It is third defeat in the third game under new head coach Oren Amiel, the fifth defeat in a row: but not everything in the 79:93 at HAKRO Merlins Crailsheim was bad at Brose Bamberg. Especially in the first half, coach Amiel's boys presented themselves differently and especially in defense better than before, but a few minutes of blackout in the third quarter put Bamberg on the losing track.
With Dominic Lockhart, an important shooter will not be available to Coach Amiel for several months; the 27-year-old will have to undergo surgery on his left hand due to a torn tendon. Despite the absence, Brose Bamberg started well in the game against Crailsheim. Defensively, the Amiel boys were able to cleverly stop the Merlins' passing game and above all prevent the previous Bundesliga top scorer T.J. Shorts, who at 1.73m is also the smallest player in the league, from scoring. While Shorts missed four of four throws in the first quarter and only scored two points in the entire first half, Bamberg's Akil Mitchell (12 points) and Kenneth Ogbe (14 points) scored at a high percentage. All five of their throws ended up in the basket and Bamberg led 16:9 in minute seven. But Crailsheim then got into the game better, because instead of passing they now tried more often with individual actions - and were successful. By the end of the quarter, the home side had closed the gap to 21:20. The lead changed often in the second quarter before the guests pulled away slightly to 41:36 with a 6:0 run thanks to a three-pointer by top scorer Owen Prewitt (14 points) and a free throw and basket by Patrick Heckmann (9 points). Crailsheim equalized at 43:43 at the break.
After the change of ends, Bamberg stayed in it for six minutes, Crailsheim's points were always answered by the Amiel boys with their own goals. But as the game wore on, Coach Amiel's new defensive order was no longer followed through with such concentration by the pros. The Bambergers often tried to direct each other's teammates to the right positions - and yet in that phase, ex-Bamberg player Elias Lasisi in particular got a good throw in three attacks in a row. And Lasisi, who had to leave Bamberg at the beginning of last season in November after the cup competition, scored with three threes within two minutes. Bamberg then let their heads hang down and the deficit increased to 61:77. At least two positive things could still be taken from the defeat: the team play in the offense was fitting: 26 assists in 35 attacks with basket success are a strong value, and Bamberg was also better with 37 rebounds than in the games before.
"Even if it sounds silly after a defeat, but we showed improvement today. Still, it was not enough. In the end, it was a few minutes in the third quarter where they scored and we didn't react. After that, we didn't come back in, plus they hit tough shots. We still have a lot of work to do," Head Coach Oren Amiel said after the game.
The Bamberg team will host MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg at Brose Arena on Monday, December 27, 2021, before having to play MBC Weißenfels away at the same time two days later, on December 29.