Brose Bamberg

EasyCredit BBL Playoff Preview 2018: FC Bayern Munich-Brose Bamberg 3-2

A week ago the Fc Bayern Munich basketball club had woken up not in high spirits, but unnerved and distraught most likely totally ruining for some players their traditional Bavarian Sunday breakfast of Weiss Wurst and soft scrumptious pretzels as they weren´t staring at a commanding 2-1 series lead against the ambitious and annoying Fraport Skyliners, but instead were reeling on the tight rope down two games to one with their season on the line. One of the biggest easyCRedit BBL playoff upsets was possible as the #8 seed Fraport Skyliners were close and on the verge of sending the #1 seed big mighty FC Bayern Munich packing and on their way into summer vacation. The 72 hours until game four must have been extremely brutal for everyone in the FC Bayern Munich organization as no one there had expected anything but an easy series win, but not having to experience such a pest like the Fraport Skyliners making their basketball lives very excruciating. The thoughts of the players for those 72 hours must have been wandering like crazy day and night. A Danilo Barthel might have thought was I not aggressive enough or was my beard not scary enough, A Jared Cunningham might have looked back to his NBA days and wondered what tips a Lebron James had given him when he experienced tough times that he could use now in this time of need in Germany or big tough German national player Maik Zirbes remembered what it took to win 5 titles in two seasons with Crvena Zvezda Telekom Beograd as everyone knew now there was no time for screwing around any longer on the court, but it was time for big business and bring some pride and clutch wins back to Germany´s most famous sports brand. A week later FC Bayern Munich is back in the Audi Dome not with disappointed and embarrassed faces saying farewell to their faithful fans and coming up with excuses why they stunk up the house against the Fraport Skyliners, but instead are the big mighty FC Bayern Munich again and on top of the world as they are in the easyCredit BBL semi-finals having to now battle reigning champion Brose Bamberg. The question now is can FC Bayern Munich use this high and momentum and play a better and less nerve wracking series against Brose Bamberg or will they panic and let the leagues big surprise team the last two months march into the BBL final? They have pure motivation to get Munich a title even more after the football department couldn´t overcome Eintracht Frankfurt in the cup final losing 3-1.

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Miles Schmidt-Scheuber interviewing ex NBA player Jared Cunningham after the 87-83 FC Bayern Munich win in Frankfurt

A sweep is a sweep, but for anyone who didn´t see a second of the series and only read the scores and neglected to gaze at the box scores might have thought that Brose Bamberg experienced a tasty cake walk with little interference against the Telekom Baskets Bonn, but that notion is deceiving because the series was a real battle and a lot closer than what the scores indicate. The Telekom Baskets Bonn can go into summer vacation with their heads held high because they have nothing to hide. The Telekom Baskets Bonn played well, had a little misfortune here and there and gave Brose Bamberg a real run for the money. In game one, Brose Bamberg won in Freak City 87-74. The Telekom Baskets Bonn did a great job securing the rebound duel for themselves and coughing up the ball only 7 times, but their three extra possessions didn´t help them further.


