Will 595 NBA Games Experience Help Propel The Brose Baskets Bamberg To Continued Titles This Season?

In the last two years, the Brose Baskets Bamberg were able to keep a good portion of their roster supplementing them with key Americans like Kyle Hines, Reyshawn Terry, PJ Tucker and Marcus Slaughter. These players turned out to be the perfect fit as they did their role on the team leading the club to four further titles and were as perfect for the Freak city team like as Atlanta Hawks head coach Mike Smith is slowly becoming for the southern team, Mario Mandzukic has been for Bayern Munich scoring seven goals in the first eight Bundesliga games, or the Los Angeles Lakers bulking up this season with guys like Dwight Howard and Steve Nash. This season the Brose Baskets Bamberg lost a good portion of their team adding talented experienced Americans like ex Paderborn guard Teddy Gipson who had great years in Holland and France and Mr double double Sharod Ford who played three games for the Phoenix Suns, but their biggest signing was ex NBA player Bostjan Nachbar who wheeled and dealed in 309 NBA games. Former Bamberg players like Kyle Hines and Marcus Slaughter were able to make the next step playing for Greek Euroleague power house Olympiakos Pireus or Real Madrid. Bamberg didn´t take a risk on these players, but on the same token didn´t really know how well they could produce for the Bavarian team, but knew what they were getting in them. Nachtbar played in the NBA form 2002-2008. He showed with the New Jersey Nets that he could be an important role player for the Eastern conference power team. This season, the Brose Baskets Bamberg have a bit more different and interesting constellation with duo Casey Jacobsen and Bostjan Nachbar that have combined 595 NBA games. Thw combination of their diverse basketball skills, vast experience and basketball IQ, it could help carry the team to a fourth consecutive league title and cup title. The question is how well will the other indians follow these two chiefs? “I saw Bostjan Nachbar play as a youth. Already there he had an unbelievable basketball IQ at a young age. He is a player that makes the right decisions. He can´t only shoot, but is simply an allrounder. He makes Bamberger a lot more versatile and dangerous and can play inside out and is a stretch four. He is more a four, but can play the position three. Players lose their quickness at 30. He makes his team slower at the position three and faster at the position four. It is great that Jacobsen and Nachtbar are on the same team and they are used to playing at  ahigh level. Both are always calm in tough situations”, stressed basketball expert Steven Clauss.

In 2010-2011, the Brose Baskets Bamberg the team swept through the regular season with a record of 32-2 and outscored their opponents by a huge margin of 2786-2213 points. They swept the Eisbaeren Bremerhaven 3-0 in the quarterfinals, but looked more human in the semi finals needing five games to dispose of the Artland Dragons where they showed their stamp winning game 5 83-55. In the finals, they also needed 5 games to dispose of pesky Alba Berlin , who still had a shot with two minutes remaining, but succumbed to little mistakes and gigantic John Goldsberry shots to win the title again. “Bamberg seemed to get better with every game that they played and the Euroleague competition also helped them”, stressed ex TBB Trier guard John Bynum.

One thing that Brose Baskets Bamberg head coach Chris Fleming has learned twice the last two off seasons is that one should not change a winning team and if dollars get in the way then try to keep as much as possible to keep that winning chemistry in tact. Last season, the team kept 11 players, losing Americans Kyle Hines that reached the big time with Top Euroleague team Olympiakos Piraeus and Reyshawn Terry. The team added sufficient strength for these two positions with ex Bremerhaven brat wurst eater Marcus Slaughter who left the Beko BBL in 2008 averaging 18ppg and 10rpg after 8 games and athletic forward Pj Tucker. The team got added offensive firepower with ex Alba Berlin guard Julius Jenkins that has won titles and may be still be one of the most dangerous crunch time players in the Beko BBL where teams would rather see him on the bench fouled out then on the floor when the going gets tough. “. I think they were deeper than in 2010-2011 and the pieces they lost they replaced them in a great way”, warned John Bynum. Last season the Brose Baskets Bamberg finished with a staggering 30-4 record. They started the season with a seven game winning streak and then surprisingly losing in Berlin and Giessen. They then stormed out on a 15 game winning streak before falling on their faces in Frankfurt losing. They then finished the regular season with a 8-1 record losing in a 107-103 shoot out against FC Bayern Munich. Last season, it was their deepness that helped them be so successful. “They are just stacked in each position and they dont have let downs at any point during a game. You can’t make too many mistakes and if you do they make you pay for it. On offense they had so many guys they can go to and anyone can put the ball in the basket. As far as defense they take you out of sets and make you play further then you are used to playing by ball pressure and by playing physical”, warned John Bynum.

