Undesirable Madrid (re) become hero of the Blues, the redemption of Thomas Heurtel

Undesirable Madrid (re) become hero of the Blues, the redemption of Thomas Heurtel

In 2014, the case revolved around shorts. Now it is a underpants story. Of course, the Madrid shoot still remains (for the moment?) the high point of Thomas Heurtel’s career in the French team, but this late afternoon in Berlin will be treasured in the museum of wonders of the Hérault region. in selection (20 points at 8/14 and 8 assists in 32 minutes). “It’s the Thomas we love”proclaimed Evan Fournier in stride. “He carries us”underlined Andrew Albicy. “He is the one who finishes the match, who makes the good plays at the end, who puts in big shots. That’s why he’s there, quite simply! »

“It’s Thomas Heurtel’s strength and we need it! »

In fact, now far from the wanderings of his early competition in Cologne, the child of the Élan Béarnais perfectly assumes his role as sole creative leader. For many months, locked up in the golden prison of Real Madrid, he was impatiently awaiting this EuroBasket, eager to prove that he was still one of the best maestros of the Old Continent, despite all the rumors from Spain. “If I am a different player during this Euro? No way “he replied, black-eyed, to the FIBA ​​commentator. “If you had seen me in Barcelona or Madrid, you would know that. » Thomas Heurtel may still be the same, but he’s just a lot more empowered. In the absence of Nando De Colo, he finds himself at the heart of the offensive equation of the Blues, sometimes annoying for his propensity to do too much by harvesting too many possessions (2.7 balls lost during this Euro, record in selection ), far more often unstoppable thanks to higher caliber talent. “Personally, I was trying to put him in the best possible conditions because I know he will find the solutions”indicated Rudy Gobert. “The insides were trying to push me, to stop me from rolling to the basket so Thomas had the opportunity to attack the basket and put in big shots. This is the strength of Thomas Heurtel, we need it and we will need it again. »


Heurtel’s decisive basket to snatch extra time (photo: FIBA)

Because yes, when the blue boat was pitching (56-64 in the 32nd minute), it was Thomas Heurtel who brought the ship back to port. “I was on the pitch with Tim, Terry, Guerschon and Rudy. There weren’t too many creators. I’m not afraid to take responsibility and I was lucky tonight.”, he summarizes. Despite her knowing smirk, it wasn’t luck. Incredibly gifted with the ball in hand, able to create for his teammates on pick and roll or to get his own shot, exiting the screen or penetrating, the most capped of the French team (97 selections) has accumulated 14 points, 4 assists and 1 interception in the money-time. “When we regained control, it was mainly under the leadership of Thomas »greeted Vincent Collet. He had a very solid game. Seen from the bench, we were convinced that it was to him that the last balls and the creation came back. Even before Evan took his fifth foul, you could tell he was the one with the upper hand. He used the pick and roll middle very well with Melli who, in addition, was hesitant because he was not sure if he should drop Rudy or come on him. Several times, he created a breach to go finish. In addition, he put shots. At one point, I was even afraid that he would do a little too much, but he was able to alternate with a few actions to mark the others. It’s really very positive for us, we need that. This team has less creativity than its predecessors: that of Thomas is precious to us. » Where we rejoice that there were no tweets from the Zénith Saint-Petersburg in July…

In Berlin,


September 14, 2022 at 11:51 am

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