Defensive ace Jenkins, three-point mastery lifted Reds

Dec 30, 2020 by Print
Defensive ace Jenkins, three-point mastery lifted Reds

Olympiacos Piraeus showcased the kind of offense it is capable of playing on a record-tying night against Khimki Moscow Region on Tuesday. Olympiacos entered the game having scored more than 86 points just once in 15 games this season, but then had one of the club's best offensive performances this century.

The Reds re-wrote their history books by tying a club record with 16 triples and scoring 105 points, which matches the most points Olympiacos has scored in a road game this century - and the most points the team has scored in any EuroLeague game in over seven years.

However, after the game, it was the play of Charles Jenkins, who finished with 3 points in 24 minutes, that earned unprompted praise from his coach.

"The key of the game was our defensive effort in the third quarter, and also the defense of Charles Jenkins for 22 or 23 minutes against Alexey Shved," Olympiacos head coach Georgios Bartzokas said after his team's 88-105 win. "Whenever Charles wasn't on the court, Alexey showed his amazing talent. Charles was the key."

Even though the entire world knows how dangerous of a scorer Alexey Shved is, few have greater insight into Shved's talents than Bartzokas, who was Khimki's head coach for two seasons, including the 2017-18 campaign when he guided Khimki to the EuroLeague playoffs and Shved set a EuroLeague single-season record with 790 points scored.

But Jenkins, who was also a member of that 2017-18 Khimki squad, held Shved to just 2 free throws and 0-for-3 from the floor in the opening 8 minutes of the game. When the rotation sent Jenkins to the bench, Shved proceeded to score 12 points and dish 4 assists.

Shved got his tally to 20 points with Jenkins on the floor early in the third quarter, but the Khimki star scored just 2 free throws over the final 15 minutes of the game and was not much of a factor as Jenkins played all the key minutes in the second half and Olympiacos raced away with a win.

Of course, Bartzokas also acknowledged the win as a team effort and it could not be any other way when your team scores 105 points and knocks down 16 triples on 29 attempts, with seven different players attempting, and making, a three-point shot.

This three-point performance comes one week after Olympiacos shot 15 for 32 from long range in a loss against Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul. After netting 31 triples in consecutive games, Bartzokas and his players will certainly love to make this type of three-point shooting a trend.