EasyCredit BBL Playoff Preview 2018: Brose Bamberg-Telekom Baskets Bonn 3-2

There have been numerous important dates on and off the court in Bonn like the cities 2000 birthday in 1989, the construction and completion of city hall in 1737 or the yearly carnival festivities that take place in February which sets the city into a crazy frenzy that doesn´t stop until Ash Wednesday and then life goes back to normal for the majority with very little lunatics still living in their little own world days after the nutty partying has ceased. On the court for the Telekom Baskets Bonn there have also been very memorable dates to reminisce about. Dates that no Telekom Baskets Fan wants to ever be reminded about are the five BBL finalist years of 1997,1998,2001, 2008 and 2009 and not to forget the three cup finalist years of 2005, 2009 and 2012. Unforgettable dates that every Telekom Baskets Bonn fan has stored in their memory bank as securely as a bear has his honey during hibernation are the year the club was founded in 1995 and the year they started to battle in the BBL in 1996. Other memorable dates in the history of the basketball club are 2008 when fans moved the 500 meters from the always energetic and vibrant Hardtberg gym which was small and tight and resembled a school gym into the state of the art Telekom Dome which has been their home ever since and has hosted the BBL Allstar days in 2010 and 2015.  However not too long ago, fans added a new long lasting date to their date saving list with January 28th, 2018. For most people this was a normal day, but not with Telekom Baskets Bonn fanatic fans. This was the day of the Bamberg massacre. For many fans this day will live as a type of basketball holiday as the club didn´t only beat the Bavarian team, but whipped their buts so bad that they were probably still hurting hours after that certain players had to stand on the bus ride all the way home. A 20 point loss would have been a massive joy for Bonn fans, but Bamberg were whipped silly by 37 points 106-69 and thus this started the slow end to the Trinchieri era. Brose Bamberg would lose three more games in a row after the Bonn loss with the climax happening in Jena where they were embarrassed badly 85-68 and one could sense the players were playing against their coach. Bonn caught Bamberg a few months ago in a very bad time in their season, but things have changed since then and Bamberg has been reborn. It is May, the flowers are blooming, the weather is warm, the café´s are bustling and this is the time when Brose Bamberg come to life. Can the Telekom Baskets win a 5 game series against Bamberg? They have tried in the past and faltered and will do again.

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Miles Schmidt-Scheuber interviewing 2006 NBA champion Dorell Wright after dropping 14 points in the loss against the Fraport Skyliners

There weren´t many highlights in the regular season for Brose Bamberg since it was the worst performance since the 2008-2009 season finishing 22-12. Not too long ago there was even fear that the club may not even make the playoffs. The biggest problem for the club coming into the season was the loss of key players like Darius Miller, Daniel Theis, Janis Strelnieks and Nicola Melli. After being able to bring in the right players for countless years through the stellar work of scout Brendan Rooney who since has left, the club wasn´t able to bring in those key players that could make an impact like they were hoping for. The club got very talented players, but not all meshed the way management would have hoped for thus which resulted in the team starting off at 3-3. They did have some good performances, but were unable to find consistency and a good run until the beginning of March after the coaching change.


The German Curry Philip Scrubb And The Fraport Skyliners Steam Roll By Brose Bamberg 83-72


Philip Scrubb scored 26 of his 33 points in the first half and proved once again that he is the league’s topscorer averaging 20.0 points per game

For many years there had been serious harmony in Freak City when head coaches Chris  Fleming and Andrea Trinchieri had been at the helm as the most major scandal then would have been if a Daniel Theis and Elias Harris had gotten in a major fight, but not even that happened as despite major competition at their positions, the two Germans were very good friends. But this year the harmony was put on major hold as that once Bamberg consistency had disappeared quicker than ex NBA player Dorell Wright can fly to the rim as it has been a season to forget. Just some weeks ago, Bamberg wasn´t even in the playoff watch, but suddenly they have risen like an eagle and sit at position 4 as they came to Frankfurt. Only 48 hours ago, they disposed of the EWE Baskets Oldenburg winning their fifth game in a row which is their longest winning streak of the season. On the other hand the Fraport Skyliners haven´t played their best basketball either as they entered the game having lost three of their last four games and had lost their last two games at home against Giessen and FC Bayern Munich. Frankfurt erased their bitter three game losing streak with a solid 81-69 win in Bremerhaven and had no problems generating an offense without their second main scoring option Tai Webster as Phil Scrubb like always stepped up with 19 points and the club got steady contribution from Finish national player Shawn Huff and most importantly from Skyliner lifer Quantez Robertson who finally had his shooting stroke alive as he responded to his poor shooting of 3/15 in his last four games from outside going 6/9 in Bremerhaven getting 18 points. The Fraport Skyliners and Bamberg have had unforgettable duels in Frankfurt since the 2003-2004 season and Frankfurt wanted to gain more leverage in the playoff picture and did by playing an all around spirited game for 40 minutes as they were able to get a super defensive performance and had a red hot Philip Scrubb who produced 33 shooting 63% from the field leading the way. It was the second win in a row for Frankfurt as they stayed at position 8, but have Wurzburg breathing down their backs are slowly getting into playoff form and heightened their self confidence one bit more for the last three games. After the big win, all of the Frankfurt journalists swarmed around Scrubb, but a Jordan Sibert was all lonely and had a big smile on his face after the victory. “This win was big for our playoff hopes. We needed this win and got it. We still have a long way to go though. We gave a good game on both ends of the court and Philip Scrubb carried us. Defense was our key to the win. We did a good job with our rotation and our matchups and just helping each other out all night long”, described ex Dayton(NCAA) guard Jordan Sibert.



