The Miles Basketball Minute: Stopping PJ Tucker Was Quantez Robertson´s(Fraport Skyliners) Biggest NBA Challenge

Miles Schmidt-Scheuber and Houston Rockets forward PJ Tucker at the 2012 German allstar game in Ludwigsburg

                It is always a joy when you can observe ex NBA players strut their stuff on the court in the Fraport arena. Last season you had guys like Jordan Crawford and Archie Goodwin demonstrate what brought them to the big show, while this season, the BBL has brought new ex NBA players to Germany with the likes of Diante Garrett, Jajuan Johnson, Wade Baldwin and Phil Pressey just to name a few. But there are more ex NBA players in the easyCredit BBL. A few nights ago Devon Hall who played with the Oklahoma Thunder last season put on a show in Frankfurt as he led a furious third quarter comeback where he scored 9 points in a blaze during a Bamberg 13-4 run. Twice he burned ex St Bonaventure sniper Matt Mobley nailing a jumper over him and the other time showed him that his first step is as lethal as Anthony´s Davis´s knack to secure rebounds for the Los Angeles Lakers. “It was one of those times where they came down and we didn´t have our assignments. We didn´t match up well against him in the second half”, stressed Quantez Robertson. Robertson was matched up against Hall a few times and was impressed by his game. “He stayed composed even when they were down. He kept his cool the whole game. He made some very tough shots”, explained Quantez Robertson. Bamberg has proved in the last 10 + years that ex NBA players that went to Bamberg could get back to the NBA as Casey Jacobsen, PJ Tucker and Darius Miller proved. With the good track record that Bamberg has, Devon Hall could be the next to get back. “He has a very good chance of getting back to the NBA. If he can keep playing the way he has then I feel that he will get another shot”, warned Quantez Robertson. It was Quantez Roberton´s third season when PJ Tucker helped Bamberg win the BBL title and played against Frankfurt twice. In the first game, Bamberg creamed Frankfurt 97-63 and he dropped 12 points, but in the return date in Frankfurt, the Fraport Skyliners came up big with a well deserved great defensive effort winning 76-68 as Robertson had a solid game scoring 12 points and helped keep the versatile Tucker to only 2 points. Robertson has battled many NBA players in his career including Washington Wizards German Isaac Bonga on a daily basis for two years, but PJ Tucker is a player he will never forget. “The NBA player that stood out the most to me was PJ Tucker. He played the positions three and four in Bamberg and was my toughest challenge. It was a tough task in Frankfurt, but we beat him”, remembered Quantez Robertson.

Miles Schmidt-Scheuber and PJ Tucker in Boston in 2013

                The Fraport Skyliners continue to have massive up and down phases in the very exciting 20-21 easyCredit BBL season. They continued to play good games beating Bonn and Vechta on the road, but then give away crunch time games to a ratiopharm Ulm and then played a great half and a poor half losing to rival Brose Bamberg. Frankfurt gave up a pathetic 54 points in the second half against Bamberg and left head coach Sebastian Gleim almost speechless after allowing an unbelievable 36 points in the fourth quarter. After doing a superb job on the boards in the first half, they totally lost control in the second half and seemingly gave up offense rebound after offense rebound to German Christian Sengfelder who was cleaning the glass as if he had gotten a special seminar from Bob Villa. But there was so much more things that the Fraport Skyliners suddenly couldn´t do anymore after showing in the first 20 minutes that they could execute very well at both ends. “I thought we took good care of the ball. It was just poor execution. We were too lax and not aggressive enough on defense allowing them to get on a roll. They did a good job cutting into the lead. That is what good teams do. They fight back and chip at the lead”, said Quantez Robertson. There are just some days where teams can´t put it together for a longer period of time, but this season this has been a massive problem for Frankfurt. “I really don´t know how we could have the two halves that we did. We got away from our game plan in the second half. They were a lot more aggressive in the second half and did a good job getting us out of our offense”, added Quantez Robertson. There was one positive that Frankfurt can take to Munich. “I thought that we moved the ball very well in the first half”, warned Quantez Robertson. The big key and focus to success is consistency and that is something that every team desires. “We have to keep playing hard and backing each other up. No matter what happens, we have to be there for one another”, warned Quantez Robertson.

