Let's take a look to the latest Euroleague power rankings, just one game before the end of TOP-16's first round..
1. Real Madrid (6-0): Best defense so far in the TOP-16.. (66.7 PPG), top-offensive rebounding team.. Real showed it can win at both fast and slow pace, although its offense is not so productive. Carrol's performance against CSKA was a classic..
2. Barcelona (5-1): The Catalonians are the top favorite for their group's first place, after their two very convincing wins against the underdogs (Caja Laboral & Montepaschi). Pasqual's style remains the same, based on a very quality post offense which includes high speed in the half court and a very effective defense. They performed bad only in Moscow, against Khimki..
3. CSKA Moscow (4-2): After two straight losses Messina indentified different issues, by the time CSKA was showing improvement, beginning to move in the direction the Italian had carved. The Russians have defensive problems in addition to their productive offense which thrives in the paint and has an improved ball movement (Micov is the key player on that). Christmas is under a silent punishment. CSKA is on 4-2 but i think it will run after groups first place until the end..
4. Montepaschi (5-1): Montepaschi had a tremendous run in the top-16, having it's first loss in Palau Blaugrana.. Banchi's high-octaine offense and low mistake basketball seems that it feets a lot to this group of players but the nature of Montepaschi's style is not the same after Ress got injured as the coaching staff has to play more with Eze on "5" spot. The Italian powerhouse is on the market, looking for a guard
5. Efes Anadolu (5-1): Oktay Mahmuti quietly has unveiled an improved defensive Efes (69.5ppg), which ranks second behind Real Madrid, counting only one defeat, in the first game at Moscow. Offense still wants work, as it has not reached the level of fair and cooperative creation but at 44.1% which forces the opponent to shoot two pointers is definitely flattering. If they win Real next week, they can be (maybe for the first time so seriously this year) in the talks for London.. (?)
6. Caja Laboral (4-2): Started with an impressive 4-0 with a couple amazing performances but now the Basques count two straight losses (one "bad", from Khimky) plus they have to live without Oleson, who was their perimeter's line equalizer. Caja, which seems more comfortable and less stressed in the court with Tabak, places a very good ball movement and an effective transition offense. It's the team with the fewer mistakes in the TOP-16, putting an impressive 158.7% in the assists/turnovers ratio. The wings performance will be critical (Causer has a big chance to show up). It seems they will fight for the post season until TOP-16's last day..
-Khimky (3-3): Khimki performs like a play-off team. This is it's level at least. Very good chemistry and floor spacing in the offensive end, very effective when they attack on the transition or in the half court.. Rivers started shooting better and Paul is on the rise.The Russians have the quality to qualify..
8. Panathinaikos (4-2): The Greens have big offensive problem due to the choices in the point guard position. The team plays good defense, but doesn't performs well on the boards any more. Panathinaikos tries to sign Fotsis but the truth is that in OAKA they need a strong-defensive minded PG..
-Olympiakos (3-3): The champs don't perform well and Mantzaris's injury is crucial to the team's chemistry. Olympiakos seems it lost it's hard caliber. The Reds are on the market for a PG..
10. Zalgiris (2-4): Zalgiris is much better team than its 2-4 record.. Excellent defense -which forces the opponent to many turnovers- with principles. Lets see how the financial problems will affect the team.. Although, I believe that they could be the "dark horse" in the second round..
11. Maccabi (2-4): Bad recruiting from Maccabi this year.. Blatt tries to find a solution but his team simply performs bad with an imbalanced offense (too much inside game which is not supported with effective perimeter shooting. Maccabi needs a big second round..
12. Unicaja (2-4): Unicajas game is like Malagas atmosphere. Allegro.
13. Fenerbahce (1-5): Allows 91.7 ppg on the defensive end, a 63% percentage on the opponents 2pt shots, plus the worst rebounding team in the TOP-16...It can't be worse..
14. Alba Berlin (1-5): Obradovic tries to present a decent team on the court which plays hard nose defense but doesn't have the quality (especially in the guards) to put big numbers on offense. The whole project (a new big market, the arena and the crowd) is very tempting for Euroleague
15. Brose Baskets (0-6): The Germans play much better on the road. Their offense has a continuous motion and they are shooting pretty well behind the arc but theit defense is truly bad. Brose Baskets added J. Massey hoping for a win..
-Besiktas (0-6): Besiktas let me down.. The hard nosed and competitive team of the first months doesn't exist anymore. Daniel Ewing was a bad choice.. The Turkish haven't any motivation and they play ugly basketball, although there no way- the worst TOP-16..
