The table does not lie. After 16 of 32 games in the bundesliga's main round, brose bamberg's basketball team is bottom of the table and outside the play-off range, having lost to seven of the eight teams ranked ahead of them. Only against the second-placed MHP riesen ludwigsburg did the team manage a win. The remaining seven victories were all against teams from the second half of the table.
At the end of the first half of the season, coach roel moors' team has a positive points tally of 18:14, but that is not enough to secure the play-off place they are aiming for. 9th place in the table is not the ambition of the former serial champion, the personnel change is more difficult than expected. The failure in the preliminary round of the champions league is also evidence of this. The new team formed at the beginning of the season with eight newcomers is still far from meshing – even the two new signings retin obasohan and darion atkins could not change that.
Weak in the final phase
One reason for the bumpy first round in the bundesliga is the negative home record. Brose arena, once considered an impregnable fortress, has lost its fear of opponents. The moors team has only managed three home victories so far, and has lost five times. The defeats against ulm, wurzburg and vechta, in which the bambergers had started the last quarter with a lead but squandered it, were particularly galling. Weaknesses in the final phase also cost the bambergers a victory in the champions league games against nymburk as well as in nizhny nowgorod, bar and most recently in peristeri. Moors therefore rightly stated: "we have many games that we start well, but in the end there is a lack of concentration. We have to get rid of that as quickly as possible." The 94-85 win in braunschweig at the end of the first half last weekend seemed to be a step in the right direction, but was promptly followed by a setback in peristeri.
The success at niedersachsen had given an indication of what could trigger the trend reversal. Six bamberg players scored in double figures in brunswick. But they have too seldom been convincing collectively. Retin obasohan, kameron taylor, tre mclean or bryce taylor stood out in some parts, but then quickly disappeared again.
Only two points in double figures
It's no wonder that only two players from bamberg, assem marei (12.7) and christian sengfelder (10.9), had a double-digit scoring average. But these two are not the leaders of their team. Agyptian center marei is hardly on the field in contested closing stages due to his free throw weakness (hit rate 51 percent), sengfelder seems not intended for this role, only a few systems are tailored to him. Subsequent signings obasohan and atkins are merely role players. Atkins has yet to prove why he was brought in: to be a rough player who can also throw from the eagle.
But with good defense and rebounding, atkins helps make bamberger one of the better teams in the league in those two areas of the game. With 77.6 points, which they only allow their opponents on average, they are the second-best team behind bayern munchen. In the previous season, the brose basketball team had conceded eight more points per game. In the rebounding statistics, they rank third, and they are the best team in the bundesliga in defensive rebounding.
Although the gap to fourth-placed EWE baskets oldenburg is only two points, the schedule for the second half of the season suggests that it will not be a walk in the park for the bamberg team to reach the play-offs. With munich, ludwigsburg and berlin, the bambergers have to compete with the three first-place finishers, where the stakes are very high. In addition, in the games against the teams from vechta, wurzburg and ulm, which are ranked directly ahead of them in the table, the home advantage lies with the opponent.
But in the second part of the season, wins over better-placed teams are also needed, otherwise the former series champions risk missing the play-offs for the first time in 19 years.