It had been a strange sight and something that one had to get used to in the first few months in Frankfurt basketball land not seeing Jimmy Mckinney sporting his GQ outfits and St Louis Cardinals hats, listening to his actor like soft voice philosophying about the game like a young Wesly Snipes or just getting into a groove of saying ahhhhhhhh after witnessing the grace and beauty of seeing his shooting stroke from all over the court. Not seeing Jimmy Mckinney in a Fraport Skyliners jersey has been as difficult for fans on the Main as if the famous Frankfurt drink Appelwoi had been banished for good, the Romer place had been painted pink for marketing reasons or if the famous Frankfurt wurtschen hot dogs had been replaced by the ball park franks. These things ever happening would have been like a cut in the heart for people just like it was the gregarious St Louis native packing his stuff and heading to Wurzburg. Mckinney had returned back to Frankfurt in preseason with the s.Oliver Baskets Wurzburg to battle in a preseason game at the Skyliners traing facility which they lost. However that preseason clout wasn´t the same for Mckinney as returning to the Fraport arena which had been his living room for the past six years. Mckinney has started a bit subpar into the season shooting under 40% from the field and from downtown, but when one saw Mckinney step on the floor for the first time in a Wurzburg jersey, one could see the look in his eyes that he was as focused as head coach Mike D antoni trying to bring glory days back to the Los Angeles Lakers, well known soccer player Zlatan Ibrahimovic still showing that he can score amazing goals like a Messi or Ronaldo at the ripe age of 31 or like any American making the most of a Thanksgiving meal each year. Mckinney came back to Frankfurt and wasn´t a big factor on offense scoring seven points, but helped guide the team to a hard fought 59-55 victory. “It was tough playing, because the whole return was so emotional which led to me not finding my rhythm until the end. I was really happy to play against Tez. He is my guy and I love him dirty. He is like a real brother to me and I hope that we can be teammates again someday. He is one of the best athletes I ever saw”, stressed Jimmy Mckinney. Robertson also enjoyed playing against his friend. “We competed very hard and really made it hard for each other. He didn´t score much, but the team still scored. I miss the fun we had on and off the court”, smilied Quantez Robertson. Jason Boone was all smiles when describing the worth of Mckinney to the team. “He might not have admitted it, but Jimmy was locked in for this game. We really wanted to get him the win. He works so hard is always the first in the gym and last to go. He just wants to win so much. I never saw such a pure shooter like him”, warned New York native Jason Boone. “I like Jimmy Mckinney. He is a real smooth guy and great shooter. You can´t give him any space. You always need to know where he is at all times”, stressed American Skyliner Ted Scott.
The Fraport Skyliners entered the game in 12th place and coming off a high with their domination and win against ratiopharm Ulm last weekend. They were looking for their fourth home win in a row and were defending like a Boston Celtic team of the 60s with Bill Russell at the helm as they were averaging only giving up 60 points a game. Frankfurt stayed on track allowing only 59 points, but were unable to get a flow on offense. “It was one of those games where the ball wasn´t falling. We had great looks, but they just weren´t falling. On offense you need to execute and we didn´t do that. Everyone has to be in the right place. We were a bit hesitant at times and were a bit too unselfish. At the end of the day if you want to be successful you still have to hit your shots. We did play good defense though”, stressed Ted Scott. The s.Oliver Baskets Wurzburg entered the game in 13th place and were coming off a big win in Eurocup play against Valencia. They are a team that is known as playing in the trenches on defense, but still haven´t found a consistency in offense. They didn´t have their best offensive game, but played hard enough defense to prevail and even at the end when the Fraport Skyliners made a run and cut the lead to three points, were able to grind out the win in crunch time even though they had lost three games with seven or less points. Jason Boone saw parallels to the 55-51 loss in Wurzburg.” Both games were similar in that both teams defended very well. We were able to grind out the game at the end and hit some big shots”, added Jason Boone. Mckinney was as comical as usual when asked if he could win round three at the battle of Wurzburg later this season. “I think we can win round three in Wurzburg. Only Miles can say something like that”, laughed Jimmy MCkinney. Quantez Robertson had a fierce look of a tiger about round three at the battle of Wurzburg latte rin the season. “Jimmy knows I want revenge and he better be ready”, warned Quantez Robertson.
