Motiejunas on coach change: 'Sasa Obradovic quickly identified what type of player I am'

2022-01-26 09:46
Credit: imago images/kolbert-press-Scanpix
Credit imago images/kolbert-press-Scanpix

Donatas Motiejunas has been on a great stretch in recent weeks, becoming one of the key parts of Sasa Obradovic's AS Monaco.

D-Mo has established himself as an offensive leader thanks to his complete skill set, averaging 17.4 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 19.8 PIR over the last five Turkish Airlines EuroLeague games.

Like his entire team, Motiejunas found his strengths on the defensive end as well. That passed on Monaco's revival. The Roca Team is on a four-game winning streak in the strongest continental league.

Donatas Motiejūnas

Donatas  Motiejūnas
Donatas  Motiejūnas
MIN: 18.27
PTS: 10.1 (56.12%)
REB: 3.95
As: 0.67
ST: 0.38
BL: 0.38
TO: 0.95
GM: 21

Having all this in mind, Donatas Motiejunas sat down for an interview with AS Monaco to talk about his adaptation to the European game, the team progress, and the importance of Sasa Obradovic.

Donatas, we can see the true Monaco face for several games in a row. What is the key to this victorious series?

We have had the same team and players since the start of the season. The coach has changed and he brought a lot of things. Sasa implemented discipline and intelligence into the game. Now, each player knows his role and understands, what he must do in order to contribute to success. All of this is felt immediately on the court.

We have known the offensive qualities of Monaco since the start of the season. But your last victories were based on a good defense.

Everyone talks about it and it's true. Titles and great victories are coming from the strong defensive performances. We had to find the rhythm in this area. With coach Sasa, the defense has become a priority. He pushes us all to sacrifice ourselves for the team and disturb the opponents in this way.

On a personal level, are we seeing real Donatas Motiejunas in recent weeks?

I've been in the same shape and level since the start of the season. But again, with the arrival of Sasa Obradovic, a lot of things have changed for me. He gave me a specific role and I found my place within the rotation.

The head coach very quickly identified what type of player I am. Moreover, we are much more structured offensively. The team takes over the individualities and the positive results are felt. The coach helped me offensively, while everyone knows how to play with me.

It's been almost 10 years since you came back to Europe. Can you tell us about your adaptation?

The adaptation time was short for me. Basketball remains the same, but the individual players' skills are much better in Europe than in Asia, for example. I had to be patient and adjust a few things, but I quickly found the basketball I love, and I feel great.

All the players seem to be going in the same direction.

Of course, this is the work of Sasa Obradovic and praises go to him. In a very short time, he managed to unite us. The coach instilled in us that victory is above any individual statistics.

Fighting for the playoffs spot in the EuroLeague and the champion title of France it is a big second part of the season that awaits.

It is going to be very intense. We have 16 guys in the squad, who are ready to give their best to meet the goals, set by the club.

Speaking of EuroLeague, Real Madrid arrive on Friday evening at Salle Gaston Medecin. How do you see this match against the leaders?

In EuroLeague, fighting spirit and effort play a major role. It will be crucial to fight on every ball and every possession. We will give everything, hoping to win, and aiming for the Top 8. The fans' support will be very important as well.



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