Union Olimpija - Fener.Ulker 75-81 Fenerbahce Ulker secured the second win in EuroLeague Group A. They outscored Union Olimpija in Ljubljana today. Bo McCalebb (178-PG-85, college: New Orleans) posted 17 points to lead the visitors at 2-0 record on top of the standings. Union Olimpija fell at 1-1 record after the loss. Fenerbahce claimed a 25:20 lead after ten minutes. Union Olimpija picked up the slack and went on a run in the second quarter. The hosts snatched a 46:43 halftime lead. But Fenerbahce took the initiative in the third term. The Turkish team held the hosts to 15 points in the period to ensure a 2-point lead at the final intermission 63:61. Union Olimpja were held to 14 points in the final stanza and had to surrender at the end. Bojan Bogdanovic (203-SG-89) accounted for 14 points, while Omer Onan and Mike Batiste provided 13 points apiece in the victory. Aaron Baynes (208-C-86, college: Washington St.) responded with 14 points and 12 rebounds for the Slovenian team. Klemen Prepelic netted 13 points in the loss.
Khimky - Real Madrid 86-85 Khimky survived a tough challenge from Real Madrid to nip the Spanish team at home court. The victory allowed Khimky gain 1-1 record in Group A as they caught up with Real in the ladder. Kresimir Loncar (210-F-83, agency: Alti Sport) posted 16 points to lead the charge. Khimky started the game strong. They secured a 25:18 lead after ten minutes. The teams traded baskets throughout the second frame. Khimky secured a 42:35 halftime advantage. Khimky increased the tempo in the third period. The Russian side accumulated a massive 14-point advantage at the final intermission 69:55. Real went on a 16:0 run midway through the fourth quarter to surge ahead 72:71. Kresimir Loncar and Augustine made it 82:75 for Khimky late in the fourth stanza. Slaughter and Rudy Fernandez dragged Real within 2 points with under 40 seconds to go. Vitaliy Fridzon sank four straight free throws but Dontaye Draper answered with a three-pointer to put Real within one 85:86 with 8 seconds left. Monya committed a turnover but Rudy Fernandez could not convert a layup and Khimky secured the victory at the end. Paul Davis (211-C-84, college: Michigan St.) had 15 points, while Zoran Planinic and Vitaliy Fridzon added 12 points each in the winning case. Jaycee Carroll (188-G-83, agency: Priority Sports) responded with 14 points for Real Madrid. Felipe Reyes and Rudy Fernandez had 15 points apiece in the loss.
Panathinaikos - Cantu 78-76 Panathinaikos celebrated the opening win in EuroLeague season. They overcame Cantu in Athens tonight to improve at 1-1 record in Group A. Sofoklis Schortsanitis (206-C-85) delivered 19 points to lead the hosts to the win. Cantu fell at 0-2 record after the loss. Panathinaikos grabbed a 23:17 lead ten minutes into the game. Cantu lived up to the challenge and answered straight back in the second frame. The Italian team silenced the crowd in Athens with a 26-point tally in the period to narrow the gap to a single point 44:43. Panathinaikos stressed defence in the third term. The Greek team limited Cantu to just 12 points in the quarter to take a 6-point lead into the fourth frame. Cantu managed to cut the distance to just two points late in regulation. Leunen had a chance to win the game for Cantu but missed a late three-pointer as Panathinaikos escaped with a tough win at the end. Dimitris Diamantidis (196-G-80) provided 12 points, while Andy Panko added 11 points for the winners. Pietro Aradori (195-SG-88) and Manuchar Markoishvili (196-SF-86) answered with 17 points each for Cantu.
Asseco Prok. - Unicaja 75-77 Unicaja Malaga opens Round 2 with the win over Asseco Prokom Gdynia. The Spanish outfit stole a 77:75 victory for 1-1 record in Group B. The hosts meanwhile fell at 0-2 record. It was the only game that was played on Wednesday. Unicaja Malaga started with 28-22 in the first period and managed to keep 6-point lead at the halftime. Asseco Prokom Gdynia meanwhile won the third and the last quarters but it was not enough to win the game. The Polish team needed a 20-18 surge in the third quarter to reduce to 4 points entering the last stanza. Prokom also won the fourth period 16-14 but could not win the game. Earl Calloway made two free throws for the winning side to bring 77:72, while Jerel Blassingame made the final result in the game. Marcus Williams (191-G-85, college: Connecticut) top-scored for the winners with 18 points and Txemi Urtasun (193-G-84, agency: Interperformances) nailed 14. Zoran Dragic followed them with 10 points in a win. Lukasz Koszarek (187-PG-84) answered with 16 points in the losing effort, whilst Frank Robinson posted 14. Adam Hrycaniuk delivered 11 and Robert Witka (205-F-81) notched 9.
