After opening the season with back-to-back losses, ratiopharm Ulm has now won four of its last five games. It registered its second home win on Tuesday night, a comfortable 96-86 triumph over visiting Mincidelice JL Bourg en Bresse.
There was a lot to like for Ulm coach Jaka Lakovic about his team's performance in the victory. Ulm led by double-digits for the majority of the game and its defense held Bourg to a respectable 36 points in the first half. Ulm outrebounded the visitors 18-10 on the offensive glass and hit a season-high 15 three-point shots on 33 attempts (45.5%).
The key, however, was Ulm's ball movement and a season-high 25 assists, with 22 of those coming in the first three quarters when Ulm built an insurmountable 19-point margin.
"We found good solutions on offense with fast and effective ball movement", Lakovic pointed out after the win, not missing an opportunity to praise his players. "We have guys who are willing to work and I think we are playing much more as a team than we were three games ago. I think players are also aware of this and aware of what they can do if they move the ball better."
They certainly moved the ball and created many open looks, and especially successful at hitting those was swingman Sindarius Thornwell who knocked down 6 of 9 three-point shots and led Ulm in scoring with 23 points. Thornwell shined in his debut last week when he netted 17 points in a win at Gran Canaria, but he was even more effective on Tuesday night.
"You can just tell we are moving the ball because every game someone else is having a good game", Thornwell said, and explained how that affects him and his teammates. "Nobody is hunting shots, everybody is in the right places and letting the game just come to them and not forcing anything. When you got it like that, there is no pressure on your shot because you know you did the right thing."
With the addition of Thornwell and the inside presence of Cristiano Felicio who made a big difference in this game with his double-double of 20 points and 10 rebounds, Ulm feels good about the way it is currently playing, sharing - and winning.
Or as Thomas Klepeisz, who finished with 13 points and 6 assists nicely said: "It has been a lot of fun how we perform as a team lately."