4,560 fans wanted to watch a classic defensive battle on a Sunday afternoon and that is exactly what they got. The first few minutes remained scoreless as both teams were feeling each other out as Quantez Robertson already set the tone on defense as he made two steals. No team was giving the other team any gifts as defense was on the menu and offense seemed like a rotten apple had been served for desert. Jimmy Mckinney finally got Wurzburg on the board first with an off balance jumper. Skyliner head coach brought in energy spark Zach Peacock who came from the bench and right hit a fade away jumper from the left wing. The game continued to be very tight as both teams had to fight like a lion for their shots as open shots in the first quarter seemed as scare as finding water in the desert. Jason Boone then got the 300 Wurzburg fans who made the trip to jump from their seats with a powering left handed slam dunk over American Dion Dowell. Robertson then tied the game at 4-4 with a pair of free throws. Villanova alumnist Dwayne Anderson then showed that he can score in bounces like a Mckinney making a floater and jumper from the wing as Wurzburg led 8-4. Wurzburg continued their run to 7-0 as they had great ball movement and found Mckinney open and he dropped a three pointer as Wúrzburg led 11-4. The Fraport Skyliners then put a small dent into the run making a 5-0 run to cut the Wurzburg lead to 11-9. Dowell who iis always a threat from outside nailed a bomb form outside and Robertson got to the free throw line again making two free throws. Jason Boone then made like Shaq again dunking as if that was all he should do as German Danilo Barthel did the right choice by stepping out of the way. The s.Oliver Baskets Wurzburg led 13-9 after one quarter. “This was what all expected with a defensive battle. Both teams had problems finding a rhythm on offense. Both teams seemed a bit nervous and one could see that the Skyliners were missing their injured players”, stressed s.Oliver baskets assistant press secretary Michael Will. The s.Oliver Baskets Wurzburg were shooting 38% from the field and 25% from outside while the Fraport Skyliners were shooting 25% from the field and 25% from outside. Wurzburg had the 10-5 rebound edge and both teams had five turnovers a piece.
The Fraport Skyliners didn´t get out of the gate fast in the second quarter as the s.Oliver Baskets Wurzburg stepped up their intensity on offense speeding out on a crushing 8-0 run to lead 21-9. Wurzburg got three pointers from unlikely players like John Little and German Christoph Henneberger. One can defend a Little in that he has vastly improved his scoring in the last year as he was always known as a top defender. Since the playoff series last season against Alba Berlin, he was top scorer in that series and was more like a Dashaun Wood than a John Little on offense in that series. Ex Skyliner Alex King then found some space inside and also dunked. Frankfurt continued to have difficulty on offense by getting any support besides from Peacock who traded baskets with Little. Wurzburg continued to get too the free throw line as Dwayne Anderson drew two fouls. Peacock then scored a turn around jumper over Anderson as whenever he called for the ball he got it. Devin Gibson then made a shot in the lane as Frankfurt trailed 28-15. Frankfurt continued to be too inconsistent and lacked concentration as Robertson made a steal and then lost the ball on that possession in the first quarter and Gibson did it in the second quarter. Ex Artland Dragon Lamont Mcintosh nailed a pull up jumper and Johnathan Jones made a tip in as Frankfurt trailed 30-18. Dwayne Anderson then made a pretty penetration giving Germans Barthel and Voightman nice head fakes and then laying in the ball with his left hand. Jones closed out the second quarter with a coast to coast run as the s.Oliver Baskets Wurzburg led 33-21 at halftime. “The first two three pointers by Little and Henneberger were key for getting the momentum. We ahd better ball movement and the Valencia game gave the team self confidence. It was just a mental thing before our shots started to fall”, added Michael Will. The s.Oliver Baskets Wurzburg were shooting 43% from the field and 30% from the three point line while the Fraport Skyliners were shooting 29% from the field and 11% from the three point line. Wurzburg had the 20-13 rebound edge, but ten turnovers and Frankfurt had eight turnovers.