One can discuss all day long about how strong Bamberg was last season or ask ex Bamberg guard Michael Hakim Jordan how many quick smiles he can produce that equal the number of strenghes that the team have, but relentless aggressive defense, immaculate speedy ball movement or maybe the most important of all total unselfishness and that has to do with having the right characters players mesh together in the right system.  So often finding the right players for a certain system isn´t easy, but Bamberg head coach Chris Fleming has the right New Jersey twist to haul in the right players. “Chris is a great coach and has a great system and each player he has brought in fits the system to perfection. He has taken Bamberg to a very high level with their talent and his coaching ability. Bamberg has gotten stronger each season and if that continues, one shouldn´t have to shy away from soon making dynasty comparisons to the Alba Berlin teams from 1997-2003. “Bamberg is going in the right direction for it to be called a dynasty but a lot has to fall into their favor. If they are able to sustain their level of play and not have any key injuries then they can continue their high level of play”, warned John Bynum. An important question also remains if the team can stay hungry to keep winning and have nonstop motivaton?” I don’t think that coach will have a hard time motivating anyone. We play to win. We practiced hard and the new players brought a lot of excitement and we knew what is in front of us. The old players wanted to create history and the new players wanted to become part of history. Everyone was highly motivated to win”, warned ex Bamberg forward Marcus Slaughter.

The question remains, can the long time Bamberg players still carry that same motivation, while the many new players should be able to have the eagerness to perform at a high level to extend that dynasty to a four peat. Bamberg manager Wolfgang Heyder had to swallow hard losing Brian Roberts and PJ Tucker to the NBA, German national player and Marcus Slaughter to the ACB league, Julius Jenkins to title candidate Oldenburg and Predrag Suput. Bamberg was able to keep importantbasketball figure heads Casey Jacobsen, 2012 top European qualifying top scorer Anton Gavel, John Goldsberry and Germans Karsten Tadda and Philipp Neumann.  The question will remain how quickly Chris Fleming can construct  ateam chemistry with the old and new players. The club brought in Sharod Ford who has NBA experience and was top center in Italy the last seasons. Sergerio Gipson will give scoring input at the guard position. Bostjan Nachtbar will help all over the court and could be the top star in the Beko BBL this season. Maik Zirbes was brought in to bolster the boards and hopes to develop as well as Tibor Pleiss has the last year. Talented Australian AJ Ogilvy also will give strength under the boards. The biggest strength of the Brose Baskets Bamberg this season will be their experience and deepness at every position. Fleming will also have to be able to tame his players with their playing minutes. The team will be a force on defense as always especially at the guard position where Anton Gavel is heralded as the best in the Beko BBL. Fleming also will have a strong front court with Ford, Ogilvy and Zirbes. On account of their strength inside, Bamberg will most likely be more unpredictable and move the ball inside more than other seasons instead of over the wing. The only real serious problem that this team could have is if the team chemistry doesn´t develop as well during the season. The club isn’t a well oiled team like the last seasons and will need time to find each other. “Bamberg is a great team. They don´t have the continuity of the last years, but they got quality players to replace them. Chris Fleming has the experience of knowing which players to get. Bamberg will play for the title”, stressed Steven Clauss. The Brose Baskets Bambegr return home to the Stechert arena looking for their third home win. They are returning after a convincing win in Giessen despite having problems in the first half as Giessen kept it close, but in the end, Bamberg did what they do best by overpowering the opponent and easily winning. The Fraport Skyliners go to Bamberg with a lot of confidence after the convincing 78-53 win at home against Bonn. The Fraport Skyliners continue to have problems rebounding and will need a team effort from everyone not too look old in Bamberg. Frankfurt is slowly finding that team chemistry on defense and also here will need to play their best game. “We will need to bring the same high intensity like against Bonn”, warned Fraport Skyliners captain Marius Nolte.