ALBA - Chalon 74-71 Alba Berlin needs a strong finish to beat Chalon in EuroLeague Game 2. The German side erupted with 23-12 in the last stanza to take a 74:71 win at home. Elan Chalon-Sur-Saone looked better in the first half and managed to post two narrow victories in the first two quarters. The French side won the first period 25-24 and added 15-12 in the second quarter. Moreover Elan Chalon-Sur-Saone delivered 19-15 in the third frame and led 8 points after 30 minutes. Alba Berlin however made everything to stay tough in the game. Heiko Schaffartzik and Brian Randle (203-F-85) reduced to 60:66 early in the last stanza. Schaffartzik HEIKO cut it to 64:66, but Shelden Williams increased the lead for the French team to 4 points. RANDLE, BRIAN tied the game at 68:68 with 3 minutes to go as Alba Berlin dominated the court at that time. Schaffartzik HEIKO and DaShaun Wood (185-G-85, college: Wright St.) scored for 74:68, while SCHILB, BLAKE reduced to the final result in the game. Deon Thompson (203-F-88, college: N.Carolina) paced all the winners with 24 points and DaShaun Wood notched 19. Heiko Schaffartzik followed them with 13 points. Steed Tchicamboud (193-G-81) answered with 20 points in the losing effort, while Shelden Williams and Blake Schilb nailed 14 apiece.
Maccabi T-A - Montepaschi 70-68 Maccabi Tel-Aviv posted the second straight win at the start of Euroleague regular season. They held off Montepaschi Siena in Israel tonight. Ricky Hickman (189-PG-85, college: NC-Greensboro) nailed 19 points for the hosts. Siena fell at 0-2 record after the loss. Montepaschi Siena strongly started the game. The Italian champions raced to a 20:14 lead at the first break. Maccabi stiffened defensively in the second quarter. The hosts held their opponents to 13 points in the second term to cut the margin to just 2 points at the interval 31:33. Maccabi erased the deficit in the third stanza. The home side snatched a 53:52 lead at the final intermission. Siena pulled back in front in the fourth frame. Ress made it 66:62 for the Italian team midway through the period. But Ricky Hickman came up with decisive points late in regulation. He sank four points to give Maccabi a 70:68 advantage with 4 seconds remaining. Marcelus Kemp (195-SG-84, agency: SportsTalent, college: Nevada) had a chance to send the game into overtime but missed a buzzer-beating jumper. Malcolm Thomas (206-C-88, college: San Diego St.) posted 14 points and 11 rebounds, while Lior Eliyahu added 11 points and 11 rebounds for the winning side. Marcelus Kemp answered with 16 points for Montepaschi. Bobby Brown netted 11 points in defeat.
Caja Laboral - Zalgiris 71-77 Zalgiris Kaunas stole the win from Caja Laboral Vitoria in Day 2 of EuroLeague. The Lithuanian team grabbed 2-0 record in Group C after 77:71 road victory. The Spanish outfit meanwhile dropped at 0-2 record. Caja Laboral Vitoria won the first period, but could not win the game. The guests replied with 17-10 in the second frame and took 5-point lead at the halftime. Moreover Zalgiris Kaunas added 17-16 in the third period as Mindaugas Kuzminskas and Fernando San Emeterio closed the period at 57:51. Rimantas Kaukenas (192-SG-77, college: Seton Hall) increased the lead to 10 points, but then the Spanish team managed to cut the deficit. Fernando San Emeterio cut it to 71:73, but Paulius Jankunas and Oliver Lafayette, made the final result in the game. Tremmell Darden (194-G/F-81, college: Niagara) top-scored for the winners with 17 points and Rimantas Kaukenas nailed 15. Brad Oleson (191-G-83, agency: Duran International, college: Alaska-Fairb.) finished the game with 13 points each for the hosts. Maciej Lampe nailed 12 and Fernando San Emeterio scored 9.
