Vasily Karasyov: “We still have all the chances to make a positive end to the series”

The head coach for Zenit, Vasily Karasyov, shared his opinions on the first game of the 1/8s of the Eurocup.

Vasily Karasyov: “We still have all the chances to make a positive end to the series”

Maybe this was because of nerves or intimidation more than anything else. There wasn’t any attack or any good play on defense, the players made some really childish mistakes. If Khimki is feeling their game, then they are going to play aggressively and everyone on their team is able to score points. After halftime, we drew some conclusions from our earlier play and the team made some good changes. We had to play with a smaller lineup today because of injuries. We put in Desyatnikov, but he still isn’t ready to play against an opponent the likes of Khimki. What we tried to do was to take some of our smaller and quicker guys to break on some fast attacks, we calmed down a bit and started to find our game and play pretty well. We didn’t finish the game right though. We were trying to play around the perimeter, but we really missed a lot of three pointers that cost us. The next game is going to decide everything.  

—Was there anyone that you were particularly disappointed during the first half? 
—There wasn’t any team play in the first half. It’s impossible to separate someone. The entire team played terribly, there weren’t any combinations, we couldn’t get anybody to command the team and tell them what to do. In the third and the fourth quarters Khimki started to have some similar problems. We had to find the best lineup for us. Because of the injuries, everyone is playing on a different rotation. Each time we have to think of something new, and the break between matches isn’t so long so we have to think of different lineups with different schemes. 

—What do you think of Hodge’s play today? 
— It’s understood that Khinki new our team and knew that the biggest threat on the attack is Hodge. They had a man on him all the time, were very  aggressive, sometimes on the edge of making fouls. Some chances just didn’t work for him and when he got going, he was called for a technical foul. This can happen with the opponent is blowing you away. If a team is attacking you hard, you want your other players to help out, the team can’t depend on one player so much. In the second half other guys started to put up some points: Kulagin, Vikhrov, Landry. After that, he started to play a lot better.