Ettore Messina is back on the sidelines with CSKA Moscow

One of the biggest questions for CSKA Moscow going into the 2012-13 season was how would new, returning head coach Ettore Messina deal with the at times fantastic/at times frustrating play of point guard Milos Teodosic. The coaching legend praised his 25-year-old Serbian playmaker after CSKA’s 97-89 victory over Brose Baskets Bamberg.

“He played an excellent game. He showed strong leadership, made the right decisions. He played under control and brought his teammates into position,” said Messina after the game.

Teodosic had by far his best Euroleague game of the season with a season-high 19 points, 9 assists, 1 rebound and zero turnovers for a season-best index rating of 25.

The 2009-10 Euroleague MVP collected 5 points, 11 assists, 4 rebounds and 4 steals for a rating of 16 last season against Partizan Belgrade. In the VTB League game in between, Teodosic had 13 points, 6 assists, 1 rebound, 3 steals and 2 turnovers against Unics Kazan. And the previous two Euroleague games Teodosic scored 12 and 13 points.

“He seems to have improved in the last couple weeks. He is sharing the ball better with the team, playing faster and enjoying it more,” added Messina

The coach also praised his new guard Dionte Christmas, who started his first game against Bamberg and drained three three-pointers in the first quarter on his way to draining six of eight from long range for 21 points. After two games of just more than six minutes each and zero points, Christmas had 13 points with two three-pointers and one steal last week against Partizan.

“The last two performances show he deserves starting. He is shooting well and making quick decisions. And that helps our offense. He is also helping well on defense. Now he seems to be comfortable,” said Messina of Christmas.

The coach said his team is slowly improving more and more.

“I think we are getting closer to what we should be in terms of sharing the ball offensively and moving fast and finding roles. I think we can improve defensively once we get a better understanding of one another. But I see the team also coming together in terms of chemistry – not only on the court but off the court,” added Messina.

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