Brose Bask. - Zalgiris 87-88 OT Zalgiris clinched a last-second overtime victory in Bamberg tonight. They edged Brose Baskets when Marko Popovic (185-G-82, agency: Alti Sport, college: S.Idaho JC) sank three free throws at the buzzer. Brose Baskets seemed just whisker away from the victory after two free throws from Anton Gavel (188-PG-84, agency: Pro One Sports) with 15 seconds to go in the extra period. But Anton Gavel committed a crucial mistake on the other end of the floor. He fouled Marko Popovic in the process of a three-point shot at the buzzer putting the Croat on the penalty line with no time remaining on the clock. Marko Popovic calmly sank three free throws and sealed the victory for Zalgiris. The win helped Zalgiris gain 3-4 record in Group E. Brose Baskets suffered the seventh loss in a row. Zalgiris enjoyed a 38:36 lead at halftime. They remained up by two points heading into the fourth frame. But Bamberg managed to level things up at the end of regulation. Anton Gavel converted four free throws following a technical foul by Darjus Lavrinovic to send the game into overtime. The visitors led by as many as 5 points midway through the extra frame but Sharrod Ford and Anton Gavel denied the deficit and put Brose Baskets in front. But the drama of the last seconds allowed Zalgiris came out as winners from this one. Marko Popovic produced 21 points for the visitors. Rimantas Kaukenas added 14 points for Zalgiris. Anton Gavel answered with 25 points for Brose Baskets. Sharrod Ford had 20 points in the loss.
Anadolu Efes - Real Madrid 74-72 Anadolu Efes down Real Madrid in Istanbul to hand them their first loss in EuroLeague Top 16. The Turkish side tied both records at 6-1 and grabbed the first place in Group E after a 74:72 win. Real looked miserable from the start of the game and had so many mistakes in defense. The Spanish team trailed 4 points after the first quarter and then lost the first half 36:46. Anadolu Efes slowed down a bit in the third period and allowed the guests to reduce to 5 points after 30 minutes. Real even took the lead early in the fourth, but could not win the game. Dusko Savanovic (204-PF-83, agency: Beo Basket) scored 3 out of 4 last free throws and gave them 74:72 lead. Jaycee Carroll had a chance to bring the win, but missed a three-pointer. Jamon Lukas Gordon (191-SG-84, college: Virginia Tech) top-scored for the winners with 16 points and Dusko Savanovic added 13. Jordan Farmar delivered 10, while Sasha Vujacic posted 9. Rudy Fernandez (198-SF-85) replied with 14 points in the losing effort and Felipe Reyes as well as Jaycee Carroll posted 11 points apiece. Mirza Begic followed them with 10 points in a loss.
ALBA - Unicaja 65-67 Unicaja Malaga thump Alba Berlin in O2 World for 3-4 record in Group E. The Spanish outfit grabbed 67:65 win mostly due to the third period. The German side fell at 1-6 record. Unicaja Malaga won the first period 22:20, but could not win the half. The hosts erupted with 22-12 and grabbed 42:34 at the halftime. The third period however was decisive in the game as Unicaja Malaga needed a 21-9 rally to take the lead. Je'Kel Foster later tied the game at 57:57, while Deon Thompson gave the hosts 65:63 lead with less than 2 minutes to go. Marcus Williams meanwhile nailed a three-pointer for the guests for the final victory. Krunoslav Simon (197-G/F-85, agency: Beo Basket) top-scored for the winners with 12 points and Fran Vazquez (209-C-83) added 11. Earl Calloway nailed 10, while Kosta Perovic delivered 9. Deon Thompson and Nihad Djedovic finished the game with 16 points each. Je'Kel Foster notched 8 and Zach Morley delivered 6.
CSKA - Panathinaikos 86-69 CSKA Moscow snapped two-game losing skid in EuroLeague and handled visiting Panathinaikos. Milos Teodosic (195-PG-87) scored 20 points and issued 7 assists to lead the winners. The Greens fell at 4-3 record after the defeat. CSKA started the game aggressively. They looked brisk in the first quarter to take a 25:15 lead after ten minutes. But Panathinaikos managed to slow the game down in the second quarter. The Hellenes opened the period with eight points in a row to narrow the gap. Panathinaikos stayed close throughout the period and trailed by just 4 points at the interval 35:31. But CSKA were back in the drivers seat in the third term. The hosts unloaded 31 points in the quarter to open a 16-point lead before the final frame. CSKA kept Panathinaikos at safe distance throughout the final frame and raced to the victory at the end. Sonny Weems (198-G/F-86, college: Arkansas) provided 19 points, while Sasha Kaun added 13 points in the win. Jonas Maciulis (199-F/G-85) answered with 15 points for Panathinaikos. Stephane Lasme and James Gist provided 12 points apiece in the loss.
Montepaschi - Caja Laboral 85-74 Montepaschi Siena closed Round 7 with the win over Caja Laboral. The Italian team needed an 85:74 win for 6-1 record. The Spanish outfit fell at 4-3 record and suffered their third loss in a row. Caja Laboral Vitoria opened the game with 23-22 lead, while the teams were tied at the halftime. The third period was decisive in the game and brought the host a 26-13 surge as they never looked behind after. Both teams posted 24 points each in the last stanza for the final result. Bobby Brown (188-PG-84, college: CS Fullerton) top-scored for the winners with 18 points and Matt Janning as well as Daniel Hackett (200-PG-87, agency: Two Points, college: USC) had 16 each. Benjamin Eze delivered 10 points in a win. Maciej Lampe (211-F/C-85) finished the game with 17 points in the losing effort, while Nemanja Bjelica brought 15. Andres Nocioni ended up with 10 points in a loss and Fernando San Emeterio scored 9.
