Tiro da tre e la presenza di Jaiteh in area: contro questa Virtus, l’assalto Olimpia allo scudetto

Virtus Bologna, which Olimpia play for the fourth time, the second in a row in a championship final, won 19 out of 19 home games this Italian season, won the Eurocup, the second European cup, will participate thanks to this success in the next EuroLeague, won the Super Cup, finished the regular season in first place and faces this final with the advantage of the field factor. Up to now, only the Italian Cup has been wrong, where it was eliminated in the semifinals by Tortona. The two teams met three times this year, but none of these gave significant indications: in September in the Supercoppa, in Bologna, the teams were very different from the current ones; in January in the championship Olimpia, although winning, had just returned from the first Covid outbreak that had forced them to a reduced roster and was also without Shavon Shields, while Virtus had not yet included Daniel Hackett and Toko Shengelia in the team; in the regular season match in Bologna, Virtus was without Marco Belinelli while Milan was again struggling with Covid problems. For example, Sergio Rodriguez (in Italy with him on the pitch, Olimpia is 23-2) did not play the championship match in Bologna, Shields against Virtus only played in the Super Cup. So the accounts will be made in this final, which both teams arrive with immaculate record in the playoffs, 6-0.

The guards – Daniel Hackett, who normally starts in the quintet alongside Milos Teodosic, is playing 19.3 minutes per game in the playoffs with 6.5 points, but a significant 57.1% in the three-point shot. Teodosic is the team’s top scorer with 14.0 points and 5.3 assists per game per game in 21.7 minutes on the pitch. In the series with Tortona, he made 6.0 threes per game, transforming them with 61.1%. Behind them, Alessandro Pajola, 19.0 minutes per game with 2.7 points and 3.7 assists per game; then Nico Mannion, 3.8 points in 10.6 minutes with 44.4% in the three-point shot. Marco Belinelli, who usually starts from the bench and can also be used in small quintets, with three real guards, scores 11.7 points per game with 39.4% from three out of 5.5 attempts. Clearly, the three-point shot is a lethal weapon for Bologna, which was first in the regular season, is second in the playoffs, but above all it has the two players who shoot the most (11.5 overall shots per game) in a period of great precision.

The small wings – Kyle Weems is the most used player by Coach Sergio Scariolo. In the playoffs, he stays on the field 23.5 minutes on average, because he can vary between the two wing positions. He often finishes games as a strong forward. In the playoffs, he’s scoring 7.7 points per game with 4.3 rebounds and 56.5% off two. Lately, he has been shooting badly from three but had 44.2% from three in the regular season. In the small forward position, Virtus can use a guard or Isaia Cordinier, who has started five times as a guard and is scoring 5.5 points per game with 3.3 assists in 21.0 minutes of use.

The strong wings – Tornike Shengelia, who arrived practically with Hackett from CSKA Moscow, is scoring 12.5 points per game in 22.3 minutes of use. He is also shooting well from three (40.0%) and as always from two (58.1%). He is the man of 4.8 rebounds per game with 3.3 assists, the result of the many doubling he is used to facing. The alternatives can be many: Amarr Alibegovic (5.2 points per game with 66.7% from two plays 15.4 minutes per game); Kevin Hervey (3.3 points and 4.0 rebounds) is in a run-off for the sixth foreign place with JaKarr Sampson (3.8 points and 3.0 rebounds). The latter has the advantage of being able to play also from the center.

The centers – Mam Jaiteh is the only Virtus player who is practically always in the quintet in the playoffs. He is strictly an area man who scores 11.7 points per game with 76.9% from two in 20.5 minutes on the pitch. He also adds 5.5 rebounds. From the height of his 2.11 and the ability to take a position very close to the basket has created many problems at Olimpia so far: in the previous three, he has always scored 18 points, with 24/34 from the field and 11.3 rebounds on average. In addition to Sampson, his change is Amedeo Tessitori: 4.8 points with 64.7% in 8.0 minutes spent on the pitch.

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