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One Day, One Play: Micov with the walk-off winning three in Valencia


The three-point winning shot in Valencia reflects in its impromptu nature (it was originated two missed free throws by Quino Colom) the main characteristics of two Olimpia players: the ability of Sergio Rodriguez to draw defensive pressure, to read the situations and his coldness at putting the ball in the right hands; and Vlado Micov’s monster ability to understand the play before it actually develops and to be in the right position at the right time. Micov is a master at playing without the ball, and at picking the right spots on the court.

In this fastbreak, there is also total team effort. The sprints by Michael Roll on one side and Luis Scola on the other force a big part of the Valencia defense to drop down (see Abalde and Labeyrie positions), and the presence of Kaleb Tarczewski in the middle is equally crucial: Bojan Dubljevic is forced to stay in the lane because. Valencia is only one point ahead and had to make sure there’s no alley-oop for the center. That’s why on Tarczewski’s cut, Dubljevic has to drop down considerably. On the other side Joan Sastre goes to double Rodriguez with Colom.

Micov is diabolical: he stops one step back, lets Dubljevic follow Tarczewski and waits for the pass. His defender Sastre is now late for a closeout, so he can receive the ball and let if fly.