“We were defending well”… against the odds and an injury to Ahn Young-joon

“We defended well, but…”

SK failed to overpower Kisun. The team lost 63-81 to KCC in the first round of the ‘2023-2024 Korean Basketball Association (KBA) quarterfinals (PO-5 best-of-three) playoffs at Jamsil Student Gymnasium on Thursday. Needless to say, they were at a disadvantage in the odds game. The winner of the first round of the best-of-five playoffs has a 92.3% chance of advancing to the best-of-four playoffs. That’s 48 out of 52 times, so it’s a tight squeeze. However, 69.2% of all best-of-six PO brackets have also seen the top team in the regular season advance to the quarterfinals. 먹튀검증 SK is fourth in the regular season and KCC is fifth.

Before the game, SK head coach Jeon Hee-chul was wary of KCC‘s early defense. It is a tactic that allows the offense to be unleashed more quickly, regardless of the attacking time limit (24 seconds). Wingmen on the left and right side of the floor, and sometimes even the big men, are the ones who run the offense. This is before the opponent has fully formed a defense, so if it works, it’s a huge advantage. However, it’s also a physical drain as the tempo is constantly high. “It’s important to stop the opponent’s early offense. If you can’t do that, it’s difficult,” says Jeon.

The defense worked to a certain extent. We held them to six points on fast breaks alone. “We lost. We didn’t do a good job,” he said, but also explained that “except for a few moments in the first half, the defense against the alley-oop defense worked to some extent.” The problem was that the offense didn’t work as well as expected. They shot just 37% from the field. They barely made half their free throws (5-of-8). “On offense, you have to take it the way it’s supposed to be played, but I think they were focused on defense. I didn’t set them up right,” he said.

The shadow of injury also loomed. With just over six minutes left in the fourth quarter. Ahn injured his left middle finger and went to the bench. “It looks like the ligament broke when the finger fell off. He said his finger won’t go up,” he said, adding, “He says it’s fine because it’s his left hand, but we’ll know (exactly) when we get it examined.” Ahn has been out since the middle of this season with a torn right medial collateral ligament. He has been battling through the injury while still not fully recovered.

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