Cedevita - EA7 Armani 71-83 EA7 Emporio Armani registered the second straight win at the start of EuroLeague season. The Italian team fired past Cedevita in Zagreb tonight. Keith Langford (193-SG-83, college: Kansas) came up with 17 points to pace the winners. Cedevita fell at 0-2 record after the loss. Emporio Armani grabbed a 19:16 lead at the first break. The teams stayed close throughout the second frame. Cedevita still trailed by three points at the interval 40:37. Things hardly changed in the third term. The intensive period saw EA7 Armani secure a three-point lead at the final intermission 56:53. The visitors poured in 27 points in the fourth frame. Cedevita could not match the effort and had to surrender at the end. Omar-Sharif Cook (188-PG-82, agency: Beo Basket, college: St.John's) nailed 15 points, while Antonis Fotsis contributed 13 points in the win. Mickael Gelabale (201-SF-83, agency: Three Eye Sports) replied with 20 points for Cedevita. Bracey Wright chipped in 14 points in the defeat.
Anadolu Efes - Olympiacos 98-72 Anadolu Efes celebrated the first win in EuroLeague regular season. The Turkish team overpowered visiting Olympiakos in Istanbul tonight. Jordan Farmar (188-PG-86, college: UCLA) nailed 25 points, issued 9 assists and grabbed 8 rebounds to orchestrate victory. It was all over for Olympiakos after the starting quarter. Anadolu Efes silenced the visitors with a 30:13 outburst in the first ten minutes. The hosts did not slow down in the second frame. They stretched the margin to as many as 22 points at the interval 54:32. Olympiakos showed character in the third quarter. The Piraeus team fired 25 points to cut the deficit. But Anadolu Efes picked up the tempo in the final frame and cruised to the victory. Sasha Vujacic (201-SG-84) nailed 15 points, while Dusko Savanovic and Semih Erden netted 13 points apiece in the victory. Kyle Hines answered with 13 points for Olympiakos. Vassilis Spanoulis (193-G-82, agency: Beo Basket) stepped up with 14 points in the loss.
Brose Baskets - Besiktas 71-86 Besiktas JK Istanbul roll over Brose Baskets in Bamberg at the start of Day 2 in EuroLeague. The Turkish side did not have any difficulties reaching 86:71 win for 2-0 record in Group D. The German side fell at 0-2 record. Besiktas JK Istanbul immediately took the lead and won the first period 24-19. They continued their dominance and added 23-12 in the second quarter. Moreover the Turkish team needed 20-11 in the third quarter for a comfortable lead. Brose Baskets Bamberg only managed to win the last period 29-19 and reduced to final 15 points. Curtis Jerrells (185-G-87, college: Baylor) paced all the winners with 27 points and Muratcan Guler (192-G-80, agency: 1x1 Sports) scored 14. Damir Markota delivered 11, whilst Serhat Cetin and Patrick Christopher posted 9 each. Anton Gavel (188-PG-84, agency: Pro One Sports) ended up with 21 points in the losing effort and Bostjan Nachbar had 11. Maik Zirbes and Teddy Gipson followed them with 10 points apiece.
Lietuvos rytas - FCB Regal 49-67 FC Barcelona Regal wins the defensive battle at Siemens Arena. The Spanish outfit overcame Lietuvos Rytas 67:49. FC Barcelona Regal trailed 1-4 in the opening tip but managed to take 7:6 later in the first period. Pete Mickeal closed the first period for 13:8 and Juan Carlos Navarro (192-G-80) increased to 19:12 midway through the second frame. Lietuvos Rytas was too far to give up and replied with 17-14 in the period to reduce to 27:25 at the halftime. Moreover Renaldas Seibutis gave Rytas 30:29 and Predrag Samardziski brought 32:31. FC Barcelona Regal pushed the tempo at the end of the quarter and Marcelinho Huertas (191-PG-83, agency: Edge Sports) closed the period at 47:36. The guests won the last stanza 20-13 and clinched the comfortable win. Juan Carlos Navarro top-scored for the winners with 13 points and Joe Ingles (203-SF-87, agency: Priority Sports) nailed 11. Erazem Lorbek delivered 9, while Nathan Jawai and Pete Mickeal had 8 each. Leon Radosevic (206-C-90) finished the game with 11 points in defeat, while Renaldas Seibutis scored 8. Nemanja Nedovic and Deividas Dulkys scored 7 points each in defeat.