The Skyliners have a massive negative record on the road in Bamberg going six years without a win until the Beko BBL playoffs 2010 where the club of Gordon Herbert won in game one 65-63. In the Ballsporthalle, The Deutsche Bank Skyliners have a 3-7 record since the 2005-2006 season. Who could forget the embarrassing 81-48 loss in 2007 which was the last game for Skyliner coach Charles Barton. In 2009-2010 the club won twice winning in the regular season 84-80 as the team was led by American point guard Aubrey Reese with 18 points. They won a second time last season in game four with a 69-56 win sending the 2010 BEKO BBL finals back to Bamberg as Alba Berlin American Derrick Allen led the charge with 19 points and seven  rebounds. In the first meeting in 2010-2011, The Brose Baskets Bamberg were able to pull out a hard fought 71-62 win as they rallied from being down 60-55 and ended the game with a 16-2 run. Anton Gavel led all scorers with 19 points and Reyshawn Terry added 15 points. The Deutsche Bank Skyliners were led by Dashaun Wood with 15 points, but he steered only two assists. Brad Buckman and Jimmy Mckinney chipped in with 10 points a piece. Bamberg was able to shoot over 40% from the field and outside while Frankfurt didnt have the touch from the three point line at only 29%. In the second game at home, Bamberg won easily 81-63. Since the 2005-2006 season, the Skyliners have a miserable 4-16 record against the three time Beko BBL champion Brose Baskets Bamberg. Lin 2010-2011 they lost four times in Bamberg, in the Champions Cup, against Bamberg and twice in Cup play against Braunschweig and the Artland Dragons. Last season, the Fraport Skyliners stunk up the Stechert arena with a degrading 97-63 loss. Julius Jenkins led Bamberg with 20 points while Jon Leuer produced 17 points and 14 rebounds. In the return game, the Fraport Skyliners gave a spirited effort winning in sensational style 76-68. Frankfurt had a strong 16-7 third quarter leading the team to the win. Jimmy Mckinney had 19 points while Marcus Slaughter had 15 points.


The Brose Baskets Bamberg are led by Bostjan Nachbar is a 32 year old 207cm forward from Slovenia that is playing his first season in the Beko BBL. He is a is an athletic all-around player with a great outside shooting touch and high basketball IQ. He possesses all the skills and the size needed to excel on forward position and to be a serious mismatch threat for opponent. His shooting instinct allows him to knock down jumpers from behind the arc and mid-range distance. He can create shots for himself or pass the ball to his open teammates because of his good shot selection. With his athletic body Bostjan can penetrate to the rim and finish with the basket. Reading the game and making off-ball cuts with layups are among his strong sides. When it comes to fast breaks and transition game he attacks defense aggressively and draws fouls from opponents. This takes him to the line where he scores with high accuracy. His good size and smarts allow him to be always present for offensive and defensive rebounds. He began his basketball career in 1995 for Maribor Ovni. He then got two years experience for Benetton Trevisio already playing 20 Euroleague games at age 20. He was drafted by the NBA Houston Rockets in 2002 in the first round at #15. He played in the NBA from 2002-2008 playing a total of 309 NBA games for the Houston Rockets, New Orleans Hornets and New Jersey Nets. He was an Atlantic Division champion in 2006. He returned back to Europe in 2008 and has played for Dynamo Moscow, Efes Pilsen and last season for Unics Kazan (Russia-PBL): VTB League: 4 games: 5.3ppg, 2.3rpg; Euroleague: 7 games: 4.0ppg, 2.4rpg; Russian League: 10 games: 3.1ppg, 2.1rpg. He played at the European chmapions in 2003, 2005 and 2009 and World Championships in 2006 and 2010.

