By Antonis Stroggylakis / email@example.com
For Olympiacos guard Aaron Harrison, while his team is its own special brand, there are indeed a couple of similarities between them and the 2020 NBA finalists.
“Sure, I guess that we don’t have the names that they do. But we do play together, we do play hard and we do play to win. I guess in that way… sure,” Harrison told Eurohoops after the win of his team over Milano.
“I think we just want to be Olympiacos. And me? I’d rather be myself,” Harrison added. In the second half of the game against Milano, the American player showed indeed what he can provide when he is himself, the baller that Olympiacos hired last summer to bring a scoring punch and instant offense, especially from the perimeter.
Harrison had two points and 0-3 3-pointers by the mid of the third period. With Olympiacos down 52 – 53, he hit the go-ahead triple in transition and some plays later drained a step-back jumper for a personal 5-0 run as the Reds began establishing their hold in the game.
At the beginning of the fourth quarter, Harrison beat the shot clock with another bucket from beyond the arc. He had two more 3-point arrows in his quiver: A pre-dagger shot for the 79 – 67 and the late icing on his and his team’s best performance of the season.
He finished with a season-high 16 points, 14 of them in the last 14 minutes of the game.
“I had a really rough start,” Harrison commented on his transformation in the second half. “I wanted to come back and be aggressive. My shots weren’t falling but I’m a scorer. So I got to stay confident. I stayed confident. The coach thought enough for me to just keep me in the game, keep giving me opportunities and I just wanted to help the team win.”
The victory that Harrison helped Olympiacos capture was one against a team that was previously undefeated in all competitions this season. Milano, a team built to make the EuroLeague Final Four, came to Piraeus with 13 wins in 13 games, an impressive streak that was snapped in the “Peace and Friendship” arena.
“It [the win] just proves that we can play with anybody if we play together. We really played together,” Harrison added before tipping his hat off to Olympiacos’ starting point guard Kostas Sloukas. “Especially in the second half, Sloukas ran the show and got us involved. We just really started passing and playing for each other.” Sloukas finished with 17 points and 11 assists while dismantling the opposing defense with his drives and passes.
This victory serves as a personal boost for Harrison in his effort to establish himself in EuroLeague during his rookie season in the competition. On a team level, he believes that it was a statement of what he considers to be the potential of the group.
“It’s a great opportunity just to play at this level and play with a club like this. Be around guys who have dominated at this level. It’s pretty cool… I’m excited about what we can do. Just keep playing hard and keep playing together. If we keep playing together I think that’s how we’re going to get the most out of this season.”