Partizan - CSKA 71-76 OT Sonny Weems (198-G/F-86, college: Arkansas) leads CSKA to overtime win in Belgrade. He scored 30 points to help the Russian Champions beat Partizan mt:s Belgrade 76:71. CSKA Moscow started better and grabbed 14:13 lead at the end of the first period. The Russian champion won the second frame 25-18 and led 8 points at the halftime. Viktor Khryapa scored for 47:39, but the hosts managed to reduce to 3 points after three quarters. Dejan Musli and Bogdan Bogdanovic (198-F-92) scored four points for 46:49 after 30 minutes. Moreover Leo Westermann cut it to 50:51, while Milos Teodosic (195-PG-87) brought the lead back to three points. Dejan Musli and Leo Westermann gave the hosts 55:53 lead, but Sonny Weems scored four points in a row for 57:55 CSKA advantage. Davis Bertans and Milos Teodosic exchanged the three-pointers for 60:60 with less than 2 minutes to go. Bogdan Bogdanovic made two free throws at the end of the fourth period for 62:62 and sent both teams to overtime. He gave his side 67:63 later in extra time, but Sonny Weems made two free throws for 67:65. Milos Teodosic and again Sonny Weems gave the Russian team 71:69. Milos Teodosic made two free throws for 74:69, while Sonny Weems made the same for 76:71. Milos Teodosic scored 12 points and Nenad Krstic notched 9. Bogdan Bogdanovic answered with 16 points in the losing effort and Leo Westermann had 15. Davis Bertans posted 11 points in defeat.
Adidas Next Generation tournament in Belgrade, February 24 - February 26 - 2 hours ago
Adidas Next Generation tournament will be played in Belgrade from February 24th until February 26th. Host of the tournament is KK Crvena Zvezda and all games will be played in Zeleznik. In group A are: KK Crvena Zvezda, KK Partizan, Ludwigsburg, Stellazurra and in group B Mega Bemax, Maccabi, Spars Sarajevo, Get better Academy Prague. KK Crvena Zvezda roster: Arijan Lakic, Aleksa Uskokovic, Lazar Zivanovic, Sergej Malesevic, Dusan Bubanja, Stefan Momirov, Vuk Djordjevic, Ranko Simovic, F... [read more]
Adidas Next Generation tournament will be played in Belgrade from February 24th until February 26th. Host of the tournament is KK Crvena Zvezda and all games will be played in Zeleznik. In group A are: KK Crvena Zvezda, KK Partizan, Ludwigsburg, Stellazurra and in group B Mega Bemax, Maccabi, Spars Sarajevo, Get better Academy Prague.
KK Crvena Zvezda roster: Arijan Lakic, Aleksa Uskokovic, Lazar Zivanovic, Sergej Malesevic, Dusan Bubanja, Stefan Momirov, Vuk Djordjevic, Ranko Simovic, Filip Karanovic, Zoran Paunovic, Milos Stajcic and Aleksa Ilic. Head coach Slobodan Klipa
KK Partizan roster: Davitkov Aleksanar, Stefan Adzic, Stevan Karapandzic, Ljubo Popovic, Mateja Jovanovic, Aleksa Popovic, Tadija Tadic, Bogdan Trifunovic, Boris Latinovic, Nemanja Bisevac, Dusan Tanaskovic, Bogdan Rutesic, Zarko Ecim, Filip Segota, Strahinja Grujanic and Aleksa Negovanovic. Head coach Aleksandar Bucan.