Sharod Ford is a 30 year old 206cm power forward/center from Washington D.C. He is a A great intimador inside, thanks to great timing and leaping ability. His great athletic skills allow him to be good rebounder and a spectacular slasher, but he showed to be very good even in all the other parts of the game, like passing and ball-handling. He started his basketball career at Clemson in 2001 playing there until 2005. AS a rookie, he played three NBA games for the Phoenix Suns. He finished the season with Alba Berlin helping them win the Beko BBL title. He played a second season for Alba Berlin before moving to Italy. From 2008-2012, he played in Italy with a small four game career in Russia for St Petersburg. In Italy Ford established himself as the top rebounding player leading the league each year in rebounds. Last season, he returned back to the States to play for Erie Bay Hawks (D-League): 6 games: 9.0ppg, 5.5rpg, 1.2apg, 1.8bpg, FGP: 44.0%, FT: 66.7%. Sergerio Gipson is a 32 year old 193 cm guard from Farmersville, Louisiana that returns back to the Beko BBL after playing in Paderborn in the 2006-2007 season. He started his basketball career in 1998 for Arkansas(NCAA) where he played until 2002. In his nine year carrer, he played five seasons in Holland and three years in France and one season in Germany. In Holland, he won three league titles and two cups and was a five time allstar. Last season, he played for Elan Bearnais Pau-Lacq-Orthez (France-ProA, starting five): EuroChallenge: 6 games: 13.7ppg, 3.7rpg, 5.7apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 51.3%, 3PT: 30.3%, FT: 80.0%; French League: 28 games: Score-3(17.1ppg), 3.9rpg, 4.5apg, 1.6spg, FGP: 54.9%, 3PT: 38.6%, FT: 78.6%.

AJ Ogily is a 24 year old 211cm center from Australia that also has the Irsh citizenship. His strong point is his defence, with a number of blocked shots in (nearly) every game he plays, has very good synchronization in the air and at the same time very nice positioning which helps him out in the rebounding area in both the defence and offence. Andrew has also an excellent control of his efforts, so he rarely risks his defensive position. He is very aggressive in the court which helps him to “hide” some of his disadvantages. He is an average shooter from the mid-range area, has quite good basketball IQ.He started his basketball career at the  Australian Institute Sport (ABA). He then went to the States and played at Vanderbilt until 2010 playing a total of 96 NCAA games. In 2010-2011, he started his basketball career for  Besiktas ColaTurka Istanbul (Turkey-TBL): EuroCup: 8 games: 10.9ppg, 5.8rpg, FGP: 57.9%, FT: 75.0%; Turkish League: 30 games: 12.9ppg, 6.5rpg, 1.0apg, Blocks-4(1.1bpg), FGP: 60.6%, FT: 76.2%. Last season, he played for  Valencia Basket (Spain-ACB): EuroCup: 8 games: 9.5ppg, 3.3rpg, FGP: 53.6%, FT: 69.6%; Spanish League: 26 games: 4.8ppg, 2.3rpg. The team also brought in Latavious Williams who is a 23 year old 202cm forward that hails form Starkville, Mississippi and never played an NCAA game. He is a very athletic forwad who can play on the wing or down low. Williams attacks the offensive glass and finishes offensive rebounds above the rim with tip-dunks. Also, he is expected to could grew up a little more. Despite an immense talent and upside, he hasn’ t yet a true position and is very green. He played at  Christian Life Center High School, Humble, Texas. In 2009-2010, he turned professional and played in the D-league for the Tulsa 66ers until 2011. Last season, he came to Europe and played for  FIATC Joventut Badalona (Spain-ACB): 34 games: 9.6ppg, 7.1rpg, 1.3spg, FGP: 59.7%, FT: 70.0%. This past summer, he played 2012 July: AirTran Orlando Summer League (Oklahoma City Thunder): 2 games: 6.0ppg, 6.5rpg, 1.0apg.