In the third quarter, the s.Oliver Baskets Wurzburg continued to keep their 10-12 point lead as the Fraport Skyliners continued to have scoring woes. The team could have used Ted Scott who is still out with an injury as that deadly shooting presence that the American has was missed as much as Germna national player Holger Badstuber will be for the FC Bayern Munich soccer team. Boone started the third quarter with a free throw as Wurzburg led 34-21. Zach Peacock was a player that was being the go to guy, but another Skyliner was being a presence with German Konstantin Klein. The young German who is a license player that also plays PRO B was a guy that was really trying to take charge as he was looking for the shot, penetrating and just being a beast any way he could as a guard. He dropped a three pointer and right away on the next play force a turnover on American Ben Jacobson. Frankfurt still trailed 34-24. Then it was time again for Jason Boone who was in dunk mode making two consecutive dunks in a row as Wurzburg led 38-24. After missing a dunk, Boone got another chance and kind of dunked it home softly like a baby. “I like to play physical, but at times, but the opponent buries me and I miss the dunk, then I get a different mindset and that is the wakeup call for the next opportunity to finish well”, stressed ex BG Goettingen American Jason Boone. Little and Peacock exchanged three pointers as Wurzburg still had the upperhand leading 41-30. Here and there there were minor breakdowns in the Frankfurt defense allowing a Alex King to fly unscathed to the hop for an easy lay up as his man and help were nowhere to be seen. Johannes Voigtmann continues to use the extended playing time to grow as a big man as he made a pretty baby hook shot over Jason Boone. The s.Oliver Baskets Wurzburg still led after three quarters 45-34. “The third quarter was back and forth and we knew we had to keep a good lead, because Frankfurt can always come back. We kept lead at 10 points”, added Jason Boone. The s.Oliver Baskets Wurzburg were shooting 52% form the two point range and 27% from the parking lot while the Fraport Skyliners were shooting 37% from the field and 19% from the parking lot. Wurzburg had the 27-19 rebound edge, but 16 turnovers while Frankfurt had 12 turnovers.
With ten minutes to play, time was running out for the Fraport Skyliners, but one should never count out the players of Muli Katzurin until the final buzzer has sounded. Peacock started the scoring for Frankfurt with a nice shovel lay in between King and Boone. Little then hit another big three pointer as Wurzburg led 48-36. Saved his best for last dropping a three pointer and hitting a pull up jumper. Robertson also hit a three pointer, but Wurzburg still led 55-41 as the Fraport Skyliners continued to be unable to make any ground. However one can argue what are the most exciting things in a basketball game to mega dunks or monster blocks, but the ability for a team to race back into a game with a run has to be high on the list for any basketball fan as the Fraport Skyliners did exactly that going on a 11-0 run to cut the Wurzburg lead to 55-52 with two minutes to play. A massive Zach Peacock dunk on the fast break got Frankfurt the momentum for the run. German Johannes Voigtman also played an important role hitting back to back mid distance jumpers in the run. Robertson then made a lay up and on the next in bound play, Gibson stole the ball out of Mckinneys hand under the basket and fed the ball to Tez for the next lay in and three point difference. “Frankfurt never gave up. There are so many teams that when they are down much will say we will get them back the next day, but not Frankfurt. Frankfurt hit big shots and got the crowd going. We had to shut the door faster, but couldn´t”, stressed Jason Boone. The Fraport Skyliners seemed like they were going to pull out an incredible come from behind win, but then had misfortune again as Jones made a big steal and fed super Tez, but he missed the lay up with a hard penetration. After Mckinney got the ball, he went back and Skyliner Devin Gibson tried to draw a foul, but instead got hit for too much acting getting a technical foul and sending Mckinney to the free throw line. Then Frankfurt had a chance to cut the lead to two points, but Robertson missed a tough three pointer from the wing. “ I tried to get off the quick shot to cut the lead to two points, but it just didn´t want to fall”, commented Quantez Robertson. Little then made two free throws and Klein hit a tough lay in high off the glass, but was all too late as the s.Oliver Baskets Wurzburg escaped the trench of the Fraport arena with a win. “Giving up 59 points is good on defense, but we need to find some offensive punch. Peacock did a good job, but we need to have more guys step up. We missed too many free throws”, warned Devin Gibson.
The s.Oliver Baskets Wurzburg were led by John Little with 15 points. Dwayne Anderson contributed 11 points and Jason Boone mustered 10 points and seven rebounds. The Fraport Skyliners were led by Zach Peacocok with 18 points. Quantez Robertson had 12 points, nine rebounds, three assists and five steals. The Fraport Skyliners had a weak day at the shooting office shooting 35% from the field and 20% from downtown while the s.Oliver Baskets Wurzburg shot 37% from the field and 26% form downtown. The offense will have to improve if the Fraport Skyliners want to see more wins this season. “We weren´t always taking open shots. We were taking more tough shots. We have to create more for others”, warned Quantez Robertson. Wurzburg won the rebounding duel 34-30. Frankfurt did a great job forcing Wurzburg to 20 turnovers and having nine fast break points and not allowing Wurzburg any fast break points. The next game for the Fraport Skyliners in on December 8th in Oldenburg.