KK Mega Bemax: Nikola Miskovic, Igor Drobnjak, Altin Islamovic, Mihajlo Jovicic, Jovan Virjevic, Aleksa Matic, Aleksandar Langovic, Uros Trifunovic, Novak Miskovic, Petar Raickovic, Luka Cerovina, Bogdan Nedeljkovic, Danilo Matovic, Uros Draganic, Amar Mehic, Goga Bitadze
Games schedule, February 24th
Group A 10.00 - KK Crvena Zvezda Vs Ludwigsburg 12.00 - KK Partizan Vs Stellazzura 18.00 - Ludwigsburg Vs Stellazzura 20.00 - KK Crvena Zveza Vs KK Partizan
Group B 14.00 - KK Mega Bemax Vs Maccabi 16.00 - Spars Sarajevo Vs GBA Prague
You've lost that lovin' feelin'.. By Dimitris Katsionis on 13 February 2017 The greatest triumphs of propaganda have been achieved not by acting, but by omitting. Truth is important, but, from a practical viewpoint, hiding the truth is even more so.The Catalans are experiencing more intensely the feeling of a 'bad season' at Palau Blaugrana, however, very few focus on the real sources of the problem. Hoopfellas sheds light to the Barcelona situation. Once the Egyptians built pyramids.... [read more]
You've lost that lovin' feelin'..
By Dimitris Katsionis on 13 February 2017
The greatest triumphs of propaganda have been achieved not by acting, but by omitting. Truth is important, but, from a practical viewpoint, hiding the truth is even more so.The Catalans are experiencing more intensely the feeling of a 'bad season' at Palau Blaugrana, however, very few focus on the real sources of the problem. Hoopfellas sheds light to the Barcelona situation.
Once the Egyptians built pyramids. The Greeks built the Parthenon. Europeans built their amazing cathedrals during the Middle Ages. The Americans built their incredible skyscrapers. Coach Bartsokas built Euroleague basketball rosters..
Today, after a season at Krasnodar, where he got extremely close to a triumph , he feels doubt knocking on his door in a situation that is his dream job. Barcelona's performance in the previous Euroleague game (before last night's 92-72 against Manresa) against Galata was not just a bad night, nor a bad gameplan from the coaching staff, or the players' failure to execute that plan. The problem is deeper. Barcelona is 'ill' and have been dragging their illness within a toxic (for them) situation for quite some time now. At this point the people's reactions have put more pressure on everyone, from the front office to the last person in the coaching staff. What is really happening though? Is this unnatural or realistic?
Great changes: In order to build, you have to dismantle...
George Bartsokas beat Barcelona last year and did not allow them to get to the Final 4. Barcelona had many problems in areas they used to be strong: defence and rebounding. At the same time, there was a strong feeling of wanting something fresh, a change that would regenerate the cells of the basketball section at Palau Blaugrana. The 52 year old coach was deemed the most appropriate person to improve the team in these areas aiming to change their character in the second half of the season and the title games. We have pointed out the coach's effort to change the nature of Barcelona's defence under the guidance of coach Bartsokas, and it is obvious that there is an intention to give the team a more aggressive character and bring another culture to Palau Blaugrana. They would not be an artistic team, but a fighting team. However, in the 'city of artists' the culture the coach was bringing with him is not a radical change, but a painful shock on Barcelona's basketball section, which is used to other norms. This is a complex procedure that takes time. On one hand, the team's ability to add players and satisfy what the coach wants has been a matter of discussion, but, on the other hand it is not easy for a coach to do what he has in mind, when there is already a 9 player roster when he joins the team, especially if these players have entirely different ideals. Last year at Krasnodar, he chose 5 out of the 7 core players of the team in another situation altogether.
Good thinking, bad placement.
Tyrece Rice is an experienced player. He is one of the very few guards that can take over the game and bring their opponent to their knees when he starts his engines. The F4 in Milan gave him the contract -if not the label -of a proven winner. The American guard played excellent basketball at Moscow, where together with Petteri Coponen, they were the Khimki's driving force, as they are two guards that are excellent in creating for their teammates and execute through personal plays. The fun to watch offense of Khimki, looked like a train which goes in the rights track with these guards. Correct... Coach Bartsokas invested in this image, and the chemistry these two players had developed, and he believed that he would be able to count on them for the new Barcelona offense. The screenplay's adaptation to the cinema was not that simple and it was presented with certain difficulties.
