Rich Melzer(New Yorker Phantoms Braunschweig) At This Point In The Season, Everyone Is Our Enemy
Rich Melzer is a 32 year old 203cm forward/center from Minneapolis, Minnesota that is playing his first season for the New Yorker Phantoms Braunschweig. He played at : Wisconsim-River Falls (NCAA3) from 2000-2004. In his 8 year professional basketball career, he has played in countries like New Zealand, France, Israel and Australia. He had his first tour of duty in Germany in the 2007-2008 season with Artland Dragons Quakenbrueck (Germany-1.Bundesliga): ULEB Cup: 2 games: 5.5ppg, 2.0rpg; German League: 1 game: 11pts, 2reb, 1steal. In his rookie season, he took part at the Washington Wizards training camp. Last season he played for Hapoel Holon (Israel-Premier League, starting five): 30 games: 16.8ppg, 6.7rpg, 1.6apg, FGP: 48.6%, 3PT: 27.3%, FT: 75.3%. He spoke to German Hoops after the big 83-74 win against the Telekom Baskets Bonn and securing a playoff place.
Congrats on the big 83-74 win at home against the Telekom Baskets Bonn. The first step for the playoffs is successful. Did the team feel more or less pressure having to play at home despite having to win anyway?
I don’t believe we’re giving in to the pressure at this point as a team. We were all very confident and ready to win this game no matter where we played. We’ve been really trying hard to implement a theme of “togetherness,” in our group. When everyone knows they can rely on the man next to him no matter what the situation, it takes some of the pressure off of all of us. Hats off to my teammates as everyones made an effort to buy into it and its starting to show.
The game was very tight in the first half as the game was deadlocked at 35-35 at halftime. What was giving the Phantoms the biggest problems on the court for the inability to have more of a lead?
Bonn came out in the first half with guns blazin’. They were making everything it seemed, especially from outside the arc. However, we knew it was going to be tough for them to keep up at that pace with such accuracy for entire game. At half-time, for us it was just about sustaining their first couple runs and then trying to give em a difficult evening for the rest of the game.
What did Sebastian Machowski tell the Phantoms to do better in the second half?
It seemed coach knew as well as we did that it was just a good first half for them and we were still tied despite not playing that great. We didn’t necessarily start the game as we’d hoped, nonetheless, he was as certain as we were we’d play better in the second half, and he just continued to encourage us to play harder and do whatever it takes to secure a playoff spot.
Braunschweig exploded for 28 points in the third quarter and never looked back. What was key in the third quarter for gaining control of the game?
Again, its all about playing together! Defensively, offensively, its contagious when you make the extra effort to make your teammates better. We don’t have any more time to improve this season. We must at all costs begin and continue to play our best basketball of the season right now. I believe we almost had 7 or 8 players in double figures. That’ll be a must if we’re going to compete and have success in the playoffs. We have so many weapons in our group and last night everyone contributed.
How important was the production of Branko Jorovic who not only helps out with his three point shooting, but was a force under the boards?
Branco has been rebounding his ass off as of late and shooting the lights out. He’s in a good rhythm right now and everyone sees it and knows how vital he is to our teams success. He’s playing his best ball at the time we need him to most and its fun to watch and be a part of. He’s literally good at everything on the basketball court.
Do you think that the short bench of Bonn might have pooped out the starters more?
I think they’ve maybe exhausted Gaffney a bit as he’s their only true power-forward. He’s tough so I know he can manage, but there is little rotation for them without Buljan. It could definitely play a role I guess.
What last minute tip can you give the Fraport Skyliners for their do or die game on Saturday in Bonn?
No tips my man! At this point in the season everyone is our enemy. Granted we feel we’re better matched with Ulm so a 7th seed would be in our favor. Either way, we’re entering the post-season with every intention of winning no matter who we play.
The Phantoms have nice memories of the last game in Berlin winning to reach the cup. Can the Phantoms win again and what will be key in getting the win?
We can win again, absolutely. We wouldn’t compete if we didn’t think so. However, beating Berlin at their place twice is going to be a difficult feat. Nonetheless the keys will be defending them well inside and out as they have strong players all over the board. All of us must be greatly in sync towards accomplishing our goal of winning in Berlin.
Was the NBA 7 game suspension for Metta World Peace fair or should it have been more?
Look, anyone who didn’t know David Stern was going to hand out a 5 to 10 game suspension for that isn’t really following the game closely enough. Fair or not, I can’t really say. But the game is physical and gets dirty, and sometimes people react emotionally at the wrong time. Its definitely unsportmanlike on many levels. He’s not goona win any academy awards for trying to convince us it was an accident. Sorry Meta.
What has been the worst cheap shot foul that you have ever seen in the NBA?
Oooooo, good question. Meta World Peace’s doesn’t even crack the top 50 most unsportsmanlike fouls in my book. I would say with absolute certainty the Rudy Tomjonavich incident where he got sucker punched by Kermit Washington in L.A.
What was the last DVD movie that you saw?
Last DVD I just watched was the Expendables with Stallone and the whole crew. Great cast in that movie of action heroes!
Thanks Rich for the chat.