Img Source (Kavaliauskas became the man of the match)

Once again, I will make a separate post about the importance of European basketball in the world and the fact that it is played at a much much higher level than the NCAA basketball. I cannot understand how scouts from the USA get hyped about random NCAA players while they doubt that guys like Doncic will do any good in the NBA. But that is the question for another day. Today, let's focus on Kaunas Zalgiris. Tonight, Kaunas Zalgiris won the third game in six matches and climbed to the 8-10th place in the Euroleague. Even though people expect Zalgiris to rank higher, we must understand that those 3 loses were against two last year's finalists and Baskonia, the worst match up in the whole league.

Buducnost is without a doubt the worst team in the Euroleague this year, and they should be happy if they manage to finish the season with 5 wins in 30 matches. So far, they are 0/6 and judging from their game; things won't change for a better.

Kaunas Zalgiris started dominating in the paint from the first second of the game. Both Paulius Jankunas and Brandon Davies scored the majority of team's points, and it was obvious that Sarunas Jasikevcius had a plan to use big guys tonight. So did Dzikic, Buducnost's coach who sounds like he is crying. In the first 5 minutes, Omic tried to play against Zalgiris' centers for at least 10 times, and he actually did alright. However, both Zalgiris and Buducnost looked quite boring and tired. Sarunas Jasikevicius even called a time-out 6 minutes into the game and shouted at his players "You guys play like shit" and "Wake your asses up." Saras is one of the most energetic and emotional coaches in the Euroleague so it's nothing new to see him scream at his players but it was still fun to watch.

Also, I understand why Saras shouted at his guys. Even though Buducnost played terribly, Zalgiris did not manage to get the lead in the first half, mainly because of stupid mental mistakes, bad shots, and lack of concentration. On the other side, Buducnost couldn't make anything happen and relied on Omic and his power inside the pain. The first half ended 33-33, and I must say that it was one of the worst basketball halves I have seen this year.

Kaunas Zalgiris started the third quarter much better and got a 7 point lead which only increased for the rest of the match. Antanas Kavaliauskas and Aaron White dominated in the paint and kept scoring easy points, including some highlight dunks from White. Also, Brandon Davies kept doing his job like usual. I still think that Davies will start the next season in the NBA and if you want to know why watch his game. Sadly, Paulius Jankunas, the captain of the team, got injured and had to sit out the remaining match. It's still unclear if his injury was severe but from what it looked, I would guess that Jankunas will be ready to play next week against Barcelona.

The fourth quarter was extremely boring to watch as it was obvious that Buducnost had no energy to swing the game into their direction. Fans even booed some of their players, including one of the leaders Clark. I mean, when your own fans boo, you know that you did terribly. And yet, I am always against fans booing at their own players because I am sure that Clark did his best tonight but just couldn't find the rhythm. He must already felt bad before the booing started.

The game ended 72-60 in Zalgiris favor. It was one of the least scoring games in the Euroleague season tonight and if you want to fall in love with European basketball, please, don't watch this game.

Buducnost will try to get their first victory this season next week against Baskonia. It doesn't actually matter if they succeed or not because it's obvious that they will finish at the bottom of the table this year. However, Buducnost might take away some important points from other teams, so it's always nice that Zalgiris managed to take what they deserved.

As for Kaunas Zalgiris, they will face Barcelona next week in Kaunas. All the tickets were sold 10 days before the match so we can expect one hell of an atmosphere. Zalgiris did not win at home this year so far so it will be a good chance to finally satisfy thousands of Lithuanian fans. So far, I am happy that Zalgiris have 3 wins out of 6 games because they had a tough schedule. This team is capable of much better win ratio, and I am sure that Sarunas Jasikevicius thinks the same.