Both David Blatt's Maccabi and Khimki were a completely different environment from the one coach Bartsokas is trying to establish in Barcelona since last summer. They have major differences to what this year's Barcelona is playing; this is not turning a page, but altering the book altogether. Rimas Kurtinaitis' Khimki was methodically one of the best-structured offences in Europe. They relied on the principle 'the ball travels faster than a pair of feet' and built an offence which was, without a hint of exaggeration, a mixture of Passing-Spacing & Movement, like the one Brose is playing today in half court and the fast pace of CSKA, playing in a high tempo and relying on Rice's ability to make the fast break in conjunction with the ability of his teammates to run the court 'together' (top in deploying). All the players that went to the Moscow region that year were chosen to serve a specific purpose in Kurtinaitis' plan. Big guys such as Augustine, Paul Davis, Monya, Loncar, floor spacers such as KC Rivers-Fridzon, playmakers with the ability to both create and execute (Sved, Koponen, Rice). Clearly a different environment both competitively and emotionally (in regards to pressure and expectations)
This year, Rice is asked to function in a different environment, which does not stress his main skills. He has less chances to run and create in the open court, whereas in set basketball, poor spacing (especially since Tomic's performance is in free fall) and the increased amount of turnovers (derived from the fact that the players have not yet learned to function together and play next to each other). The American does not have the final step of Mike James in order to get to the rim. He is, however, extremely agile in the open court, even when he does not score. After Renfroe was added, and following the nights where Rice's wreckage hit rock bottom, as Barcelona completely depended on him in the final minutes of the games, I was convinced that the coach would try the guard pair of Renfroe-Koponen in the starting unit, which can put more pressure on the ball and maybe circulate the ball faster in half court. We did not see that happen. Maybe (just maybe) the coach should process the idea of giving Rice a 6th player role, without decreasing his playing time.
Post Presence What..?
It's a fact that coach George Bartsokas' strengths were never associated with the creation of a very effective diverse offence. He had never showed anything complex in this part, and he was never an offensive minded guru who would build an offense that would open one door after the other, where movement would be harmonious and would have deep roots of fundamentals. He relies more on the release of offensive energy through defence, in the exemplary execution of situations in the weak side or the PnR and mainly on the individual ability of his players, who preferably should 'be able to shoot and pass properly'. Compared to the previous regime at Barcelona, his offensive philosophy represents a simpler, more direct approach, which is faster to learn. How easy is it, when the ground where you intend to sow is not fertile...?
In Barcelona, the fans and mainly the athletes themselves are used to a totally different competitive context. They are used to watch a good offense that is based on certain principles and teams that execute quickly both in the open court and half court. It is written in their DNA 'quality team offense and the player's individual talent becomes part of the team '. They like artists, not macho fighters. The change in what they are watching is a 'poor image' of this 'poor' period and this is what concerns them the most. Before the ... goodbye waving, especially at a time when Barcelona was having players come back from injuries and showed signs of a comeback, I had pointed out that their limited offense is what bothers more in Barcelona, not the bad results for a crowd that is used to (and demands) to see a good show. This is of course subjective. This is my two cents, for what they're worth. A good show may mean hustle plays, passion, simple albeit correct cooperations. The answer always varies depending on the mentality of the crowd and the identity the organisation has established.
Barcelona 2015-16 Barcelona 2016-17 70.3 PACE 68.9 111,0 OFF RATING 105,0 53.8 eFG% 52.2 105,3 DEF RATING 110.2
These numbers are not listed to compare the work of a coach that is on the bench for almost a decade to a coach that replaced him a few months ago, but to show the difference of how an average fan of the Catalan team sees it (in regards to what is offered). Coach Bartsokas has almost never effectively worked with Post-5s like Tomic. He got to a city and a situation where the team relied on a Heavy Post Offence in order to establish their offensive production and he knew that he would face certain difficulties in order to change things. The simpler, less complicated and with fewer offensive abilities roster of Krasnodar is not the same as the one he found in Barcelona, where there are many good scorers (without athleticism, not the most physical players and not the best defenders) and certain offensive characteristics, which he was expected to combine properly, mix all these ingredients and make a good dish. So, when your offensive philosophy is connected with certain situations and is not versatile, it is not easy to absorb all these characteristics and find an active role for all the players in your offense. It is much more difficult than in cases where you have two or three scorers and a few soldiers to support them and secure them by playing in a certain way with roles being clear.
Lack of athleticism and 'thirst'...
