Lebanese Basketball League-Preview: Mouttahed vs Tadamon
07 Mar.2017– Mouttahed host Tadamon on Wednesday night hoping to reinforce their fourth spot with a win.
Standing at 7th place, Tadamon have their backs to the wall. A loss in Tripoli will give them a 5-10 record, and with Sagesse playing on Thursday, the red warriors may drop to 8th.
Mouttahed may rely on Ramel Curry and Dewarick Spencer on the wings to put pressure on Jad Khalil and Earvin Morris. Putting more effort on defense may cause a dip in form at the offensive end for Khalil and Morris. On the other hand, Tadamon’s fast tempo with Khalil leading the break may cause Mouttahed troubles although their transition defense is fast. Jad is leading the league with 8 assists per game. He can find his teammates on the run easily. So pressuring him from the beginning is critical. Exclude him from the game as most of the other players rely on one on one situations and don’t thread the needle as efficiently.
The biggest defensive duty will fall on Elie Rustom as he will probably face off against Maurice Kemp. Kemp can play the post, drive the lane or take his shots off the dribble. But Elie has shown he can take defensive tasks. Guarding the likes of Fadi El Khatib and Geron Johnson, he will rise to the challenge. Having Cleveland Melvin on the help will probably push Kemp outside as there is too much traffic under the rim. With Kemp restrained to the 3 point line, his effectiveness is diminished.
Down low, Tadamon are at a disadvantage with Cleveland Melvin partnering with Charles Tabet. Melvin has shown he can spread the defense with a good outside/midrange shot. Melvin and MJ Rhett will have their own mini-game. Who can dominate the other? That’s a good battle to see. Two players that have almost similar playing styles, based on hustle and athleticism. As for Charles he might take on Ali Fakherdine who I think should start in this game as Mouttahed might have many second chances which could cost Tadamon a lot. Charles is showing fine form recently and limiting his contribution is vital.
With Ralph Akl out due to injury, Mouttahed must go deeper in their bench with Tanguy Osman playing more minutes yet the pressure mounts on Omar Ayoubi as he is their 6th man and needs to step up in this time of need. As for Tadamon they can count on Bilal Tabara and Rony Fahed to give that needed push at times of offensive aridity.