Living in Germany, one could have observed the 2014 World Cup final between Germany and Argentina in so many places like the famous fan mile in Berlin, the Commerz Bank arena in Frankfurt arena on the big screen where one is on the pitch where usually soccer players give their all, in any bar or of course in the privacy of your own home where one could have had a loudness contest with the neighbor above as too who was more boisterous in their cheering. However if someone has asked Fraport Skyliner Danilo Barthel two months ago where he would be watching the final, he probably wouldn´t have known completely where he would be with the German national team, but he most likely would never have expected it being Las Vegas, Nevada. On a rare day off during the NBA Summer Legaue in Las Vegas, Barthel got a feeling how Americans cheer for the worlds most famous sport soccer at the Hard Rock café. With the support of some German tourists, Barthel must of felt right at home watching Germany pull out a nail bitter 1-0 winning their fourth World Cup. It almost must have been a nice change for the Heidelberg native witnessing a very hard fought match where the home team won in crunch time, something he so often had misfortune doing last season with the Fraport Skyliners.
After posting a win with the Miami Heat in their debut in Las Vegas against the Houston Rockets on Saturday, Barthel was back at work again Tuesday battling against the Los Angeles Clippers. An exciting occurrence from game to game is competiting against so many talented players and at times also known faces. Barthel had the pleasure seeing teammate Aziz NDiaye, the big man from Senegal who was a rookie out of Washington(NCAA) last season for the Fraport Skyliners. It was learning by doing for N Diaye last season as he had some big games like against Phoenix Hagen and often came from the bench and gave a big presence in the zone on the defensive end. As big men, both guys had their moments during the season, but one could of described Barthel as the heavy dunker and Ndiaye as the soft dunker. It was just a shame as that Ndiaye didn´t play. The Los Angeles Clippers also boasted other very talented players on their rosters like NBA journey man Delonte West, or guys like Deandre Liggins and Keith Benson. There was also Jon Brockman who has played in the NBA and last season in France for Chalon and Wil Clyburn who Barthel will remember from the thrilling three OT win in Ulm and from the NBA Allstar game where he was in the dunk contest.
Danilo Barthel was in the starting lineup again and would play the most minutes so far in the NBA Summer League and he played in front of the watchful eyes of new Clippers owner Steve Ballmer and ex Boston Celtics head coach Doc Rivers. The first good play by Barthel was finding the open man Roberts who came hovering in from the wing for the massive slam dunk. Barthel didn´t have it easy playing defense against the very athletic Amath M Baye who put some spin moves on the German, but the Heidelberg Native stayed on his toes and played good hard nosed defense on him not allowing him to score on one play. Barthel also drew a foul in the first quarter where he made a nice pump fake getting to the line. The game was low scoring in the first quarter as the Miami Heat led 19-18. Ex ratiopharm Ulm forward Wil Clyburn also got some minutes while Barthel played the complete 10 minutes. Barthel stayed in the game in the second quarter and scored his first field goal scoring with a left handed shot after stretching the defense with a pump fake. He then grabbed a defensive rebound and left the game at the 8.06 minute mark of the second quarter. An NBA Summer League game wouldn´t be normal without some highlights and who not better than Tyler Johnson who is slowly becoming the mini human highlight film. He soared in the lane with his 1.93cm and dunked hard over the 2.03cm M Baye and drew the foul. Johnson doesn´t disappoint and should continue to be in the note books of many teams. Honeycutt also added a hard ally-op dunk to the highlight film reel and M Baye got some revenge on being dunked on nailing home a massive dunk where Barthel had enough time to look up and get out of the way. Barthel continued to play solid on defense, but did make a turnover where his anxiousness seemed him to lose control of the ball. Since coming to Las Vegas his three pointer has been way off the mark and Barthel knows it, but he seems just not too have the confidence at the moment. He also missed two free throws. At halftime the Los Angeles Clippers led 47-45.
Danilo Barthel started the third quarter and started off right away with a turnover as his happy feet danced one too many steps. However he quickly made up for that mistake showing once again how well he can run the floor as he got ahead of the pack of the Clippers transition defense and laid in a left handed shot. The third quarter also was filled with big spectacular plays starting with two Johnson plays where on one he drove by Delonte West and got to the hole falling to his left and somehow banking the shot in. Johnson then blocked West, but West made a good recovery getting the ball and shooting over Johnson on the second attempt. Then came the best play of the game as it was M Baye getting the perfect ally-op pass from West and dunking the ball home as Barthel had a first row seat under the basket. Miami played their best basketball of the game at the end of the third quarter making a comeback and 15-0 run to lead 68-64 after 30 minutes. James Nunnally hit some big buckets leading Miami back into the game. Barthel was in the game again to start the fourth quarter and was aggressive on the offensive end drawing a foul and hitting two free throws. The game continued to be tight and Barthel left at the 7.30 mark. Barthel came in again at the 4.20 mark, but he nor his teammates could hold Lorenzo Brown in check as he hit some big shots including a jumper over Barthel for the 88-85 lead which sealed the win. There was absolutely nothing he could do as good defense was beaten by better offense. The Los Angeles Clippers beat Miami 91-85 as the Miami Heat fell to 1-1 in Las Vegas. M Baye led all scorers with 27 points while Brown chipped in with 22 points for the Clippers. The Miami Heat were led by Scott Suggs with 14 points and Tyler Honeycutt produced 13 points. The final stat line of Barthel read eight points, three rebounds, one assist and two turnovers on 2/5 shooting in 33,34 minutes. Fraport Skyliner Aziz Ndiaye didn´t get into the game as he sat at the end of the bench and was able to observe how his teammate Barthel has improved over the last two months. The Miami Heat next square off against the Washington Wizards on Tuesday.