It really doesn´t matter who Aaron big dawg Nelson has battled this season in the paint, he has usually has come out as the victor regarding his personal game even if that wasn´t the case as often for the Dragons Rhondorf concerning the win column.. However at home in his Dragons living room, Nelson not only has won every battle down low, but also has helped his team to a perfect record of 3-0. In the season opener, the Illinois native who played in South American in his first two professional seasons has really exploded in the German Pro B currently averaging 24,1ppg and 14,1rpg and wanted to be two for two on the season against Karlsruhe teams. In the season opener, he went crazy on BG Karlsruhe as he produced 26 points and swiped 18 boards to help the Dragons Rhondorf to the win. In the paint area where the big dawg feels as home as Hilary Clinton won´t in the Oval office in the chair without Bill, Nelson out battled Anton Kazarovski and Jeremy Black who combined for 33 points and 13 rebounds. This week, it was back to the drawing board and time for that fourth victory of the season, but it wouldn´t be easy as not only was top placed Pro B team PS Karlsruhe in the house boasting a 6-1 record, but had two talented undersized and quick front court players with Jordan Talbert and Bill Borekambi, but also had to contend with 203cm forward American Orlando Parker. Every game is a new challenge for Aaron Nelson and as usual he had his game face on and wanted to prove again that nobody leaves the big dawgs office unscathed as his clawing, boxing out, flying, shooting and passing ability was on display again as he gave his all filling up the stat sheet like Lebron James does with 31 points, 15 boards, two steals, three blocks and three trey´s, but PS Karlsruhe had too much transition, athleticism and easy buckets inside for the Illinois native to combat as the Dragons Rhondorf lost their first home game of the season 82-73. After the loss, Nelson had the usual post game face on and one couldn´t have known if his team had just won or lost as he was still pondering the loss and the athletic bodies he had to combat inside. “PS Karlsruhe came out with more energy and there is a reason why they are the best team in the league. They played together and stuck to their game plan. They did a good job switching up their defense and getting out on transition. They don´t have one guy that will score 30 plus points, but a bunch that will get you 10 points apiece. This was one of my tougher games as I had to face the double and triple team all night long. I was expecting a tough game and Talbert and Borekambi are big players that are skilled and were physical with me and made it tough to catch the ball”, stressed Aaron Nelson. PS Karlsruhe won their seventh game of the season and remained unbeaten on the road and after the game American Jordan Talbert remained poised and seemed like winning on the road was as easy as at home. “We played well as a team and winning on the road is always a challenge so we know that we have to play hard. We played fairly consistent defense except for a few of their runs. We are satisfied with this win. We knew key would be to keep Nelson out of the paint. We did a good job helping whenever possible, but he is a good player that really knows how to use his body and is very skilled at it”, added ex Nordlingen forward Jordan Talbert. PS Karlsruhe guard Dimitrij Kreiss had the perfect reason as too why PS Karlsruhe is always successful again. “We practice very hard and that is how we play. Teams feel that all game long”, warned Dimitrij Kreis.
In the first few minutes, the game felt like it could have been the first of the season as nervousness was as present as the chilly temperatures in the Dragon Dome and shots were coming up bricks while the only splash sound that was happening was in some kid´s memory from last summer at the local pool. The Dragons Rhondorf didn´t score until the fifth possession as German Florian Wendeler who has been with Rhondorf since 2013 scored inside and then it was 17 year old German kid Anton Geretzki who nailed a trey as Rhondorf had the quick 5-0 lead. PS Karlsruhe finally got on the board as ex Missouri Southern(NCAA2) forward Jordan Talbert scored on a left handed lay in cutting the Rhondorf advantage to 5-2. Geretzki was really feeling it and he nailed another three pointer as Rhondorf had the early 8-3 run. However PS Karlsruhe is one of those teams that can get on you in a hurry and before you know are back in the game and kicking as they went on a nasty 8-3 run to deadlock the game at 11-11. In the run they let their forward magic rotation get to work as the combined athleticism of Bill Borekambi and Jordan Talbert was unstoppable as they went into attack mode and didn´t switch it off until the final buzzer. In the run, Talbert scored twice and Borekambi scored twice. PS Karlsruhe just attacked the basket at all times and the swiftness and fancy moves by these two players would create nightmares for the Rhondorf defense all night long. German Thomas Michel stopped the run with a trey, but the 14-11 Rhondorf lead was short lived as PS Karlsruhe closed out the first quarter with a devastating 8-0 run to lead 19-16. In the run, PS Karlsruhe got added punch from their third athletic forward trio Orlando Parker who has been an underdog his whole life having to prove himself over and over scored twice inside and Kreis made a steal and lay in. “I was happy how well our Germans Geretzki and Michel produced. PS Karlsruhe did a good job taking the pick and roll and position away from Nelson. We did play good defense in the first quarter”, added Dragons Rhondorf manager Boris Kaminski. PS Karlsruhe was shooting 45% from the field and 0% from outside while the Dragons Rhondorf were shooting 30% from the field and 38% from outside. Both teams had 12 rebounds apiece and Rhondorf had three turnovers and PS Karlsruhe had two turnovers.
