The Deutsche Bank Skyliners And Globetrotter Basketball Wipe Out The Playoff Hopes Of EnBW Ludwigsburg 94-79

The 2010-2011 beko BBL season has flown by as rapidly this season like having a two week all expenses paid trip to the Bahamas and Rihanna as a companion, the time since the 90s where the Boston Celtics were fighting to keep their good name as they were struggling under new coach Rick Pitino and he was blasted for saying the infamous word at a press conference that the legend Larry Bird was no more or the last time the Detroit Pistons won the NBA title in 2004. On the last game day there were many do or die games for teams fighting to stay in the league like BBC Bayreuth was hoping for a miracle win in Bamberg, the MBC wolves attempting to trap the pesky unorthodox full court press of BG Goettingen in quick sand in their den or teams trying to secure that last playoff spot like TBB Trier trying to out hustle the Artland Dragons, the Eisbaeren Bremerhaven trying to out freeze Ratiopharm Ulm or EnBW Ludwigsburg hoping for the best Lionel Richie basketball performance by Jerry Green being able to yell the famous Hello track to the 2011 beko BBL playoffs into the glowing and over joyous face of coach Markus Jochum, but instead the German coach was seen sneaking through the Ludwigsburg arena with a emotionless face as if he just witnessed the rebirth of Craig Hodges on the court transformed into the body of Roger Powell as The Deutsche Bank Skyliners ruined a playoff appearance for EnBW Ludwigsburg 94-79 as the Schwaben team missed the post season for the fourth consecutive season and the Hessen team reach a date with BG Goettingen in the playoffs. “The third time is supposed to be a charm, but wasn´t for me. I missed the post season for the third straight year on the last game day. We really believed that we could win this game. However this team had two different faces this year. With the right face, this team had the talent to beat anyone in the league. With the wrong face as we showed tonight, we had no chance to win”, stated 1995 UCLA NCAA champion Toby Bailey. Frankfurt didn´t have their thoughts on the upcoming training camp in Mallorca and played as if it was game one of the playoffs. “I am a bit surprised by the outcome of this game. Ludwigsburg was a little nervous. We played a very good game. This was a good test for us in a playoff like atmosphere”, stressed Skyliner center Marius Nolte.

EnBW Ludwigsburg had to win this game while The Deutsche Bank Skyliners didn´t necessarily have to win, but they showed real character finishing the regular season on a good note. One should never question current beko BBL MVP Dashaun Wood if a game is meaningless, because he may be liable to bite your head off or let his dogs do the dirty work. Wood is always focused and just by observing his facial expressions is totally alert for the start of the beko BBL playoffs. “Even when I play against my girlfriend, I want to win. I am a competitor. You always lace them up to win. You should never play a different way. We knew that this game was very important to come into the playoffs with momentum and help our self confidence”, warned American Dashaun Wood. Skyliner center Marius Nolte is usually very tense before the game, but took a different approach to this game. “I tried to be as calm as possible. I took a walk through Ludwigsburg enjoying the sun and tried not to think about the game too much. I was serious, but at the same time relaxed which was a nice mix”, stressed ex Paderborn center Marius Nolte. The game in Ludwigsburg had massive ramifications for the club, but with all the other exciting and huge games in the beko BBL, was this one of the most exciting last game day weekends in the beko BBL since many years? “I think this wa sone of most exciting last game days ever in the beko BBL. The league continues to get more tight with the smaller teams getting better and being able to annoy the bigger teams. I think the BG Goettingen-MBC game was the biggest of the weekend”, stated EnBW Ludwigsburg German David Mccray. “This game was more relaxed for us. In the last few years, we were always fighting for the places 6-8. I can remember being in Artland two years ago where all the fans stayed in the arena to await the end of BG Goettingen-Paderborn to see if they would get in the playoffs. It is slowly coming to a tradition that the last game day is always very exciting. I also think the most exciting game of the weekend is BG Goettingen-MBC, stated Skyliner sport director Kamil Novak. “This is another very exciting last game day. However I remember 2006 where Frankfurt had to win in the last game to stay in the league. The league is getting tighter each season and the saying the phrase any team can beat anyone is getting more common”, added EnBW Ludwigsburg assistant coach Steven Clauss.
