Croatian Roko-Leni Ukic (196-PG-84) put on an extraordinary performance in the last round for Panathinaikos and that's him to receive a Eurobasket.com Player of the Week award for round 8 (Top 16). The 28-year old playmaker had the game-high 21 points adding four rebounds and six assists for Panathinaikos in his team's victory, helping them to beat Zalgiris (#6, 3-5) 78-73. Panathinaikos maintains the 4th position in Euroleague group E. They would have been even better if they hadn't lost a few games earlier in Top 16. Panathinaikos will need more victories to improve their 5-3 record. It was one of impressive evenings for Ukic as usually he does not deliver so high stats. Roko-Leni Ukic averages this season 9.1ppg.
The second most remarkable performance in last round's games was 28-year old Croatian center Luka Zoric (211-C-84) of Unicaja. Zoric impressed basketball fans with 26 points and 5 rebounds. It was enough for Unicaja to edge the lower-ranked Brose Bask. (#8, 0-8) by 3 points 68-65. This victory allowed Unicaja to move up to 5th position in group E. His team lost some distance to top teams. But 4-4 record is not bad and everything may still change. Zoric is well-known by Unicaja fans and he already established his position as one of team's most reliable players.
The third best performed player last round was American Shawn James (207-C-83) of Maccabi T-A (#6). James scored 14 points and grabbed six rebounds. He was a key player of Maccabi T-A, leading his team to a 92-61 easy win against the higher-ranked Montepaschi (#2, 6-2). The chances of Maccabi T-A not to end season at such low position in group F, however are less than slim as they have already lost 5 games, recording just three victories. With bigger assistance of his teammates, James could try to bring Maccabi T-A's a little bit higher in the standings. James has individually a great season in Euroleague. After 18 games, he made it on the list of the league's leaders in rebounds with 6.2rpg (7th best). He also has 1.7bpg and FGP: 68.5%.
Other top performing players last week: 4. Marcelinho Huertas (191-PG-83) of FCB Regal - 14 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists 5. Paul Davis (211-C-84) of Khimky - 18 points, 6 rebounds and 2 assists 6. Devin Smith (196-G/F-83) of Maccabi T-A - 19 points, 8 rebounds and 4 assists 7. Yogev Ohayon (187-PG-87) of Maccabi T-A - 19 points, 3 rebounds and 3 assists 8. Milos Teodosic (195-PG-87) of CSKA - 26 points, 4 rebounds and 5 assists 9. Pete Mickeal (199-F-78) of FCB Regal - 17 points and 4 rebounds 10. Jamon Lukas Gordon (191-SG-84) of Anadolu Efes - 14 points, 11 rebounds and 3 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)
Anadolu Efes topple Olympiacos in Istanbul - 1 hour ago
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Anadolu Efes - Olympiacos 64:60 Anadolu Efes gained 2-1 lead in the quarterfinal series versus Olympiacos. The Turkish side outgunned their opponents in Istanbul tonight to inch closer to Final Four. Bryant Dunston (203-C-86) provided 16 points and 9 rebounds to lead the hosts. Olympiacos snatched a narrow 17:14 lead after the opening frame. Anadolu Efes picked up defensive intensity in the second period. They held Olympiacos to just 10 points to take a 33:27 halftime lead. Anadolu Efes... [read more]
Anadolu Efes - Olympiacos 64:60
Anadolu Efes gained 2-1 lead in the quarterfinal series versus Olympiacos. The Turkish side outgunned their opponents in Istanbul tonight to inch closer to Final Four. Bryant Dunston (203-C-86) provided 16 points and 9 rebounds to lead the hosts. Olympiacos snatched a narrow 17:14 lead after the opening frame. Anadolu Efes picked up defensive intensity in the second period. They held Olympiacos to just 10 points to take a 33:27 halftime lead. Anadolu Efes maintained the lead throughout the third term. The home team entered the final quarter up by 14 points 51:37. But Olympiacos refused to give in. Vassilis Spanoulis (193-SG-82, agency: BeoBasket) helped the Greek team pull within one late in regulation. Thomas Heurtel (189-G-89, agency: BeoBasket) and Tyler Honeycutt followed with three free throws for the Istanbul team to ice the victory. Thomas Heurtel delivered 13 points, while Derrick Brown (203-F-87, college: Xavier) added 12 points for the hosts. Vassilis Spanoulis responded with 15 points and 7 assists for Olympiacos. Georgios Printezis (204-PF-85, agency: Octagon Europe), Evangelos Mantzaris (196-G-90) and Erick Green (190-PG-91, college: Virginia Tech) had 8 points each in the loss.
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.
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