A Fourth Consecutve BBL League Championship For Brose Bamberg Will Heave Andrea Trinchieri To Ultimate Basketball God Status

After last season´s final game at home where Brose Bamberg manhandled the EWE Baskets Oldenburg for a second time in the 2017 BBL finals sweep winning 76-58 and winning their third league title in a row, the big rugged Italian head coach Andrea Trinchieri who appears like an overgrown teddy bear that could pass easier for a sports fan getting lost on the sidelines of a basketball court instead of being one of the top coaches in Europe had many many thoughts buzzing through his head after the 40 minutes had elapsed. His biggest of course was just savoring the moment of having won the BBL title again and knowing that 9 months of very hard work had paid off, but there was probably something else roaming in his thoughts that he knew was something he couldn´t control in the upcoming months. He knew that the 12 incredible players that had worked hard for a whole season wouldn´t all be back in a few months to attempt to defend their title for a fourth time. When the Italian top coach returned in August to practice, he might have felt a little lonely at first since many old faces were missing as well as there were many new faces that were running up down the court wanting to prove early to the coaching wizard that their signing would pay dividends down the line. No longer was the athletic Daniel Theis around making crushing dunks as he was doing that now with the Boston Celtics, the amazing killer instinct and just superb guard play of Fabian Causeur was gone as he had escaped for the serious big bucks with Real Madrid and who could blame him, ex NBA player Darius Miller returned back to an old stomping ground with the New Orleans Pelicans as he had been there along the ride for the three league championships, the precise shooting accuracy and sniper qualities of Latvian guard Janis Strelnieks had taken him to Olympiacos in Greece while the Italian good looks and inside out play of Nicollo Melli had taken him to Fenerbahce in Turkey. After digesting these loses and then taking a closer glimpse of where they actually went to, being able to contend against the NBA and better, more lucrative and more prestigious Euroleague teams was as tough as trying to shape the ego of a Lebron James. One can´t blame the players for leaving as they were only doing only what any other player except maybe Ricky Paulding or Quantez Robertson would have done and that was to do what was best in their financial interest. Trinchieri continues to build his experience with Bamberg as before he came to Germany he won a cup with Prima Veroli (Lega2) in 2009, reached two cup finals in Italy and won a Russian cup with Unics Kazan in 2014. He has gained much respect from his basketball peers in Europe and especially in Italy is seen as a head coach that is always ready for duty. He has been described as a head coach that is always fully prepared for each game and gets 100% from his players. He is very charismatic and is always liked by all players. Trinchieri also was behind the bench leading Kyle Hines and Prima Veroli when the ex Bamberg player won his first title as a professional. Now the Italian is faced with his biggest challenge of winning a fourth BBL league championship with a potpourri of many new talented players like a Dorrell Wright, Ricky Hickman, Daniel Hacket, Luka Mitrovic and BBL veterans like a Bryce Taylor and Augustine Rubit having to integrate the most players that he has ever had to with Bamberg and construct another winning chemistry. If Trinchieri is capable of winning a fourth BBL title in a row then he will be heaved to ultimate Basketball God status in Bamberrg the way Paulding already is in Oldenburg. “I think that Bamberg has a great chance to repeat and win their fourth title because coach Trinchieri and the management has done a great job in creating a winning culture. When you sign for Bamberg the goals of the team are clear. You can see from the past teams and history that winning is a tradition and is expected. Trinchieri signed experienced players that understand what it takes to win and he has the ability to keep his players motivated through the entire season”, stressed three time Euroleague winner and current CSKA center Kyle Hines.


