D. Sabonis: on the differences between Pacers and Kings and the failure of the European Championship after passions cooled down

D. Sabonis: on the differences between Pacers and Kings and the failure of the European Championship after passions cooled down
D. Sabonis: on the differences between Pacers and Kings and the failure of the European Championship after passions cooled down

National Basketball Association (NBA) regular season for the Sacramento Kings, represented by the tall Domantas Sabonis, got off to a rocky start. Later, the team found its own game and achieved a seven-game winning streak, and the midfielder from Lithuania played in almost a triple-double rhythm. D. Sabonis, who is playing in the strongest basketball league in the world for the sixth season, agreed to share his thoughts about the Lithuanian national team, the differences between the NBA and European basketball rules, and his goals for this season.

In an exclusive interview with TV3 Sport and Go3 representative Žilvar Zinkevičius, D. Sabonis revealed that after the European Basketball Championship, he not only didn’t feel tired, but even destroyed the long-standing myth by claiming that competition with the national team helps players achieve good form and a more successful start to the club season.

– Why, in your opinion, did the Lithuanians fail to perform better in it? What were the main reasons for this?

– I think we had a very strong group. In every game we were leading with 5 minutes or less to go, but we couldn’t finish it properly. Against the Spaniards, I think we were in a better position than our opponents to win the match, but sometimes we were not lucky and this time it’s a shame, but we didn’t make it to the next round.

– Would you agree with Luka Doncic, who recently said that NBA players defend better individually, but team defense is better in Europe. If so, why?

– He says so because the rules are different. In Europe, referees allow more physical contact, there are no so-called “touch fouls”. The game itself is different, basketball is different. It is more difficult to pass an opponent when more physical contact is allowed.

– You yourself have had to play both in Europe and in the NBA for the sixth season, how much do you manage to reorient yourself during national team competitions and adapt to different rules, different pitches?

– There is less space, because the court is smaller than in the NBA, there is no 3-second rule in defense, so it is more difficult for the team to attack if you do not execute combinations or use your advantage and strengths.

– What is the difference between the Sacramento Kings game and the Indiana Pacers team, which you previously represented?

– In the Sacramento team, the manager has also changed. coach and team, many new players, so everything is new and we are all trying to get a feel for the game. Everything is new for the coach as well, he is trying to get to know all the players, what are each of their strengths, what they do better on the field and how to be useful to the team. Little by little we are improving the game and trying to find what everyone likes on the pitch.

– The start of the new season is unsuccessful for the team so far (author’s note: the interview was done before the seven-game winning streak). What is the most lacking in the team, what needs to be improved?

– We lost all the matches we had, similar to the one with the Lithuanian national team this summer (laughs). For example we played against the Miami Heat, five minutes left and we are +8, but not enough to close the game with victory. Of course we played on the road, and in the NBA it is very difficult to win when playing on the road, but you have to concentrate and play all the games until the end. The season has just started, new players, new coaches, we have to get to know each other and what place each will have in the team.

– Can fans expect the Kings to make the playoffs this season?

The plan is to be a better team every day and win as many games as possible. So far, we had every chance to win in all the matches, but we have to keep working. There are still about 70 games left until the end of the regular season, so anything can happen and everyone should wait and be patient.

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The article is in Lithuanian

Tags: Sabonis differences Pacers Kings failure European Championship passions cooled

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