The Curse of Play: Misfortune Plagues Olimpia Milano’s Point Guard Position

The curse of play

The tile falls on Messina’s head in the season in which the “play” theme was even more urgent than in the past, and is part of a real curse in the role.

In 2019 the former national coach lands in the red and white, liquidates Mike James and signs the future flop Shelvin Mack. To “repair”, here is Keifer Sykes, who hits well but gets injured in the hours leading up to the Coppa Italia semi-final with Venezia. He will take the field, but visibly impaired.

In summer 2020 it’s Malcolm Delaney’s turn. A real player, who today the fans are finally starting to appreciate posthumously, but limited by physical problems that will definitively oust him before the 2022 playoffs. Once the experience with Milan is over, in fact, he will retire.

Then the 2022-2023 ordeal: Tommaso Baldasso and Naz Mitrou-Long stop in the pre-season, Kevin Pangos in the midst of the autumn drama. In recent weeks it has been the turn of Diego Flaccadori and, now, of Maodo Lo.

The good exceptions are Sergio Rodriguez, a leader for three seasons, and Shabazz Napier, who saved a few months ago before choosing Red Star. In short, some unfortunate choices, but lots and lots of bad luck.

The solutions

Olimpia Milano will have to impact a complicated EuroLeague with only Kevin Pangos, who in any case performed much better with Treviso than the German, still immature in Ettore Messina’s schemes.

Once again the alternative solution will be called Devon Hall: since his arrival in Milan the “joker” from Virginia Beach has played with mixed results in the role (very well the first year, decidedly less so in recent months), and has always lost weight offensive level, having to pay attention to management rather than personal solutions.

A sacrifice that doesn’t worry you on a defensive level, but is full of questions in attack, not forgetting that it’s one thing to play as a starting point guard like a year ago, and another to replace Kevin Pangos.

Because once again everything depends on the performance of the Canadian, who was decisive in the final against Treviso. Messina’s recent investiture (“he’s the point guard to start from”) can help psychologically, on the pitch the reality was that Maodo Lo had put the overtaking arrow in place well in advance.

Diego Flaccadori? He is in a new system, he has little experience in the EuroLeague and, once again due to injury, he missed the entire final phase of preparation. The former Trento player will have to win a place in Europe in the championship, therefore immediately from Naples. But today he starts from behind.

Games of destiny. Maodo Lo’s stop burdens Kevin Pangos with responsibility: the impacts of other solutions will depend on his performance, which today are only variables in front of him.

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