Ricky Hickman (Brose Bamberg) I Feel Like I Still Have A Lot To Prove

Ricky Hickman is a 31 year old 190 cm guard from Kernersville North Carolina that is going into his 11th professional season and second in Germany and first with Brose Bamberg. He played his college basketball career at North Carolina-Greensboro from 2003-2007. In his senior year, he played 30 games averaging 14.3ppg, 3.4rpg, 2.4apg, 1.7spg, FGP: 36.5%, 3Pts: 27.8%, FT: 70.9%. In 2007-2008, he played in Romania for CS Otopeni Bucuresti playing 11 games and averaging 19.0ppg, 4.2rpg, 4.3apg, 1.8spg, 2FGP: 60.4%, 3PT: 29.8%, FT: 70.8%. In 2008-2009, he played in Germany for LTi Giessen 46ers playing 24 games and averaging 6.9ppg, 1.7rpg, 1.3apg, 1.3spg, FGP: 41.4%, 3PT: 28.6%, FT: 65.7%. In the 2009-2010 season he played for Namika Lahti (Finland-Korisliiga) playing 38 games leading the league in scoring at 23.7ppg), 5.4rpg, Assists-2(3.8apg), Steals-3(2.4spg), FGP-3(62.8%), 3PT: 39.9%, FT: 73.2. In the 2010-2011 season he moved to Fastweb Junior Casale Monferrato (Italy-Lega2) playing 41 games averaging 17.5ppg, 2.8rpg, Assists-4(4.0apg), 2.0spg, FGP: 55.5%, 3PT: 40.7%, FT: 84.3%. In the 2011-2012 season he moved another step up joining Scavolini Siviglia Pesaro (Italy-SerieA) playing 41 games averaging 16.0ppg, 2.9rpg, 2.9apg, 1.6spg, FGP: 58.4%, 3PT: 38.4%, FT: 81.1%. He then played at Maccabi Electra Tel-Aviv (Israel-Premier League) from 2013-3024 winning the Euroleague in his second season where he played 38 games averaging 10.7ppg, 2.8rpg, 3.0apg, FGP: 45.6%, 3PT: 40.4%, FT: 82.7%; He also played 38 Euroleague games averaging 12.2ppg, 2.6rpg, 2.7apg, FGP: 50.0%, 3PT: 32.3%, FT: 75.2%. He then played two seasons at Fenerbahce Ulker Istanbul (Turkey-TBL) and in his second season played 10 games averaging 5.1ppg, 2.0rpg, 1.5apg, FGP: 45.8%, 3PT: 21.4%, FT: 74.1%;He also played 20 Euroleague games averaging 4.6ppg, 1.3rpg, 1.3apg. Last season he played for EA7 Emporio Armani Milano (Italy-Serie A) playing 34 games averaging 10.6ppg, 2.6rpg, 2.8apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 49.6%, 3PT: 40.6%, FT: 71.4%. He also played 20 Euroleague games averaging 10.1ppg, 2.6rpg, 3.3apg, FGP: 41.9%, 3PT: 34.9%, FT: 80.2%. He spoke to German Hoops about basketball.

Thanks Ricky for talking to German Hoops and welcome back to Germany. So many great players and character guys come from North Carolina like you, Chris Oliver and Kyle Hines just to name a few. Is there really something special in the North Carolina air that has given the basketball world so many great players and basketball people?

