American Shawn James (207-C-83, agency: Z.A.G. - Law Offices) put on an amazing game in the last round for league's second-best Maccabi T-A and that's him to receive a Eurobasket.com Player of the Week award for round 7. The 29-year old center had a double-double of 22 points and twelve rebounds, while his team was edged out by Montepaschi (#3, 4-3) 89-87. Maccabi T-A maintains the 2nd position in Euroleague group B. They would have been even better if they did not have these two lost games earlier in Regular Season. Maccabi T-A will need to avoid more loses keep or improve their 5-2 record. It's James' second year at Maccabi T-A and it's hard to imagine this team without him. Shawn James averages this season 9.9ppg and 5.4rpg.
The second most remarkable performance in last round's games was 25-year old Croatian center Ante Tomic (217-C-87) of league's best team FCB Regal. Tomic impressed basketball fans with 17 points and 7 rebounds. Of course he lead FCB Regal to another comfortable win outscoring the lower-ranked Lietuvos rytas (#6, 1-6) 90-66. Of course FCB Regal still keep group D's top spot. He plays for the best team in the league and FCB Regal managed to win all 7 games keeping perfect record. Tomic is a newcomer at FCB Regal and despite he is not a team leader yet, every game he becomes more reliable player. Hopefully performances like the last one will happen more often.
The third best performed player last round was American Blake Schilb (200-G/F-83, agency: Z.A.G. - Law Offices) of Chalon (#5). Schilb showcased his all-around game by recording 21 points, seven rebounds and seven assists in the last round. Despite Schilb's great performance Chalon lost 82-87 to slightly higher-ranked ALBA (#4, 3-4). But his team cannot count on just a single player as he also needs help of the other teammates. Chalon can only dream about fighting for top spots in group B. They have rather bad season and 2-5 record places them close to the bottom of the standings. Too bad for Schilb he does not play for a better team. But maybe if he did, his season stats would not be that high. Schilb has a very solid season. In 7 games in Euroleague he scored 15.1ppg. He also has 4.7rpg and 4.0apg.
Other top performing players last week: 4. Rudy Fernandez (198-SF-85) of Real Madrid - 23 points and 3 assists 5. Nikola Mirotic (207-F/C-91) of Real Madrid - 17 points, 8 rebounds and 2 assists 6. Juan Carlos Navarro (192-G-80) of FCB Regal - 24 points, 2 rebounds and 4 assists 7. Michael Bramos (197-G/F-87) of Panathinaikos - 21 points and 9 rebounds 8. Alen Omic (215-C-92) of Un.Olimpija - 13 points and 13 rebounds 9. Zach Morley (203-F-83) of ALBA - 11 points, 9 rebounds and 5 assists 10. Ioannis Bourousis (213-C-83) of EA7 Armani - 11 points, 12 rebounds and 2 assists
The Player of the week is choosen based on efficiency calculation, but also including game result, importance of the game, if played recorded double-double/triple-double, etc. The efficiency formula is a combination of various formulas used by different basketball organizations/leagues. We got involved many basketball scouts and journalists to assure it's accuracy. The formula: 1.5*PTS + 3*(REB+AST+ST+BL-TO) - 2*BSAG - 4*PF + 3*PFRV + 4*(2FGPM+3FGPM) + 1.5*FTM - 3*(2FGPA-2FGPM) - 3*(3FGPA-3FGPM) - (FTA-FTM)
From know on, no accomplishment of this true mastermind of the benches, named David Blatt , will ever qualify as a surprise. Before the Playoffs I had even highlighted that he brings out his best self when he's in an 'outsider' position. Therefore, after the first week of Playoffs, the man to be getting the 'most exciting hero' title for the first two games in my own ceremony wouldn't be my all-time favorite soloist Bogdan Bogdanovic but Princeton's genius, this deeply spiritual sportsman. [read more]
From know on, no accomplishment of this true mastermind of the benches, named David Blatt , will ever qualify as a surprise. Before the Playoffs I had even highlighted that he brings out his best self when he's in an 'outsider' position. Therefore, after the first week of Playoffs, the man to be getting the 'most exciting hero' title for the first two games in my own ceremony wouldn't be my all-time favorite soloist Bogdan Bogdanovic but Princeton's genius, this deeply spiritual sportsman.