Before the game, it is always interesting to see which players meet and just talk and hang out. One very interesting chat happened on the other side of the court near the center line as ex NBA player Roger Powell conversed with 2003 second round NBA draft pick Rick Rickert. It is also no surprise to watch the young German posse come together as Dominik Bahiense De Mello rushed out to the court and had a very relaxed talk with David Mccray and ex Giessen forward Johannes Lishka as the three forgot the seriousness of the game for a short moment and just had some fun as if they were making plans for a summer vacation on the beach somewhere. Despite the very warm spring day, soccer team VFB Stuttgart playing and many finding entrance to the beer gardens, 3,850 people found their way into the arena. The Deutsche Bank Skyliners quickly got a warm welcome to the arena as the many signs “This is our house” showed that breaking through the noise in the arena would be as difficult as the Chicago Bulls winning the 2011 NBA title with explosive point guard Derrick Rose. The game started off very physical with both teams missing their first few shots, but after  afew minutes of feeling out the other team, Frankfurt found their groove leading 7-2. Kimmo Muurinen hit two free throws, then found Roger Powell back door for a dunk and Quantez Robertson quickly showed hiss coring qualities sinking a three point bomb. Frankfurt quickly found their range from the parking lot as Robertson hit his second three pointer this time from the other corner and De Mello also hit form outside as Frankfurt led 13-6. Frankfurt worked hard inside and on their third try punished e NBW Ludwigsburg with the De Mello shot. EnBW Ludwigsburg did a good job fighting and staying in the game and drawing fouls as Green went to the line and ex Telekom Baskets Bonn center John Bowler twice as Frankfurt led only 13-11. Frankfurt held the momentum and also continued to hit their shots as Powell hit from outside and Robertson nailed his third bomb and Jimmy Mckinney also made a jumper. Frankfurt led 21-16 after one quarter. “I thought that we defended very well from the start. On offense we were very patient waiting for the good shot and just played very clever”, added Skyliner sport director Kamil Novak. The Deutsche Bank Skyliners were shooting 39% from the field and 38% from outside while EnBW Ludwigsburg were shooting 33% from the field and 33% from outside. EnBW Ludwigsburg had the big 11-4 rebound edge, but six turnovers while Frankfurt had one turnover.
EnBW Ludwigsburg stayed in the game, but in the latter part of the second quarter, The Deutsche Bank Skyliners were able to break away and go into the break with a 15 point advantage. EnBW Ludwigsburg actually got off to the better start going on a 5-2 run to trail Frankfurt only 23-21. Jerry Green got the run started with a pretty floater which was topped by Marius Nolte who made some nice moves against Donatas Zacakas finishing with his left hand. Rickert then scored inside after getting fed nicely by American Alex Harris. The game was close again and then it was Dashaun Wood who took matters into his own hands. Sometimes, it really seems like Wood has his cell phone on him and when Gordon Herbert needs him to take control, he just calls and with the feel of the vibration the American guard just gets into the zone. Wood then led Frankfurt on a 9-4 run as they led 32-25. Wood scored inside twice on the penetration something he was unable to do in the first quarter, nailed a three pointer and Powell scored on one of his 6 dunks in the game. “I usually like to start the game and establish a flow and get my teammates involved. In the first quarter, the defense is still fresh and ready, but as the game progress they get more tired and they tend to break down. Then I use this chance and find openings in the offense”, warned Dashaun Wood. Frankfurt had no real let down finishing the second quarter with a 15-7 run. Frankfurt continued to get open shots offered as Roger Powell challenged his 31% from outside hitting two three pointers and Robertson also nailed one from outside. When EnBW Ludwigsburg did score, it was mostly very tough shots as Frankfurt didn´t allow much room to let the opponent do much as open shots were as scarce as the number of Dashaun Wood dunks this year. Green and Harris made jumpers and Bowler a lay up. At halftime, The Deutsche Bank Skyliners were leading 47-32. “We were hitting our shots and continuing to work very hard for those shots. We continued to defend very well and it always helps when a Quantez Robertson has made four three pointers at the break”, added Skyliner sport director Kamil Novak. The Deutsche Bank Skyliners were shooting 50% from the field and 48% from the three point line while EnBW Ludwigsburg was shooting 43% from the field and 29% from the three point line. EnBW Ludwigsburg was still leading the rebounding fight 16-9, but had 10 turnovers while Frankfurt had only four turnovers.
The Deutsche Bank Skyliners came back onto the court in the third quarter and left off where they did in the second quarter extending their lead to 20 points as they went on a 10-5 run to lead 57-37. Dashaun Wood got Frankfurt cooking with an off balance shot in the lane and then found Super Tez inside for two quick points. Frankfurt also got their transition game going Wood used his quick reflections and fast thinking grabbing a rebound and taking one dribble and then firing a touchdown pass to Powell who got down the court the quickest. Mckinney then came between a pass from Harris to Siim Sander Vene going coast to coast for a rare dunk. Frankfurt continued to score consistently on offense as did EnBW Ludwigsburg, but they were unable to go on that much needed run as they just couldn´t put a dent in the Skyliner offense. Mckinney and Harris then traded three pointers as Frankfurt led still 61-40. It didn´t matter what EnBW Ludwigsburg did on defense, Frankfurt found a way to keep scoring. Even when they went to zone, Frankfurt picked apart their defense as Wood scored inside as did Powell and Frankfurt led 68-47. With the big lead, Frankfurt started to show their hidden Globe Trotter side as Quantez Robertson gave a perfect ally-op pass to Roger Powell that slammed the ball home. Down the stretch, Rickert and Greens cored as Frankfurt still led 73-54. However Frankfurt continues to show how many weapons they have from the bench and how timely and clutch they can be as captain Pascal Roller dropped a three pointer as Frankfurt led 76-54 after three quarters. The arena was getting more and more quiet as the fans slowly were feeling the 2011 beko BBL playoffs getting out of reach. “We played very well in the first 3-4 minutes and then quickly showed that the game was decided. The atmosphere was very tough, but we showed a lot of moral tonight”, commented Kamil Novak. The Deutsche Bank Skyliners were shooting 51% from the field and 40% from the parking lot while EnBW Ludwigsburg was shooting 46% from the field and 42% from the parking lot. EnBW Ludwigsburg still had the rebound edge 21-18, but 12 turnovers while Frankfurt had five turnovers.