North Carolina is just a basketball state and so many guys just eat, sleep, and play basketball all day. I believe that guys in North Carolina just have such a strong love for the game and I believe it shows if you watch them play

I remember when you played with Giessen. You played 24 games averaging 6.9ppg, 1.7rpg, 1.3apg, 1.3spg, FGP: 41.4%, 3PT: 28.6%, FT: 65.7%. You lost twice to your future team Bamberg losing by an average 19 points and you scored a total of 3 points in 32 minutes. When you look back at the last nine years, were you just a slow starter as a professional and needed more time to mature and develop as a player

When I was in Giessen I was coming into a situation with a new team in the middle of the year and I was still young trying to find myself and I definitely remember playing against Bamberg and just thinking after we got smacked that it was another level I had to get to if i wanted to be at that level. So I worked and here I am.


The next season you went to Finland to play for Namika Lahti (Finland-Korisliiga) playing 38 games: Score-1(23.7ppg), 5.4rpg, Assists-2(3.8apg), Steals-3(2.4spg), FGP-3(62.8%), 3PT: 39.9%, FT: 73.2%. This was the turning point of your career as after this you got signed by Italian teams but even there in your first season had to play in the second division and after that became a Euroleague player. What was it in your season in Finland that really shaped your game and did the mental part of the game also play a role?

In Finland it was the first time at the pro level were a coach told me play your game don’t look at me on the sidelines and I trust you! This feeling was unbelievable and I took full advantage of the trust and the freedom. Maybe too much but I loved just playing like that and it showed throughout the season


Kyle Hines (CSKA Moscow) Wolfgang Heyder Gave Me An Opportunity That Other Teams Wouldn´t Have Done

Kyle Hines is a 30 year old 198cm power forward from Sicklerville, New Jersey that recently completed his fourth season with CSKA Moscow averaging 7,7ppg, 3,4rpg and 1,3apg in the VTB and 8,5ppg and 4,3rpg in the Euroleague.. He is a powerful player who loves to attack the basket. Has a good 1-vs-1 game and likes to go inside. He is undersized to play the power forward, but his great wingspan (7-1) allows him to guard taller players and to intimidate. He’s also a great leaper and reads the opponent’s game well. He played at NC-Greensboro (NCAA) from 2004-2008. In his senior year, he played 31 games: 19.2ppg, 9.1rpg, 1.4apg, 1.8spg, 3.1bpg, FGP: 55.6%, 3Pts: 12.5%, FT: 62.8%. He was invited to play at the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament (Pre-NBA Draft): 3 games: 17.3ppg, 7.3rpg, 1.3apg, 2.3spg, 3.3bpg, FGP: 78.6%, FT: 72.7%. He then had predraft workouts with Sacramento Kings and the Charlotte Bobcats (NBA). He then went to Europe to Italy and played with Prima Veroli (Italy-Lega2, starting five): 34 games: 16.9ppg, Reb-4(8.6rpg), 3.0spg, Blocks-2(1.8bpg), FGP-2(66.0%), FT: 58.5%. In 2009, he took part in the Orlando Pro Summer League (Oklahoma City Thunder). In 2009-2010, he stayed in Italy with Prima Veroli (Italy-Lega2, starting five): 40 games: 18.5ppg, 8.1rpg, Steals-2(3.5spg), Blocks-4(1.6bpg), FGP-3(64.0%), 3PT: 18.8%, FT: 57.8%. He played NBA Summer League in Las Vegas (New Orleans Hornets) in the summer of 2010.In 2010-2011 he played for the Brose Baskets Bamberg (Germany-1.Bundesliga): Euroleague: 10 games: 12.9ppg, 5.4rpg, 1.1bpg, FGP: 64.3%, FT: 46.7%; German League: 46 games: 10.4ppg, 4.6rpg, Blocks-3(1.2bpg), FGP-3(61.1%), 3PT: 33.3%, FT: 52.4%. He won the double with Bamberg. He played for Olympiacos S.F.P. Pireus (Greece-A1) from 2011-2013 winning two Euroleague titles. The 6 time Euroleague Final 4 player and three time Euroleague winner spoke to German Hoops back home in New Jersey.

Kyle thanks for talking to German Hoops Where are you at the moment and how has your summer been going?