Many times during this week I have exclaimed my admiration for the computerized basketball of the Serbian wing and the perfect accuracy of execution on a defense which (unfortunately) we witnessed a lot; On Friday night, however, I understood that for the way I personally view the sport (and so expressing a clearly personal opinion) nothing is more thrilling than the speed with which Blatt plays the match in his mind, alternates his thoughts and adapts to what's happening, being constantly ahead, preparing with precision the next offense, the next defense.. Watching a complex defense, strictly structured for a particular situation in Real's offense, with specific, short-terms goals, to be lining up by switching from zone to man to man defense in the last seconds is something that encloses all the charm of this (not simple in the least but) complex sport. ld School coaching translated in the basis of contemporary basketball. A Chesterfield sofa and a Francis Scott Fitzgerald book inside a spaceship..
Blatt pulled out from the edge of the bench a dusty Luke Harangody (202-PF-88, college: Notre Dame) (leaving aside Moerman, just 13 in total in two matches) who brings in mind the player Doc Rivers used to have in the starting unit in training, next to the Big-3 to avoid getting one of them injured. The Notre Dame graduate has 9.5 points with 100% in three pointers (5/5) in the first two matches, but his altruism and 'play to the max' character has inspired his teammates. Darussafaka has built its entire tactics within the Small ball context (Clyburn/Anderson often at '4', important in rotation even though Slaughter is not ready, Two-guard units); they also use 1-3-1 (sometimes offensively with traping and sometimes not) as their combat vehicle on defense while synchronizing the trap they are setting against Llull's man to man in the main lane (after the first dribble, precisely at the time of the decision in order to have help in the first step and a hand in the face if his goes up for a three pointer without fearing penetration). Against Blatt's 1-3-1 (Clyburn at the 'head' against Llull, Wanamaker -the player combining running and IQ better than anyone else- as the last player in the baseline for the sprints along the base line) Madrid hasn't reacted properly. They haven't found Short Threes from the corners with Carroll, they are unable to combine passing the ball from side to side and Skip passes to force the zone into constant shifting, they don't use back screens to hit on the back of the defense. At the same time, Blatt is laughing, exchanging High Fives with his assistants in the bench.. Darussafaka withstood the offense from the Madrilenos' heavy artillery when Llull scored 5 three pointers during the third period and remained standing with Wilbekin scoring a huge basket at the end, which is telling of how much he has matured and improved this year.
It goes without saying that the Madrilenos are still the front runners of the competition, but they are now aware that things have changed. Objectively speaking, it is difficult for Darussafaka to beat Madrid three times in a row, but the next match is the key. Coach Laso's team shot 8/15 three pointers on Wednesday but only 9/30 on Friday, which (together with the rebounds) determined the context within the four lines. The third game is a great test for Madrid (they have proved that they can win such matches away from home and this is the reason they are still the front runners) against an opponent with more limited quality depth but very well prepared for war on a tactical and psychological level..