The second quarter was a quarter of runs as PS Karlsruhe got away to lead by 14 points only to witness the Dragons Rhondorf sneak back with a 13-0 run and retake the lead. PS Karlsruhe got on the board first with a Borekambi bucket to extend their lead to 21-16, but Rhondorf stormed back going on a mini 5-0 run to tie the game at 21-21 as the Canadian sensation Mike Lucier and Michel scored. However then came a big dent in the Rhondorf game as PS Karlsruhe really stepped it up going on a brutal 14-0 run to extend their lead to 35-21. In this run for a change it wasn´t the paint that hurt Rhondorf, but the outside shooting as they nailed three of their game four three pointers. German Deon Mcduffie who has played for teams like Weissenhorn, Lich and BG Karlsruhe hit as did Parker and ex Lich guard Eric Curth. Talbert also scored on transition and little used German Matthias Hurst scored inside. It was now or never for the Dragons Rhondorf and instead of rolling over and dying, they stuck together and fought back erasing their amazing run and starting their own run of 15-0 to retake the lead againn36-35. Aaron Nelson finally found his rhythm and scored nine points to lead the charge. But before he got going, it was Mike Lucier who scored in bunches improving his 3/13 shooting from the last two games scoring inside and hitting a trey. Nelson was in beast mode down low, but also nailed his second three of the game and gave the team the lead back with free throws. Then Borekambi and Nelson traded buckets as Rhondorf led 38-37. However Rhondorf couldn´t hold the momentum as the guests closed out the second quarter with a 4-0 run to lead 41-37 as Talbert and Hurst scored inside connecting on the weak spot of Rhondorf in the paint. “They did a good job in that first run defending well getting steals and getting easy transition baskets as well as making three´s on offense. They are like a caged dog that is let free on transition. In our run we got a lot of support from Lucier and Nelson. They went to man vs man which helped us. We also got two stops when we went to press which helped our self-confidence”, stated Dragons Rhondorf manager Boris Kaminski.PS Karlsruhe was shooting 51% from the field and 25% from the three point line while the Dragons Rhondorf were shooting 42% from the field and 36% from the three point line. PS Karlsruhe had the slight 19-18 rebound edge, but seven turnovers while Rhondorf had six turnovers.
