Thomas Heurtel he won the game to Rick Pitino. The simplification made sense for the way Barcelona beat Panathinaikos. The offensive recital of the French base frustrated the new neon lights of the Greek team, since he dismissed Xavi Pascual on December 20, ruled by Rick Pitino, one of those coaches who only by their name seem able to win games. Not so, of course. Pitino built his prestige in the University League, splashed by a great controversy because of a plot of fraud and corruption in Louisville, and only had a good season with the Knicks, of the six that he directed in the NBA, where he was later an executive the Celtics and responsible for the election of Paul Pierce in the 'draft' of 1998.
Barcelona Lassa: Heurtel (23), Pau Ribas (3), Claver (8), Singleton (3), Tomic (7) – initial team-; Séraphin (14), Pangos (2), Hanga (7), Oriola (4) and Kuric (8).
Panathinaikos: Calathes (8), Pappas (5), Papapetrou (17), DeShaun Thomas (6), Gist (8) – initial team-; Papagiannis (2), Lasme (4), Lekavicius (8), Lojeski (2) and Mitoglou (8).
Partial: 17-13, 20-23, 19-16 and 23-16.
Referees: Radovic, Paternico and Mogulkoc.
Palau Blaugrana. 5.9334 spectators. 18th day of the Euroleague. Barcelona is sixth with 11 wins and seven defeats.
This Pitino, now 66 years old, whom he recruited the Panathinaikos He ran into the Palau with a Heurtel in a vein of hits. The base of Barcelona was applied in an interesting hand in hand with Nick Calathes. The bases had to check their scripts, correct and refine in a game with very sticky defenses and no quarter, and intense since the start of possession of the opponent. Heurtel threw down the middle street, found the holes in the Greek defense and gave vent to the extraordinary success in the shot that accompanies him in recent games.
Against the defensive aggressiveness of Panathinaikos, Heurtel's offensive aggressiveness, which added 23 points. Barcelona, with 10 of their first 12 points signed by the French and a good run of Séraphin, came to dominate by nine points (23-14). The Panathinaikos, based on triples and offensive rebound, cut the difference and came back in the beginning of the third quarter (37-40), very badly faced by Barcelona, which took three and a half minutes to score their first basket.
He woke up with triple, three consecutive, Pau Ribas, Claver and Singleton, plus a two plus one Séraphin. Barcelona opened again (53-42). And he recovered Panathinaikos, who tied, at 56, in the first instant of the last quarter. But Barcelona took advantage of the evolution of Heurtel, a Séraphin who scored ground in the area with 14 points and seven assists, helped by Tomic, with seven points and eight rebounds, Claver, Kuric and Hanga.
Enough to win the game, overcome the six-point basket-average that had the Panathinaikos and distance him in the fight to be among the top four of the table. It was an important step for Barcelona, which is still sixth, but already with the Olympiacos and the Anadolu to shot.