I am home in New Jersey now. I just got home 2-3 days ago. We won the VTB league about a week ago and after I spent a few more days in Moscow enjoying the city before coming back home

Have you bumped into your ex coach Chris Fleming? The NBA Draft is tomorrow. Did he reveal any talk about the Nets signing the German boy Isaiah Hartenstein?

I have not had the chance to talk to him yet. I saw Hartenstein play before and he was on the roster of the team we played against twice last season. I have been aware of him and know Chris also since he and the Nets do a good job scouting teams in Europe. I think that with his kill set, he has the potential to be an NBA player. I think he is a big man that can do a lot on the floor which other big men his size can´t. He is more of a face the basket skilled big man. I think for him making it, it will depend a lot on how well he can make the transition from Europe to the NBA.

Congrats on another great season with CSKA Moscow. Despite winning your fourth VTB title, do you have a little sour taste because you didn´t win another Euroleague title?


The Miles Basketball Minute: BBL Final Preview Brose Bamberg-EWE Baskets Oldenburg 3-1

With the shot clock winding down in game two and the EWE Baskets Oldenburg a wink of a blink starring at a possible 0-2 series hole and about to witness thousands of hearts gasping and  coming to life bursting through each chest, it was Mr hustle and Mr “I once hit a shot at Purdue sitting down” Chris Kramer that found Rickey “Mr Oldenburg” Paulding   the franchise´s money ball wrapped up in the corner with as good as no place to go, but somehow firing away a last second desperation shot that took the game into OT totally changing the series and the rest is history. Nine days later the 2009 BBL champion weaseled their way back to another final disposing the season big surprise team ratiopharm Ulm and giving that whole organiazion another long summer to thin k of excuses why they can´t win a championship and if they should bond with the Buffalo Bills for comfort who have lost 4 Super Bowls. Obviously the whole EWE Baskets Oldenburg club have to get credit for this season´s playoff success, but two guys that really stand out are the two brothers from another mother Chris Kramer and Mr all and legend Rickey Paulding who had another standout series and were instrumental in their team being able to get by the favorites ratiopharm Ulm. One can marvel all you want about Kramer as he is all over the court and his defense pressure in game two also was vital for the team turning the series around, but the Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, Lebron James all in one is Paulding. Even if this comparison is majorly exaggerated, but in Oldenburg the American from Detroit is in his own basketball universe where he stands above even these players in the hearts of fans there. Paulding not only had a solid series in upsetting Bayreuth, but was masterful in the ratiopharm Ulm series as in five games he averaged 22,0ppg, 3,0rpg, and 4,0 apg while shooting an amazing 49% from the parking lot. His leadership and Larry Bird type hot shooting was seen most in game two where he sprayed 28 points in the unforgettable comeback and 107-103 OT win and when it absolutely counted most in the do or die game 5 in the unfriendly atmosphere in Ulm where he nailed 27 points and drilled home 5/6 trey´s and gave the word timely a new name as he made himself another step more immortal in Oldenburg. Paulding recently got his contract extended in Oldenburg until 2019, but before one wants to even dream about the next 2 years, fans in Oldenburg want to see Paulding and co bring a third title to Oldenburg. Those Larry Bird paralle´s   aren´t so twisted in that Bird only won 3 NBA titles with the Boston Celtics and if the youth of fountain that Paulding is as his play seems to be getting better with age making that wine sweetest this season with his actions on the court, he will eclipse his 12 years in Oldenburg and hang on a 13th season down the road and then he will be even with Bird and 13 seasons wearing the same jersey.

Most of basketball Germany except Oldenburg had ratiopharm Ulm getting into the final in a sweep or four games, but losing in five games was something that even Ulm manager Thomas Stoll would never have imagined in his wildest dreams.


