Olympiacos has been making great strides on both ends of the floor the last couple of weeks, slowly becoming a hard to beat team in the EuroLeague competition.
The “Reds” were running a two-game winning streak until their loss against their arch rivals, Panathinaikos, in overtime, after a truly incredible game.
Even after a loss, Olympiacos showed improvement against a high-octane offense and the incredible performance of Tyrece Rice, who was firing in all-cylinders with a career high 41-point performance.
The team from Greece is changing the narrative of the season, after a disappointing start, and the main reason for that is the “step-up” in the production of Brandon Paul and Wade Baldwin.
Paul started playing well after David Blatt’s departure, averaging 10.3 points and 3.5 rebounds per game. He is one of the best shooters from the three-point line in the EuroLeague, having 45% from the arc in 62 attempts in the first 12 games of the season.
Paul is also on a +6 in net rating and is averaging about 112 points per 100 possessions, when he is on the floor for his team.
Paul is thriving on both ends of the floor in the “small lineups” of Kestutis Kemzura, having always two guards by his side (Koniaris, Spanoulis, Punter, Cherry, Baldwin).
77.5% of his points comes from the arc, with the ex-Spurs player being really efficient offensively on a 65.9 TS%. Right now, Paul is really aggressive and his success will be determined should Olympiacos be successful in the EuroLeague this season.
Lately, Wade Baldwin is, also, starting to acquire a role in Olympiacos’ rotation. The young guard came to Europe this season and has been playing well in the last 4-5 games of his team.
He is a really capable on-ball defender, who is starting to find his role in the offensive scheme of Kestutis Kemzura. Olympiacos is a better team, when Baldwin is on the floor.
The “Reds” are on +5.8 when Baldwin is getting minutes, averaging about 109 points per 100 possessions on offense and 103.2 points per 100 possessions in the defensive end.
According to Overbasket.com, Olympiacos seems to be more productive offensively, when Baldwin is surrounded with capable shooters, like Paul, Rochestie, Rubit and Vezenkov.
Generally, Olympiacos has to continue the process of improving as a team on a small amount of games (due to not participating in the Greek League this season) and in the last couple of weeks they seem to be successful in that, with Paul and Baldwin showing the way to the rest of the newly acquired players.