Last year,Barcelona showed signs of concern in areas that used to be the pillars of their game, such as defence and rebounding, and, as we pointed out earlier, the coach's resume would guarantee improvement in certain areas, which in title matches (especially in the Euroleague) are essential. However...
For coach Bartsokas this offseason there was the problem that he found players that were important for the organisation, who:
-most of them did not have the 'thirst' to go for the top, being over the hill in their carriers AND
-their presence required minutes that had their offensive, not their defensive performance as a point of reference.
The 'four Spanish players' rule 'tightened the rope' around the Catalan team's neck; they paid more than he was worth for Claver, they lost early the facilitator, Ribas, who provided balance for their backcourt and they were forced to rely (yet again and again and again) on the pair of Navaro-Oleson (36 and 33 years old). Under normal circumstances each of the former stars of the team (Navaro is the team itself, not just a star...) would play the role of the fifth guard in this year's backcourt, where La Bomba plays for 16 minutes and Oleason for 21.9 minutes, with everything that comes with that.
For Barcelona, in the competitive part (in the financial there was a profit) the fact that they lost two players like Satoranski and Abrines, who crossed over the Atlantic last year, from their backcourt was a great loss. Their absence left a great void in the physical/athletic package and the freshness they brought to the backcourt, and that void was never covered. Two guards that brought size, pace, defensive stops and both half court and transition execution, but mainly two players in a great age, away from lacking the 'thirst' of winning and constant recognition. The new day has already come at Palau Blaugrana and it finds Beracelona wearing the same worn-out clothes...
At the same time, the Catalans, much to everyone's surpsise, kept two light 4s with face up game and peripheral execution (Doelman, Vezeknov), while Claver moves to '3' in order to cover the absence of a defensive stopper in a position where the team has a void, which seems to be there on purpose (but wrongfully, as it turns out) and is not covered in order for everyone to fit in the rotation, by playing sometimes Big and sometimes Small, which results in the team not finding their rythm. Barcelona's frontcourt is Soft in the paint, and this is what restricts them from being more physical in their defence and put the pressure by putting their hand on the opponent. Ante Tomic is the tragic figure, like last year for a long while (you do remember our discussion, right?), and his stats in the last 5 Euroleague games are 3.2 points with 6/24 shots (and 7.9 rebounds)... I sincerely don't know if Faverani was the coach's decision, whereas Diagne's return was deemed necessary.
Under these circumstances and taking into account the constant injuries they have had to face so far, it has been difficult to gradually build piece-by-piece a good defence, which was the key for the coach's success last year at Krasnodar. Remember Bartsokas' view on how difficult it is to convince a Russian player to play concentrated defence for 40 minutes (which was his biggest problem when he got the job in western Russia.
To sum up, gentlemen, the coach is trying to radically change the psyche of this organisation. This is the reason why what we see Barcelona play at this time looks 'ugly'. Weird... If coach Bartsokas can make it and keep his position, he may be able to set the stage for something better, healthier and most of all different from what people are used to see in the next season and focus on ACB for this year. Just remember Fener's basketball in Obradovic's first season in Istanbul to understand the hardships the Greek coach has to face in order to establish his own competitive principles in an environment with a different culture. It won't be easy. However, every radical change, especially in an organisation with tradition, a certain basketball identity, is a difficult task. Nevertheless, seeing a Greek coach being at the head of the 'legend' of Catalonia is important. Coach, I hope (and secretly expect) that this time you will not 'be the change you want to see'.
Brose Baskets extend deal with Nikolaos Zisis - 5 days ago
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2019. Nikolaos Zisis joined Bamberg back in 2015. He averages 7.7 points, 4.5 assists and 1.9 rebounds per game in EuroLeague. In BBL Zisis notches 8.1 points, 2.1 rebounds and 3.7 assists per appearance. Nikolaos Zisis has been the member of the Greek National Team since 2002. [read more]
Nikolaos Zisis and Brose Baskets have agreed on terms of contract extension. The Greek guard will stay with the German champions through 2019. Nikolaos Zisis joined Bamberg back in 2015. He averages 7.7 points, 4.5 assists and 1.9 rebounds per game in EuroLeague. In BBL Zisis notches 8.1 points, 2.1 rebounds and 3.7 assists per appearance. Nikolaos Zisis has been the member of the Greek National Team since 2002.
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