The third quarter stayed tight, but the Dragons Rhondorf could never get the lead back as the hard edged PS Karlsruhe defense and timely shooting kept the home team at bay. The first few minutes of the third quarter was like a carbon copy of the first quarter as both teams were shooting bricks at the rate of how snow falls on the North Pole. PS Karlsruhe missed on their first five possessions until ex Wagner(NCAA) forward Parker dropped a trey and Borekambi hit his bread and butter the floater as Rhondorf trailed 45-38. Rhondorf didn´t hit their first field goal of the third quarter until their eighth possession when Nelson nailed his second three pointer of the day cutting the PS Karlsruhe lead to 45-41. “I never really took as many three´s as this season. I want to show that it is part of my game. I practice twice a day and it is a confidence thing. I just take what the game gives me”, warned Aaron Nelson. Nelson hit two three´s against BG Karlsruhe demonstrating that the opponent Karlsruhe remains a good club for him to attempt three´s. Parker and Nelson then traded buckets as Rhondorf trailed 48-43. Rhondorf just continued to chip away at the lead as Nelson hit free throws and Viktor Frankl-Maus who had 23 points and 11 assists in a win in Wurzburg last weekend scored inside on a reverse layup cutting the PS Karlsruhe lead to 48-47. However the Dragons Rhondorf were unable to keep their consistency on the defensive end and couldn´t execute on offense as PS Karlsruhe closed out the third quarter with a 8-2 run to lead 56-49 after 30 minutes. In the run, PS Karlsruhe got vital baskets from Parker who secured an offensive rebound and made the put back and then scored on transition while Mcduffie stroked home a trey. “We lost our concentration in the last four minutes of the second quarter in that Rhondorf run so we came out in the third quarter knowing we had to have the mind set of staying together and knowing we wouldn´t win in 20 minutes, but in 40 or 45 minutes. We played very concentrated and kept control”, stressed Dimitrij Kreis. “We kept competing, but they kept coming at us and never slowed down. They continued to execute their game plan and we couldn´t make adjustments against their switching defense”, stressed Illinois native Aaron Nelson. PS Karlsruhe shot 44% from the field and 25% from the parking lot while the Dragons Rhondorf shot 34% from the field and 29% from the parking lot. PS Karlsruhe had the 33-32 rebound edge and nine turnovers while Rhondorf had 11 turnovers.
In the fourth quarter, the gas tank of the Dragons Rhondorf continued to lose gas and the less gas they had the more they had to exert themselves in their seemingly countless come back attempts as PS Karlsruhe just wore them down. PS Karlsruhe started off the fourth quarter with a mini 4-0 run to extend their lead to 60-49 as their forward duo of Borekambi and Talbert scored in the paint from the mid distance region. However Aaron Nelson continued to be in beast mode and carried the club on a 6-0 run scoring all buckets to cut the PS Karlsruhe lead to 61-55. In this Nelson run, PS Karlsruhe had not executed on three consecutive possessions that Rhondorf took advantage of it where Nelson made an impact. However PS Karlsruhe halted another Rhondorf run and sped off on their own scoring nine points while holding Rhondorf to two points as they extended their lead to 69-57. In the run, PS Karlsruhe was fortified by Talbert twice and Parker once in the paint and Mcduffie hit a pull up jumper. The Dragons Rhondorf had one last gasp of air crawling out on a 8-0 run to cut the PS Karlsruhe lead to 69-65 as Nelson nailed a trey and scored inside and Lucier connected from downtown. PS Karlsruhe slammed the door in Rhondorf´s face with a 7-2 run to extend their lead to 76-67. As usual it was Talbert and Borekambi doing their thing in the paint and scoring and Kreis hit a huge step back three with a hand in his face putting that last sharp dagger into the heart of Rhondorf. “I saw that the shot clock was down to four seconds and I knew that I had to get the shot off. The shot felt good and as I was running back, I knew it was going in. That broke their neck and then it was hard for them to come back”, stressed Dimitrij Kreis. Lucier did connect on a trey cutting the lead to 76-70 making it a two game possession, but Parker made a tough tip in and free throws extending their lead to 81-70 with 35 seconds to play and the game finally decided. “We were up by 12 near the end and we gambled letting Nelson throw from outside. We thought contest his shot, if it goes in good for Rhondorf in their comeback, but if he misses the game would have been near over. In the end it wasn´t enough for Rhondorf”, stressed Dimitij Kreis. “We might have been a bit winded at the end. They just kept running their guys at us and it was tough. That Kreis three near the end hurt us”, added Aaron Nelson. “We just wanted to weather the storm at the end. We felt that despite their runs, we were always in control of the game. We still found ways to make plays and the Kreis three broke their backs”, stated Jordan Talbert. PS Karlsruhe was led by Jordan Talbert with 21 points. Orlando Parker added 20 points and 10 rebounds while Bill Borekambi produced 18 points. The Dragons Rhondorf were led by Aaron Nelson with 31 points and 15 rebounds. Mike Lucier contributed 13 points and Viktor Frankl-Maus ahd 11 points and 11 assists. PS Karlsruhe shot 47% from the field and 22% from outside while the Dragons Rhondorf shot 39% from the field and 31% from outside. Rhondorf won the rebound duel 44-38, but coughed up the ball 14 times while PS Karlsruhe had nine turnovers.