The Miles Basketball Minute: 2014 Beko BBL Semi-Final Preview FC Bayern Munich-EWE Baskets Oldenburg 3-1

Put 1993 European  champion head coach Svetislav Pesic and Mr parking lot Heiko I can score from anywhere on the floor Schaffartzik at the same table and you probably won´t find two more focused, dedicated and hard -nosed basketball individuals than these two men who could probably put fear into anyone else at the table just with their demeanor and if looks could kill faces  and they could probably be the best agent duo ever if they were moonlighting just because of their persuasive attitude and their ability to get what they want. In the first game four in Ludwigsburg, the play where Michael Stockton was fouled that probably will be the most viewed play of the year, it was Pesic and Schaffartzik that were able to change the momentum of the game in the favor of FC Bayern Munich discussing with the referees as the Stockton free throw was disallowed and then getting possession and Schaffartzik nailed  a three pointer to help win the game. Schaffartzik was on top of the world after the 82-75 victory already with his sights toward the semi -finals, but Ludwigsburg appealed and 24 hour later the Beko BBL decided in favor of John Patrick and his team as game four would be replayed. So often FC Bayern Munich has been like a little spoiled child getting what they wanted even if they didn´t always deserve it. However this time, FC Bayern Munich had to return back to Ludwigsburg replay game four and there was no whining from Pesic  as Germanys most famous team went back to Ludwigsburg and literally took care of business. So many didn´t approve of how FC Bayern Munich went about interfering with the work of the referees, but no one can criticize their work ethic of coming back to even a more hostile environment and just cruelly slamming the door in the faces of Ludwigsburg again, but this time with five exclamation points. Fans mostly don´t like anything FC Bayern Munich does, but in the end they take care of business the way a champion team should.

FC Bayern Munich beat the MHP Ludwigsburg 3-1 and even if it did take five games to do it, the fact that game four was replayed, it will always be remembered in the minds of basketball freaks if Svetislav Pesic mentions it or not in the future simply because of the rarity. Even if FC Bayern Munich controlled the first two games to lead 2-0, one can never doubt the effort and fighting qualities that Ludwigsburg brought forward in winning a nail bitter in Munich to trail 2-1 and then having Michael Stockton on the free throw line with two chances to tie the game at 73-73. Ludwigsburg fans and organization will probably ask themselves all summer long what would have been if there had been no discussion to the free throws of Stockton and what would have happened in the closing stage of the game. Ludwigsburg had another chance to tie the series at home, but FC Bayern Munich took care of business and showed why they were the best team in the regular season destroying Ludwigsburg 101-57 and reaching the semi-finals. FC Bayern Munich clamped down on defense and made the Ludwigsburg living room very uncomfortable for John Patrick and co. FC Bayern Munich totally controlled the boards and limited Ludwigsburg to a poor 6/24 shooting night from downtown. FC Bayern Munich used their whole bench which was simply too much for Ludwigsburg. Despite bowing out to FC Bayern Munich, one can give numerous credit to John Patrick that once again came into a situation in Ludwigsburg and made it into a better one reaching the playoffs as he had done twice before with BG Goettingen and the s.Oliver Baskets Wurzburg. Patrick takes a new assembled team and knows how to garner success.

The Oldenburg-Bonn series could have been the final already as it had super exciting games and so much passion and emotion which brought back memories to their finals series in 2009. The Telekom Baskets Bonn had played a super series and had they hit one or two shots more, made a few big plays and better decisions could of swept Oldenburg, but instead were down 2-1 and had to win game four in Bonn. Game four was as dramatic as the Darmstadt-Bielefeld game recently where Darmstadt had to score three goals on the road to get back to the second German Bundesliga. Game four went into overtime as the EWE Baskets Oldenburg wanted to settle the series on the road. Oldenburg played their hearts out as Nemanja Aleksandrov played like the Dirk Nowitzki that so many experts had always predicted he once could be not hurting Bonn with shooting, but his ruthless take no prisoners inside game, Rickey Paulding hit a huge three pointer that seemed to ice it for Oldenburg, but then there was the hero David Mccray that won the game for Bonn with the penetration that Chris Kramer excels at. Late in the fourth quarter, Chris Kramer collided with a Bonn player and got a laceration on his scalp, got an orange bandage and shortly on continued to play as if his life dependent on finishing the game. He wasn´t rewarded with a win at the end as his last shot didn´t roll in, but Oldenburg played like they had won, but didn´t losing 72-71 in OT. Like FC Bayern Munich, the EWE Baskets Oldenburg didn´t let Bonn hang around, but took it too them from the start and learned from the Bonn game that they really had to take care of business and did.    In game five much like was the case with FC Bayern Munich, the EWE Baskets Oldenburg took care of business at home winning and controlling the game 84-72 despite a late fourth quarter rally by the Telekom Baskets Bonn. After losing the rebound battle in the first four games, Oldenburg won the fight under the boards and despite a strong game from ex NBA player Tony Gaffney, Oldenburg did  a good job controlling Eugene Lawrence and Jamal Mclean which was key and they had more support from their key players having five players in double figures.

FC Bayern Munich and the EWE Baskets Oldenburg  split the season series winning their respective games at home. The EWE Baskets Oldenburg scored 87 points in their win at home where Malcolm Delaney and Julius Jenkins had a shooting clinic, but overall took on the fight under the boards winning, shooting very well from outside and giving an aggressive defensive effort keeping FC Bayern Munich to 72 points. In the return game, FC Bayern Munich learned from their mistakes in the loss in Oldenburg and poured it on real hard in the Audi dome winning 95-62. Especially in the paint, FC Bayern Munich used their massive strength outscoring Oldenburg 48-16 and dominated the rebounding 44-25. FC Bayern Munich got a total team effort and played the usual known ruthless defense getting 10 steals keeping pretty much everyone in check except for Julius Jenkins who scored 20 points while Rickey Paulding was limited to three points. Oldenburg needs to play the way they did in their home game where they took it to FC Bayern Munich in the paint and just be aggressive to have any chance. They have Adam Chubb back now who they didn´t have in their big loss in Munich. Nemanja Aleksandrov will be the ex factor. His aggressiveness will be vital for Oldenburg. Of course it wouldn´t hurt if Rickey Paulding and Julius Jenkins have big series for Oldenburg. FC Bayern Munich have to play their usual game of overpowering offense, annoying  aggressive defense leading to easy buckets on the break. The bench will also play a big role where FC Bayern Munich has the big edge. FC Bayern Munich has the home court advantage. Never rule out the cleverness of Sebastian Machowski who lost in last years final in three games to Bamberg by only a combined total of seven points. It will be interesting to see how he adjusts as the series carries on. However FC Bayern Munich will advance to the final winning 3-1 as they have the overall stronger and deeper roster, inside game and Svetislav Pesic who is their sixth man at all times.

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