Maccabi T-A - FCB Regal 77-82 FC Barcelona Regal confirmed their impressive current form with a road win in Tel-Aviv tonight. The Spanish team fired past Maccabi to gain 6-1 record on top of Group F. Ante Tomic (217-C-87) scored 18 points and pulled down 6 boards to pace the winners. Maccabi stayed confident supported by the cheerful home crowd. The Israeli team eked out a 22:20 lead after ten minutes. But the Spanish powerhouse gradually took over in the second frame. The visitors accumulated a 41:39 halftime lead. Barcelona opened the second half with 9 points in a row to boost the gap. The visitors maintained the lead and piled up a 67:53 lead with one quarter remaining. The Spaniards led by as many as 13 points with just over two minutes remaining 80:67. However the hosts went on a 9:0 run to narrow the gap at 3-point mark with 15 seconds remaining. Ante Tomic went perfect from the stripe and Ohayon missed a three-pointer as Barcelona got away with victory. Juan Carlos Navarro (192-G-80) and Sarunas Jasikevicius (192-PG-76, college: Maryland) provided 14 points each for the visitors. Ricky Hickman (189-PG-85, college: NC-Greensboro) answered with 19 points for Maccabi. Shawn James had 16 points in the loss.
Khimky - Olympiacos 82-87 Olympiacos celebrated a tough road win in EuroLeague Top 16 tonight. The Reds upset Khimky on the road to climb at 4-3 record in Group F. Kyle Hines (198-F-86) and Vassilis Spanoulis (193-G-82, agency: Beo Basket) produced 19 points each to pace the winners. Khimky gave a warm welcome to the visitors in the opening quarter. The hosts quickly grabbed the lead and posted a 23:19 lead after ten minutes. Paul Davis (211-C-84, college: Michigan St.) made it 43:33 for the home team late in the second frame. Pero Antic capped the regulation with a layup to drag Olympiacos within 8 35:43. Khimky tipped off the second half with four points in a row to gain 12-point lead. The hosts stayed in front however Olympiacos managed to narrow the deficit at 6-point mark at the final intermission 54:60. Pero Antic and Sloukas drained back-to-back three-pointers midway through the fourth frame to level things up at 68. Acie Law followed with another one to put the Reds in front 71:68. Vassilis Spanoulis and Sloukas kept the visitors in front as they entered the final 20 seconds of regulation with a 5-point lead. Perperoglou added a point from the stripe and the Hellenes never looked back en route to the victory. Kostas Papanikolaou (206-F-90) delivered 14 points in the winning effort. Paul Davis answered with 20 points and 9 rebounds for Khimky. Kresimir Loncar had 19 points as the hosts fell at 4-3 record.
Fener.Ulker - Besiktas 78-72 Fenerbahce Ulker needs a strong second half to beat Besiktas JK in Turkish derby. Fenerbahce Ulker improved to 2-5 record after a 78:72 win and kept the opponents winless in Group F. Fenerbahce Ulker started the game with 19-15, but allowed the guests to control the game at the end of the half. Besiktas JK erupted with 27-13 in the second frame and took 42:32 halftime advantage. Fenerbahce Ulker however managed to seal the victory in the game posting two wins in the last quarters. The host won the third period 16-13 and erupted with 30-17 surge at the end of the game. Bojan Bogdanovic (203-SG-89) top-scored for the winners with 25 points and David Andersen (212-C-80) added 13. Oguz Savas delivered 12, whilst Bo McCalebb scored 10. Damir Markota (209-F-85) finished the game with 15 points in the losing effort and Curtis Jerrells nailed 14. Daniel Ewing brought 11, whilst Gasper Vidmar netted 10.
The Bartzokas case in Barcelona: You've lost that lovin' feelin'.. - 1 day ago
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.
Spanoulis out two weeks for Olympiacos - 5 days ago
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Olympiacos Piraeus has confirmed that team captain Vassilis Spanoulis(193-SG-82, agency: BeoBasket) will miss the next two weeks with an injury. The three-time Final Four MVP was hurt in a domestic league game on Monday and underwent an MRI on Tuesday that showed an adductor adductor strain in his right thigh. With his recovery expected to last 15 days, Spanoulis will miss at least his team's Game of the Week showdown on February 23 at Fenerbahce Istanbul. Olympiacos must travel again one... [read more]
Olympiacos Piraeus has confirmed that team captain Vassilis Spanoulis (193-SG-82, agency: BeoBasket) will miss the next two weeks with an injury. The three-time Final Four MVP was hurt in a domestic league game on Monday and underwent an MRI on Tuesday that showed an adductor adductor strain in his right thigh. With his recovery expected to last 15 days, Spanoulis will miss at least his team's Game of the Week showdown on February 23 at Fenerbahce Istanbul. Olympiacos must travel again one week later to face Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv, a game for which Spanoulis is now considered questionable. Olympiacos has been one of the hottest teams in the competition, winning 11 of its last 13 to climb into third place. Of its remaining eight games, Olympiacos plays five on the road, among them fourth-place Fenerbahce, second-place CSKA Moscow and sixth-place Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade. Courtesy of: euroleague.net
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