Anton Gavel is a 28 year old 189cm combo guard from Slovakia that has experience and can score quickly and in bunches when needed. He is playing his fourth season with Bamberg and 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%. In 2010-2011, he played 10  Euroleague games: 12.8ppg, 2.3rpg, 2.3apg, FGP: 49.1%, 3PT: 30.0%, FT: 92.7%; German League: 45 games: 10.7ppg, 2.1rpg, 3.4apg, FGP: 50.3%, 3PT: 41.9%, FT: 84.5%. Last season, he played Euroleague: 10 games: 8.5ppg, 1.7rpg, 2.1apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 48.4%, 3PT: 30.0%, FT: 73.1%; German League: 42 games: 10.7ppg, 2.0rpg, 3.7apg, FGP: 53.5%, 3PT: 42.8%, FT: 75.9%. The name Maik Zirbes has always been seen as a guy that could develop into one of the top German centers and currently can keep doing it with Bamberg after getting the chance with TBB Trier under Henrik Rodl. He was born in Traben-Trarbach  is a huge talent and has been able to increase his playing time each season in Trier. He started his basketball career in the TBB Trier youth programs and in 2008-2009 he played 12 games averaging 1.3ppg and in the summer of 2009 played at the World University Games in Belgrade (Serbia) playing 6 games averaging 5.5ppg, 5.7rpg, FGP: 44.0%, FT: 64.7%. In 2010-2011, he averaged 7.4ppg, 4.4rpg, FGP: 60.9%, FT: 73.3% “He is a big body with soft hands and will help them under the boards. He is very talented”, warned ex TBB Trier forward Chris Copeland. Last season, he played  34 games: 10.6ppg, Reb-5(7.1rpg), FGP: 57.3%, FT: 69.9%.

Casey Jacobsen is a31 year old 198cm shooting guard/small forward is playing his fifth 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 cup 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%. In 2010-2011 for Bamberg, he played Euroleague: 10 games: 9.1ppg, 4.1rpg, 2.5apg, FGP: 34.8%, 3PT: 42.6%, FT: 68.2%; German Bundesliga: 48 games: 11.8ppg, 3.5rpg, 2.9apg, FGP: 52.8%, 3PT: 43.6%, FT: 84.9%. Last season, he played Euroleague: 10 games: 9.1ppg, 2.1rpg, 2.5apg, FGP: 50.0%, 3PT: 36.4%, FT: 85.0%; German League: 44 games: 10.6ppg, 2.8rpg, 2.5apg, FGP: 54.4%, 3PT: 44.0%, FT: 86.4%.

The team is also filled with talented young Germans led by Kartsen Tadda who is a 24 year old 189cm guard. He has been with Bamberg since 2007. He started his basketball career at Troester Breitenguessbach in 2005. In 2009-2010 for Bamberg he played Eurocup 14 games: 4.1ppg, 1.4rpg; German League: 45 games: 3.2ppg, 1.2rpg, 1.0apg. In 2010-2011, he played German League: 47 games: 3.1ppg, 1.3rpg; Euroleague: 10 games: 0.8ppg; played also at TSV Troester Breitenguessbach (ProB, starting five): 2 games: 16.5ppg, 3.5rpg, 1.0apg, 1.0spg. He is known as an aggressive and relentless defender. Last season, he played Euroleague: 10 games: 2.4ppg; German League: 44 games: 3.3ppg, 1.1rpg, 1.5apg. Phillip Neumann is a 20 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). In 2009-2010, 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%. In 2010,  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%. In 2010-2011 he played German League: 18 games: 1.2ppg; German League: Euroleague: 1 game: 0pts. Last season, he played  25 games: 2.6ppg, 1.9rpg; Euroleague: 3 games: 0.7ppg; had also a license to play at TSV Troester Breitenguessbach (ProB): 19 games: 12.1ppg, 8.4rpg, Blocks-3(1.9bpg), FGP: 54.2%, FT: 60.3%. John Goldsberry also returns after a long injury. Goldsberry is a 30 year old 191cm guard from Ohio. He is playing his fifth season for Bamberg. He started his basketball career for  NC-Wilmington (NCAA) from 2002-2006. As a rookie, he played for the Bayer Giants Leverkusen (Germany-1.Bundesliga), injured in Oct.’06 and was sidelined for 8 weeks: 32 games: 8.1ppg, 2.2rpg, 4.2apg, Steals-1(2.6spg), 2FGP: 49.1%, 3FGP: 40.2%, FT: 73.6%. In 2007-2008, he played for the Artland Dragons helping them win the German cup in Hamburg against EnBW Ludwigsburg.


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