Oldenburg, Germany – In the most intriguing game of the 12th round of the German Basketball League EWE Oldenburg defeated their rivals from Brose Bamberg 71-68. Rickey Paulding led the winners in scoring with his game-high 20 points, while three of his teammates finished in double-digits. Rasid Mahalbasic helped with 14 points and eight rebounds, Nathan Boothe scored 12 points, shooting 6-of-8 from the field and Braydon Hobbs added 10 points, including two decisive 3-pointers down the stretch. For the visitors only their starting center. Assem Marei finished the game in double-figures with 17 points and nine rebounds.
In the packed EWE Arena both teams started the game, leaning mainly on one player to carry the load on offence – the small forward Ricky Paulding, a 37-year-old city icon, playing his 13th season for EWE Oldenburg recorded eight points for Oldenburg in the first ten minutes. He shot 3-of-6 from mid-range, showing his various shooting repertoire – fadeaway or turnaround jumpers. The offensive actions of Bamberg were concentrated mostly in the post, thanks to the activity of their Egyptian center – Assem Marei (6-9) who had six points in the first ten minutes of play, showing his good back to basket moves and post up game.
In the second quarter the hosts started to exploit the size and frame advantages that their frontcourt players had in comparison to those from Bamberg, scoring some easy baskets in the paint, finishing the first half with the biggest lead 42-32. Mahalbasic (6-11) scored six points in the quarter, shooting 3-of-4 in the paint, while his teammate Boothe (6-9), a 25-year-old center shot 4-of-4 on 2s, showing good footwork and stroke, dominating the paint.
Brose Bamberg cut its deficit to 4 points in the third quarter – 51-55 after a strong performance from its starting backcourt duo – Paris Lee (6-0), a 25-year-old American and Nelson Weidemann (6-3), a 20-year-old German prospect, playing on loan from Bayern Munich. Both players scored five points in the quarter, providing a lot of energy on both ends of the floor.
Hobbs (6-5), a 30-year-old American combo guard stole the show in the fourth quarter, emerging as the difference-maker, hitting two consecutive 3-pointers in the clutch for a 71-64 Oldenburg lead. Bryce Taylor, a 6-5 experienced shooting guard of Bamberg missed two consecutive shots from beyond the arc in the last minute of the quarter – first one to cut the deficit and the second – to tie the game with 3 seconds left.
Weidemann has a bright future, given his physical tools and upside that might provide him the opportunity to play at least for a good team in the Euroleague or to try his chances at some of the next NBA drafts. At his age, he has a well-developed strong upper-body to go along with quick feet and strong hips. He is very active and tough man-on-man defender, providing needed energy while looking for steals. Nelson is a good driver, who can finish above the rim, but also can shoot threes, mainly off-the-catch.
The NBA Draft Prospect Louis Olinde (6-9), a 21-year-old small forward, who can play as a stretch four as well, had by surprise a quiet night on the offensive end of the floor, scoring only two points, both coming from the charity stripe, shooting 2-of-4. The German talent grabbed six rebounds, posting one assist and one block. Olinde had tough assignments on defense – to stop the most experienced player on the court – the captain of Oldenburg – Paulding, who moves extremely well off-ball, looking for spaces to get the ball for a quick jumper or to use off-ball screens to sneak through the defense. As a stretch four in the second quarter he had another tough assignment – to stop Boothe, a center with big size and frame to go along with good footwork and post up game, who knows how to exploit his weight advantage.
On the offensive end of the court Olinde was looking more to share the ball in the particular game, finding the open man, he moved well off-ball, but was not found by his teammates when open. Olinde’s physical tools are obvious – long arms, quick feet, good wingspan, great athleticism to go along with his ability to knock down threes make his potential promising. In addition he can become a very good defender, guarding multiple positions. He needs to get stronger, add some weight to his developing frame and keep improving his shot, finding the best ways to be efficient on the court.
Up next: Oldenburg hosts on Sunday Ratiopharm Ulm with Killian Hayes, one of the top international prospects of NBA 2020 Draft, while Brose Bamberg travels to Tenerife to play on Tuesday against Iberostar in the Basketball Champions League.
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