Miles Schmidt-Scheuber and Quantez Robertson in 2013 in Frankfurt

                One player who has really turned heads in the easyCredit BBL has been American Rasheed Moore who was playing in the Regionalliga for the Wiha Panthers only three years ago. His ascension to the BBL via the Pro A and Pro A has been like a Cinderrella story as his good play and further development has continued with Frankfurt where he is currently averaging 11,4ppg, 4,1rpg, 1,5apg and is shooting 40% from the parking lot. He had a little slump in the last two games shooting only 3/10, but came back strong against Bamberg netting 22 points, 6 rebounds and 3 assists while shooting a potent 9/14. Sometimes a small slump can affect a player mentally, but he didn´t need to talk to anyone, but moreover solved the problem on his own. “He continued to do what he normally does after weights which is get up extra shots and that translated over to the game”, added Quantez Robertson. Another guy who continues to have a fine rookie season is Iceland guard Jon Axel Gundmundsson who is averaging 13,5ppg,2,9rpg, 3,5apg and 1,1spg while shooting a respectable 35% from downtown. But his role has changed a bit as he is coming off the bench more. “He is adjusting coming off the bench.  He isn´t playing as many minutes as usual. Jon is a scorer and we need that extra fire power off the bench. We expect him to get baskets”, stated Quantez Robertson. Matt Mobley is leading the team in scoring and has saved the Fraport Skyliners and carried them on many occasions this season that when he doesn´t come through then people are disappointed. After averaging 28,0ppg in a three game span, he netted only 17 points in the loss to Bamberg while shooting a dismal 5/20 from the field. His playmaking continues to rise as he had 5 assists, but his urge to need to do too much with his scoring led to him forcing way too much. “Matt knows that we expect a lot from him. We live off his scoring. We have to always stick behind whether he makes shots or not. We need him to keep shooting so he opens more space to us. He is also a great passer. He shows that when he is double teamed of trapped that he can make the extra pass”, commented Quantez Robertson. After two strong scoring games where Quantez Robertson had 14 points in a row, he scored only 7 points, had only 1 rebounds and two assists. He continued to be very active on defense getting 4 steals. He had 8 steals in the last two games, and had 8 steals before that in 9 games. “I felt I did what I could on offense. I didn´t get as many shots as usual. On defense I tried to create extra possessions. We do well in the open court. That is one way how guys get going”, stressed Quantez Robertson.

Quantez Robertson, Miles Schmidt-Scheuber and Mike Morrison in Frankfurt in 2019

                The Fraport Skyliners meet FC Bayern Munich tonight who are only in fifth place at the moment with a record of 13-3 as teams like Ludwigsburg and Berlin continue to be the teams to beat with only one loss a piece. In the first meeting, the Fraport Skyliners played a spirited first half, but like against Bamberg lost total control in the second half as FC Bayern Munich rolled to an easy 75-52 victory. Frankfurt was creamed on the boards losing that battle 42-26 and allowed 15 offensive rebounds. “They are bigger than us. We will have to find different ways to execute and just out smart them. We have to be a lot more aggressive on box outs”, warned Quantez Robertson. A big plus for teams during this period where there are no fans is the atmosphere on the bench. During the huge Bamberg second half, one could hear the Bamberg bench half way to Frankfurt, while the Skyliners were less vocal. “We were more vocal in the first half. We need to keep the noise for 40 minutes”, warned Quantez Robertson. FC Bayern Munich is current news for Quantez Robertson and the Super bowl is old news. Robertson´s buddy Mike Morrison who is a St Peterburg native and Tampa Bay Bucs fan was a little disappointed that his friend Tez didn´t congratulate him to the Super Bowl win and joked calling him a hater. “I was pretty sure that Mike would call me. I was surprised that he didn´t call me and leave a crazy message. I´m not a hater. He just wants to stir something up so next time we have something crazy to talk about”, expressed Quantez Robertson. Even if Robertson is a Bengals fan, he and Morrison do have something in common which is a big respect for the Bucs and Tom Brady. “The Bucs win was impressive. Nobody expected a blow out. Most thought that it would be a shoot out and one team would win by something like 3 points. Tom Brady has more rings than all NFL organizations. That speaks a lot. It is tough getting 7 rings and getting to the Super Bowl. It was also impressive that Mahomes got there two years in a row. I´m sure he will get a few more tries and later we will see how good he does in comparison to Brady”, warned Quantez Robertson. For now Quantez Robertson has to wait another year for the Super Bowl, but no waiting for the next NBA encounter as he battles Jajuan Johnson and Wade Baldwin tonight.

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