The Miles Basketball Minute: BBL Semi-Final Playoff Preview Brose Bamberg-FC Bayern Munich 3-2

It may only have reached #42 in the American Billboard charts, but the classic Rolling Stones song “You can´t always get what you want” is not only a fan favorite at concerts, but one of those songs that even non fans will sing along to and would probably even be known in the most remote spots in Somalia or in the most smug igloo in Tasiilaq, Greenland. It is just overall a very well-liked song all over the world and about the only one that has got the big disapproval from the Rolling Stones for using their song for publicity has been US president Donald Trump who uses it after his speeches to public audiences. The Rolling Stones track “You can´t always get what you want” would fit perfect now in conversations in the NBA Western Confernce finals and the easyCredit BBL semi-finals as fans are witnessing that kind of “should be final” atmosphere already now. It may not be the case now, but not too long ago the San Antonio Spurs-Golden State Warriors would have been like the perfect NBA final had not both been in the same conference, but now with the injury to new NBA superstar Kwahi Leonard, fans are now wondering how badly the Golden State Warriors will slaughter the Spurs in game three and four and if a Steph Curry will pull a Klay Thompson. In the German easyCredit , one could chant the same song “You can´t always get what you want” in terms that the real final is already being played in the semi-final with Brose Bamberg against FC Bayern Munich. With all due respect to ratiopharm Ulm that were able to raise their game again from last season and steal the regular season show from Bamberg and Munich having the best record, but they will never be a better draw than these two teams who just are at a different level with their brand name. The song “You can´t always get what you want” is surely a perfect phrase for not only the Bamberg/Munich series, but also for fans and Per Guenther  in that if ratiopharm Ulm  can´t hold Raymar Morgan then one just has to accept it and team identity figure Per Guenther has been singing that song for years as he is still looking for his first BBL title after reaching 4 finals like the Buffalo Bills did with 4 Super Bowl finals.

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Miles Schmidt-Scheuber and Devin Booker in Strassburg, France

When one hears the big names of the German basketball clubs Brose Bamberg and FC Bayern Munich, one immediately expects easier outings in the Quarterfinals of the playoffs, but that was far from the case in the last 10 days as both teams struggled and one has to ask were these two teams just under worth or did the Telekom Baskets Bonn and Alba Berlin just step up their play to special proportions and just overachieved?


The Miles Basketball Minute: BBL Playoff Preview: Brose Bamberg-Telekom Baskets Bonn: 3-0

In the second last game of the season, Alba Berlin were embarrassed in Frankfurt 83-71 and at times made unbelievable mistakes on the court as if the 8 time BBL champion was still in pre season instead of right before high noon and the playoffs. One of the more experienced Alba Berlin players Tony Gaffney made one of those “did he really do that” turnovers when on a broken play there was a miscommunication and he threw the ball into his own end which had Niklas Kiel scoop up the loose ball and go for the easy bucket as he was all alone. This is a play that the ex Boston Celtic would want to forever erase from his memory, but then again the ex Los Angeles Laker does have other more memorable highlights from his BBL days including one that occurred a little more than 5 years ago when he was playing with the Telekom Baskets Bonn. They faced off against the then seemingly unstoppable Brose Baskets Bamberg that showcased 3 NBA players in their starting lineup with Casey Jacobson, PJ Tucker and Brian Roberts and surprisingly won game one in Bamberg 75-74 on a last second buzzer beater by his teammate Benas Veikalas. The Telekom Baskets Bonn could surely rewatch that buzzer beater from Veikalas again or just ask current German Florian Koch who saw that game from the bench as he registered a DNP for some special motivation. Then again, the Telekom Baskets Bonn don’t really need to look back for advice since they have their own array of snipers and buzzer beater shooters like Ken Horton or guys like Josh Mayo and Ryan Thompson that could make their own sweet history against Bamberg.

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Miles Schmidt-Scheuber interviewing Bamberg forward Nicolo Melli after the 76-57 victory in Frankfurt

After missing the BBL playoffs for only the third time in the last 20 years last season, the Telekom Baskets Bonn rebounded from their trauma from last year and had a very strong season that was up to the usual Telekom Baskets Bonn standard. Despite head coach Silvano Poropat taking a leave of absence due to health problems, the team reacted quickly and brought back Predrag Krunic who had had success in Bonn more than 10 years ago. The combined work of Poropat reeling in the right character players and Krunic forming the team chemistry, it was suddenly fun again to watch games in the Telekom Dome. After a slow start losing two of three, the team then won four in a row against weaker teams, but got their self confidence growing. There best span came from February to April as they won eight of ten games. Their biggest wins of the season were against FC Bayern Munich, Alba Berlin and the MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg. It also helped their self confidence that they were playing a very successful Fiba Europe Cup.