Historic season to culminate with 2017 Final Four in Istanbul! - 1 day ago
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A world-class city that witnessed two of pro basketball's most spectacular season-ending shots ever will have the same opportunity again next spring when the 2017 Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Final Four returns to Istanbul, Turkey, Euroleague Basketball announced on Tuesday. Istanbul will host the best four EuroLeague teams from May 19 to 21 in what is sure to be a thrilling finish to a ground-breaking season, the first in European basketball history in which all the teams in the continent... [read more]
A world-class city that witnessed two of pro basketball's most spectacular season-ending shots ever will have the same opportunity again next spring when the 2017 Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Final Four returns to Istanbul, Turkey, Euroleague Basketball announced on Tuesday. Istanbul will host the best four EuroLeague teams from May 19 to 21 in what is sure to be a thrilling finish to a ground-breaking season, the first in European basketball history in which all the teams in the continent's premier competition are guaranteed to play each other. The 2017 Final Four will take place for the second time at the Sinan Erdem Dome, which officially opened its doors on April 16, 2010 and two years later played host to a memorable Final Four that was one of the most successful in EuroLeague history. "Basketball has seen outstanding growth in Turkey in recent years, while Istanbul already has a Final Four tradition that's second to none, so we are excited to be crowning the EuroLeague champion there next May," Jordi Bertomeu, Euroleague Basketball President and CEO, said. "We will return to the Sinan Erdem Dome, one of the finest arenas anywhere in which to watch basketball and the perfect venue to culminate a season in which fans will see all the stars in their own cities for the first time in history. With the way Turkish fans continue embracing the EuroLeague more and more each year, it will be great to have them with us for the very biggest games at the Final Four." The event will feature an expansion of a strong relationship begun at the start of this decade between Euroleague Basketbal and Turkish Airlines, which had a pivotal role in bringing the Final Four back to Turkey and will host the event, as well. As title sponsor of the competition, Turkish Airlines heads a family of Euroleague Basketball partners in Turkey to which a new member was recently added, Odeabank. The season's crowning weekend also will mark the first Final Four to be held under the 10-year joint venture between Euroleague Basketball and IMG. 'We highly treasure our partnership with Euroleague Basketball because it has allowed us for many years to be part of a great sport - commented Mr lker Ayci - This year we are even more proud to be the title sponsor of this championship, since the Final Four will actually take place in our city of birth and global hub, Istanbul. We are sure that the international atmosphere and innovative traits of our city will add an extra touch of innovation and thrill to such an amazing event. Furthermore, every year we commit to ideating, together with Euroleague Basketball, new and exciting ways to deliver a sporting experience that truly goes beyond expectations to all basketball fans and travellers'. Istanbul has been the unforgettable scene of an unmatched history of memorable Final Four moments. The 1992 Final Four ended with legend Aleksandar Djordjevic making a three-point shot with time running out as Partizan Belgrade won its only continental title in an upset at Abdi Ipekci Arena. Two decades later, Olympiacos Piraeus rallied from 19 points behind with 11 minutes to play at Sinan Erdem to defeat CSKA Moscow on the season's final shot, by Georgios Printezis. The Sinan Erdem Dome has a capacity for 16,000 spectators for basketball and, in addition to the 2012 Final Four, has hosted such prestigious basketball events as the 2010 world championships. The upcoming 2016-17 Turkish Airlines EuroLeague season that ends in Istanbul will be the first in which there is no possibility that two opponents can meet for the first time at the Final Four. The new competition system features 30 regular season games among the competition's 16 teams, each playing the other 15 both home and away before four playoff series decide the semifinalists who will compete for the title in Istanbul. As such, the champion who wears the crown in Istanbul next May will always be remembered as the first who had to go through every single one of the very best clubs in Europe in order to survive. The new champion must play a minimum of 35 games, as well, making it also the longest season ever to survive in order to become Europe's elite club competition champion. The 2016-17 EuroLeague season opens on October 12 in the Spanish capital of Madrid with the replay of the first game of the modern EuroLeague on the same date in 2001, Real Madrid vs. Olympiacos Piraeus. Courtesy of: euroleague.net
Melih Mahmutoglu extends contract with Fenerbahce - 22 hours ago
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193-G-90) and Fenerbahce have agreed on terms of a new contract. The guard has penned a new three-year deal with the Istanbul powerhouse. Melih Mahmutoglu has been playing for Fenerbahce since 2013. Last season the guard notched 6.0 points and 1.0 boards per game in BSL. In EuroLeague his stats read 4.0 points per appearance. He has been the member of the Turkish National Team since 2013. [read more]
Melih Mahmutoglu (193-G-90) and Fenerbahce have agreed on terms of a new contract. The guard has penned a new three-year deal with the Istanbul powerhouse. Melih Mahmutoglu has been playing for Fenerbahce since 2013. Last season the guard notched 6.0 points and 1.0 boards per game in BSL. In EuroLeague his stats read 4.0 points per appearance. He has been the member of the Turkish National Team since 2013.
Defending champion CSKA Moscow (VTB) tabbed 29-year old American forward Jeff Ayres (206-109kg-87, college: Arizona State). He played most recently at LA Clippers in the NBA. But in 19 games he averaged just 1.7ppg and 1.2rpg last season. Ayres also played that season for another team D-Fenders in U.S. semi-pro league D-League where in two games he had very impressive stats: 16.5ppg, 13.0rpg and 1.5apg. In 2009 he was drafted by Sacramento Kings (NBA) in second round (31st overall). The f... [read more]
Defending champion CSKA Moscow (VTB) tabbed 29-year old American forward Jeff Ayres (206-109kg-87, college: Arizona State). He played most recently at LA Clippers in the NBA. But in 19 games he averaged just 1.7ppg and 1.2rpg last season. Ayres also played that season for another team D-Fenders in U.S. semi-pro league D-League where in two games he had very impressive stats: 16.5ppg, 13.0rpg and 1.5apg. In 2009 he was drafted by Sacramento Kings (NBA) in second round (31st overall). The former Arizona State staris in his eighth season in pro basketball. Ayres was selected to D-League All-Star Game in 2016. He won NBA championship title in 2014. He has played previously professionally in NBA (Portland Trail Blazers, San Antonio Spurs and Indiana Pacers) and D-League (Salt Lake City Stars and Iowa Energy). Let's have closer look into Ayres' outlook:
(by Borko Popic for NBADraft.net in 2009)
He is a competitor, battles at all times to establish post position and is very active His motor is excellent and he shows it by running the floor as well as anyone in the country Around the basket he is very active and he knows how to move without the ball to get to open spaces Has been the beneficiary of some great passes, but a lot of it has to do with his ability to read the action as well as being able to catch pretty much any pass that is thrown his way.
His repertoire in the post is limited, as a result he does not demand much attention from defenses Struggles getting his shot of against bigger defenders.
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