32-year old Italian international power forward Andrea Bargnani (213-113kg-85) left Baskonia Vitoria Gasteiz (Liga Endesa). In 14 games he had 11.5ppg and 2.5rpg this season. He helped them to make it to the semifinals. Bargnani also played 15 games in Euroleague where he recorded 8.8ppg and 1.8rpg. The last season he played at the Nets in NBA. In 46 games he averaged 6.6ppg and 2.1rpg. In 2006 Bargnani was drafted by Toronto Raptors (NBA) as #1 pick overall. The list of the past achievem... [read more]
32-year old Italian international power forward Andrea Bargnani (213-113kg-85) left Baskonia Vitoria Gasteiz (Liga Endesa). In 14 games he had 11.5ppg and 2.5rpg this season. He helped them to make it to the semifinals. Bargnani also played 15 games in Euroleague where he recorded 8.8ppg and 1.8rpg. The last season he played at the Nets in NBA. In 46 games he averaged 6.6ppg and 2.1rpg. In 2006 Bargnani was drafted by Toronto Raptors (NBA) as #1 pick overall. The list of the past achievements is quite long as among others he was voted Eurobasket.com All-Europeans Honorable Mention back in 2009, 2012 and 2013. Bargnani has been also a member of Italian international program for some years. He has regularly played for Italian senior team since 2004 and previously for U18 National Team in 2002. Bargnani represented Italy at the European Championships two years ago. His stats at that event were 8 games: 14.8ppg, 3.6rpg, FGP: 51.4%, 3PT: 47.6%, FT: 92.3%. Bargnani has played previously professionally in NBA (New York Knicks) and Italy (Benetton Treviso, Mens Sana 1871 Siena and Roma S.Azzurra). On Bargnani:
Reminds a lot Gregor Fucka, has long legs and arms, loves to play front to the basket; if he will add a reliable outside shot, his future is at 3 position;
Outlook (by NBADraft.TK):
Strengths: Great body and very good athleticism for a player of his size. Very skilled offensive player with a lot of solutions to score: shoots well from any distance, hit the three with good accuracy, can beat his defender off the dribble and finish a fast-break after running the court well. Fluid shooting mechanics. Has a quick release. Can play NBA SF position due to his great ball-handling qualities and very good speed. Smart moves in front of the basket: he likes to start out at the 3pt line, beat his defender with his first step and finish with a one-hand slam. Patient offensively, knows when to make the pass and when to take the shot. On defence he's a good shot-blocker under the basket. Hard worker and determined player.
Weaknesses: Needs to gain some more weight to play PF. Not a very good rebounder despite his height so he has to improve his skills. Does not get good position while rebounding. Is too weak to get good position under the basket. Needs to improve his low post moves. Has to improve his defence on small forwards. He gets beat off the dribble easily by quicker players. Needs to play focused all the time.
Baskonia - CSKA 88:90 CSKA advanced into EuroLeague Final Four. They nipped Baskonia in Vitoria-Gasteiz tonight to sweep the series. Cory Higgins (195-G-89, college: Colorado) stepped up with 21 points to pace the defending champions. It was another dramatic clash between the sides. Baskonia grabbed a 24:22 lead after the opening frame. CSKA stayed within striking distance. The visitors got as close as one point at halftime 43:44. CSKA unleashed 29 points in the third term to pull ahead. [read more]
Baskonia - CSKA 88:90
CSKA advanced into EuroLeague Final Four. They nipped Baskonia in Vitoria-Gasteiz tonight to sweep the series. Cory Higgins (195-G-89, college: Colorado) stepped up with 21 points to pace the defending champions. It was another dramatic clash between the sides. Baskonia grabbed a 24:22 lead after the opening frame. CSKA stayed within striking distance. The visitors got as close as one point at halftime 43:44. CSKA unleashed 29 points in the third term to pull ahead. The visitors secured a narrow 72:70 lead heading into the fourth term. Nando De Colo (196-SG-87) and Aaron Jackson gave CSKA an 84:74 lead with under three minutes remaining in regulation. But Shane Larkin (180-PG-92, college: Miami, FL) unloaded 13 points for Baskonia to put them within two 88:90 with 8 seconds left. Nando De Colo committed a turnover giving a chance for the hosts. But Shane Larkin and Adam Hanga got blocked on last attempts and CSKA got away with a key victory in Game 3. Nando De Colo chipped in 15 points, while Milos Teodosic (195-PG-87) had 13 points for the winners. Tornike Shengelia (206-F-91) answered with 19 points for Baskonia. Chase Budinger (201-SF-88, college: Arizona) banked in 15 points in the defeat.
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