The Deutsche Bank Skyliners continued to have their comfortable 20 point cushion in the fourth quarter. Frankfurt continued to do a very good job forcing EnBW Ludwigsburg to very difficult shots despite Green continuing to make those type of shots. With the big lead and second place secured, Skyliner coach Gordon Herbert experimented a bit letting some of the bench players play like Carl Lindbom who came in and quickly gave the team energy. Lindbom got his own miss and made a text book put back and then got the whole Skyliner bench on their feet including a towel waving Roger Powell as he made an ally-op dunk after a perfect pass from Wood. Nolte then scored inside as Frankfurt led 83-58. EnBW Ludwigsburg then found some daylight with a mini 5-0 run as Rickert scored inside and Vene nailed a three pointer as Frankfurt led 83-63. EnBW Ludwigsburg continued to have too little fire power ad too little strength on defense to go on a run of stops. Frankfurt continued to score any which way as Wood nailed a three pointer and their Harlem Globetrotter show continued as Powell dunked on the fast break and then dunked on an ally-op feed from Wood as Frankfurt led 91-71. In the last few minutes Zavackas led EnBW Ludwigsburg on a 5-0 run, but the game was so far out of reach for any permanent damage. Young German Benedikt Nicolay was inserted and scored his first points in the beko BBL with a lay in as Frankfurt closed out the game with a much deserved 94-78 win. “It seemed like they gave up a bit. We kept playing well keeping the lead. I was surprised that John Bowler wasn´t in the game at that point. We were calm and when you have the big lead like that, you can starting doing the ally-ops”, joked Marius Nolte. “Frankfurt is a great team and played very well. We didn´t play good basketball. They play so well together and pass the ball very well. Guys were hitting three pointers that usually don´t and they did a great job forcing us to bad shots. We also played too much one on one. Frankfurt are so unselfish”, stated ex NBA player Toby Bailey. “We kept the big lead despite substitutions and late whistles. We kept Ludwigsburg to what they average per game. We were able to contain them well. We also had many ally-ops showing that we can be like the Harlem Globetrotters getting everyone involved”, joked Dashaun Wood.

The Deutsche Bank Skyliners were led by Roger Powell with 28 points. Dashaun Wood had a typical stat like Monta Ellis game with 19 points, 10 assists and five rebounds. “That wasn´t Monta Ellis, but Chris Paul. Paul did a great job winning game 1 against the Lakers”, stressed Dashaun Woon. Quantez Robertson added 14 points. EnBW Ludwigsburg was led by Alex Harrs with 21 points. Donatas Zavackas added 13 points and Jerry Green 12 points. John Bowler contributed 10 points. Frankfurt shot better than EnBW Ludwigsburg at 46% from the fierld and outscored them in the paint 36-30. The only sour note was the work under the boards by Frankfurt. “I think that is a misleading stat. We shot well and I didn´t think that they hurt us under the boards. It seemed like we rebounded a lot better than what the stats show”, expressed Kamil Novak. Frankfurt gave another smooth performance on defense. “We practiced a lot of our transition defense this week, because we knew that they like to run. We didn´t give them easy points and forced them to a halfcourt offense. We forced them to many tough shots and didn´t give Green and Harris much space. We also took away offensive rebounds from them in important phases”, added Marius Nolte. For EnBW Ludwigsburg, the season ends on a sour note as they missed the playoffs for the fourth consecutive season. “We missed making the big points in big games. We lost some tough games this season that we should of won.  Wejust weren´t consistent enough and missed winning that one game to reach the playoffs. Maybe we were too motivated. Frankfurt was very calm. Frankfurt defended very well and were more physical. We were missing that toughness on defense. Frankfurt made 10 three pointers by halftime and we had 10 turnovers which told the story of this game”, stressed EnBW Ludwigsburg sport director Mario Probst. Frankfurt departed yesterday for a four day training camp in Mallorca to get ready for BG Goettingen. “I think that this training camp will not hurt us. The training camp that we had before the TOP 4, we weren´t as together as we are now. We will stay calm and just concentrate on our next opponent BG Goettingen. They play very aggressive basketballa nd showed how strong they are with their play in the Eurocup and recently beating Alba Berlin. We will need to keep them in a hal fcourt game”, added Marius Nolte. The Deutsche Bank Skyliners host BG Goettingen in game 1 of the 2011 beko BBL quarterfinals April 30th at 18:00.

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