The Fraport Skyliners Experience Black Sunday Getting Plastered By Brose Bamberg 76-57

In the 80´s in the NBA, each teams season game that separated them from the other games was battling against top teams Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers while in the early 90´s and late 90´s, the big draw for each team was when the Chicago Bulls came town especially for the autograph collectors who would never see a Michael Jordan until he was in the arena because he never stayed in the same hotel with his team. Now a days the Cavs and Lebron James and Golden State Warriors with the Splash brothers and Kevin Durant excite the fans most when they come to town while in Europe, the arena´s, players and excitement level may all be a tad less than in the NBA, but in the EasyCredit BBL, there is almost that yearly NBA flair with Brose Bamberg as they are always sporting that ex NBA player like the last two seasons with Kentucky Wild Cat stand out Darius Miller and this growing Euroleague team is the absolute draw in every arena in Germany as the season isn´t complete with having annoyed them at least a bit or having accomplished the impossible sending them home with a loss and being disgruntled. This season, Brose Bamberg haven´t been a one man show at the top, but have had fierce competition from the Rising BBL team ratiopharm Ulm that have surprised the whole league at 19-0 and have snatched away the number one position from freak city, but are still mowing down the BBL teams having a 18-1 record at the moment and have a five game winning streak and are the best ranked defensive team and third best offensive team in the league. The Fraport Skyliners continue to be a team finding itself as they rebounded off a nasty blow out loss in Munich by carving out an impressive 90-80 Champions League win five days ago and are in good position to advance thanks to the Mike Morrison show as he scored a career high 35 points owning the paint area for a day. However in the EasyCredit BBL, rebounding from their tough defeat in Munich wasn´t going to be easy against defending champion Bamberg as they never had a chance on this night as the Fraport Skyliners experienced Black Sunday getting plastered by Brose Bamberg 76-57. Frankfurt started off slow and never got into the game trailing by as much as 20 plus points. They did play a better second half, but had given up too many points in the first half to have any kind of chance. “We lost this game in the first half. Bamberg took us out of our offense. We never got into our sets as one guy always was forced to do it alone as they switched very well on defense. We had no ball movement and Bamberg did what they wanted to on offense as we weren´t on the same page on defense. We played with better intensity in the second half and had a good mentality where we all defended well”, stressed Fraport Skyliner German Stefan Ilzhoefer. For Brose Bamberg it was another normal day at the office as they worked hard to get a big lead and hold it for 40 minutes even if they did suffer very minor lapses in the second half. 2012 NCAA champion Darius Miller of Kentucky was pleased with the victory of his club. “This was a good win for us. Frankfurt is a talented team and it is always hard to play here. We lost here last year and were very focused to win tonight. We were very disciplined on defense and had a normal offensive game attacking whenever it was most advantageous”, said Darius Miller. For Quantez Robertson it was also another normal day at the office as the autograph requests were as never ending as usual after the game even after a loss and one could feel that he took this loss very hard. “Bamberg ran their plays well. We were unable to execute on offense and didn´t talk on defense or rebound the ball well. We also didn´t play tough or together”, added ex Auburn standout Quantez Robertson.


12.02.2017 / Basketball BBL / -4- Kwame Vaughn / FRAPORT SKYLINERS

The Fraport Skyliners played in front of a sellout crowd and the first thing that stood out was their untypical black jerseys that they once wore before back in the 2003-2004 season, but this time it was an early promotion for the club´s benefit gala to be held in March where the motto is always come in a black tuxedo and sneakers. The black jersey´s could later have been seen as a bad omen as after 40 minutes they had witnessed their own Black Sunday.