threes and extra pass ability and just when you thought that you could have a breather on defense, in comes Roberts who can score in bunches quicker than Ray Allen can releases his bombs from the corner. “I think it is pretty even. I think Goldsberry and Rice are two different guards, but Roberts gives them a great option off the bench and when you throw in Casey Jacobsen then you have some great guard play, but Artland has some great guard play as well”, added John Bynum.
The forward edge also goes to The Brose Baskets Bamberg. With Suput, Bamberg has one of the top power forwards that is always guaranteed to score even if it doesn´t look pretty, the Serb has been doing it for his whole career and his experience is huge.. Hines is a big body that frees up space and he scores and rebounds on a consistent level this season and Reyshawn Terry brings the athletic quality to the forwards. The Artland Dragons have a solid trio with Nathan Peavy, Adam Hess and Robert Kurz. Peavy gives you solid inside out game, Hess can damage you from outside and will go where it hurts, and Kurz is a relentless worker under the boards that gobbles up rebounds, can score and has NBA experience. “I like Bambergs frontline, they are very deep and versatile”, stated John Bynum. At the center position, it is pretty even. Bamberg has a strong duo with German national player Tibor Pleiss/Kyle Hines. Pleiss has improved very much this season and his defense adds a new dimension to the Bamberg play. Hines brings routine and consistency. One can´t get a better center offense/defense duo with Darren Fenn and Ruben Boumtje Boumtje. Fenn is a scorer who will need to have a good game for Artland to be successful and Boumtje Boumtje is the ideal guy coming from the bench especially to help stop opponents runs. The Brose Baskets bamberg also have the experience factor. The club has 7 players that have almost played two complete seasons together and have played Euroleague together. The Artland Dragons boast experienced players with Fenn, Hess, Boumtje Boumtje and Strasser, but their experience in the BEKO BBL doesn´t match that of Bamberg. “I think Bamberg has played in some big games this season and I think they have the experience advantage as well”, commented John Bynum. The coaching match up is an interesting one with Chris Fleming vs Stefan Koch and also even. Koch is back coaching after being away from the sidelines for almost 4 years, but in his career, he has shown his ability to bring success winning the 2000 BEKO BBL cup with the Opel Skyliners, winning the 2003 Austrian title with the Montan Bears Kapfenberg and led the Giessen 46ers to the 2005 BEKO BBl semi finals losing to Bamberg in 5 games. Chris Fleming has just as an impressive resume making the Artland Dragons into a BEKO BBL team in 2003, winning the Cup in 2008, before coming to Bamberg last season and winning the double.
The Brose Baskets Bamberg won the season series against The Artland Dragons 60-58 at home and 75-69 on the road. Bamberg was pretty lucky in the first game as Artland played them very tough forcing them to shoot 35% from the field and 18% from outside and winning the rebound duel 43-34. The 8 turnovers by Bamberg saved them on this day. The second game was another very close affair as Artland shot only 36% from the field, but won the rebounding duel again. Bamberg was the better team in crunch time keeping their nerves in check. The Artland Dragons will have to play with very high intensity for 40 minutes and Hope that Rice has a Dashaun Wood type of game. “Rice needs to play well in order for them to win for sure. He has stepped up his game in the 2nd half of the season and a lot of their success depends on him”, added John Bynum. The Artland Dragons will have to defend well and bang under the boards to be successful. Bamberg has the best defense in the BEKO BBL and Artland should concentrate on attacking Suput who isn´t the strongest defender, get at Roberts on the pick role and force Pleiss out to get more room inside for their big men. “Artland just has to use their strengths and I think there guards have to play well to win this game”, warned John Bynum. The Brose Baskets Bamberg have scored 70 points or more in 24 of the 27 games and just need to find their rhythm quickly and bring intensity and with the crowd behind them should be okay. Artland has an up tempo offense. Their weakness is their half court game. If you make them play that then they will have problems. Bamberg should also keep them from continuously moving the ball and containing their transition opportunities. Bamberg have lost only twice this season and been near perfect. There isn´t much which they should change, but just go on the court and do their magic. “Bamberg just has to play there game and do what they have been doing all season”, stressed John Bynum. The Brose Baskets Bamberg host The Artland Dragons April 2nd at 20:00