By Antonis Stroggylakis/ email@example.com
Last night Olympiacos didn’t simply beat Khimki Moscow for Round 4 of the EuroLeague regular season but put on the floor by far its most complete performance in the 2017-2018 campaign with a game that was richly flavorful on offense and unforgiving on defense.
For Hollis Thompson, messing the Russian team’s rhythm and prohibiting them from connecting to the basket was the main factor behind this victory.
“I think the key for us was just to focus defensively and on our tactics, try to keep them below average and cut down their transition points,” Thompson told the press after the game. “We know they run a lot of transition so we tried to shut that down”
The American forward was everywhere on the floor, finishing with 12 points and solid shooting (4/5 2pointers, 1/2 3s), five rebounds, three assists and no turnovers in the 23:21 minutes he spent on the floor.
He never slacked off on defense, winning many battles against his opposing forwards.
“I’m just trying to do whatever it takes to help the team win. Whatever my position is, that is that’s what I’m going to do,” he said to Eurohoops.
Despite missing its captain and leader Vassilis Spanoulis, the Reds often showed remarkable efficiency with the offense clicking with enviable precision, even though there’s no small amount of new players in the squad and guys still not at full strength after recovering from injuries.
“I think we’re still learning each other and we’re still getting better every day but we’re just trying to come together as a team and do whatever we need to do to plow the way,” Thompson told Eurohoops.
The match-ups against Khimki were fierce for Thompson and his teammates. They included intense physical skirmishes with American players who were no strangers to Thompson, like fellow former NBAer Thomas Robinson, perhaps the top player Khimki with 19 points/11 rebounds.
“I’ve actually played with a lot of these guys. It’s actually good to see them in foreign countries since I’m also a foreign guy here and it’s good to see familiar faces. It’s fun to play with them.”
And what should Olympiacos do to extend its perfect record in EuroLeague?
“I don’t think we should focus on a record. I think we should focus on taking it one game at a time. If we keep executing like that on both ends, that would be great”