To no one’s surprise, Sportando reports that CSKA management is already looking at some serious roster rebuilding for 2013-14, but Spanoulis-to-Moscow would be a bit jarring, in BallinEurope’s opinion.
Flawed, top-heavy and not exactly consistent in attendance it may be, but the VTB United League still garners BallinEurope’s attention – particularly come playoff time when ages-old rivalries add new chapters to stories first begun in the days of the Soviet Union.
Besides, who needs an excuse to run another YouTube highlight clip…?
From the VTB folks, then, running below are the top five plays from the recently-completed quarterfinal round, starring Unics Kazan’s Mire Chatman, Zalgiris Kaunas’ Robertas Javtokas, Lokomotiv Kuban’s Mantas Kalnietis, BC Khimki’s Sergey Monya and CSKA Moscow’s Anton Ponkrashov. Three-pointers, blocks, alley-oops – they’re all here. Enjoy!
Quote of Euroleague Final Four tournament: “I think I did a great job of being Sonny Weems this season”
The eminently quotable Sonny Weems was in fine form before his club’s matchup with Olympiacos in Euroleague Final Four play. See below for his talk with media members in which he downplays the revenge factor going into tonight’s game (of course, Sonny was not one of the half-dozen players who ended up on the wrong side of the big league’s biggest championship upset ever) and speaks of the difference between playing for CSKA Moscow and Žalgiris Kaunas.
And finally, for those who assume that any player worth his salt would automatically eschew European basketball for the NBA, watch to the end for a hint on Weems’ future with the Red Army. (Hint: CSKA fans should be stoked indeed…)
Talk about your focus. It was evident at media day that CSKA Moscow’s Aaron Jackson couldn’t wait to get down to the business of prepping for his team’s Euroleague Final Four game against Olympiacos. Nevertheless, he elaborated for about 20 seconds on the prospect of facing his highest-level one-and-done tournament game since his days at Duquesne…
A sober and thoughtful Milos Teodosic spoke with media in the leadup to his CSKA Moscow’s Euroleague Final Four meeting with Olympiacos. The mercurial Milos relates that his team, despite rumors, is not overconfident heading into the match and takes a Nietzschean stand on The Red Army’s shocking loss to the Greek side in the 2012 championship.
Episode #34 of the BallinEurope/heinnews co-produced “Talking the Charge” podcast series is now available online and is downloadable from iTunes.
With the Euroleague Final Four overshadowing all else in Continental hoops this week, Dave Hein and yours truly were naturally set to chat up the big tournament – after BiE tees off on a sports-related pet peeve (Hint: Go Washington Redtails!), that is.
Just skip the first 10 minutes of the ‘cast if you’re not particularly enamored with American football, as Britain-based John Hobbs of TalkBasket.net discusses the impact (if any) this tournament will have on the British sports landscape. Plus, he offers his take on the CSKA Moscow-Olympiacos match happening tomorrow and BiE is forced once again to defend his choice for 2013 Euroleague MVP.
All this plus a review of one of the best worst basketball movies BiE’s ever seen (and that’s saying something), the hilariously-entitled Michael Jordan: An American Hero.
Check out the entire podcast here or to subscribe from this episode ad infinitum, enter http://heinnews.com/feed/taking-the-charge/ into iTunes or any podcast aggregator.
Thanks for listening and talk to you next week!
Euroleague Final Four: Five burning questions on the CSKA Moscow-Olympiacos match (plus Official Fearless Prediction™)
BallinEurope is sorry that CSKA Moscow and Olympiacos, finalists of that memorable 2012 Euroleague Final Four (one of this association’s best tournaments ever – and readers know just how much BiE hates sports-historical hyperbole) won’t get to repeat their matchup in the climactic game again this year, but at least we get a heckuva revenge game on Thursday.
Once again, Olympiacos goes in as underdog of both this match and to take the tourney – but this out, media members (by which BiE means an overwhelming majority, including BiE) won’t be expecting a bunch of overachievers to be steamrolled by squads apparently more talented on paper. Doesn’t it still seem like the factors are all in Moscow’s favor, though? Here are BiE’s five key questions going into the London grudge match…
Right, so let’s get a week’s worth of Euroleague hype started the democratic, opinionatin’ way. BallinEurope wants to know: Who do you have winning in the first pair of games and advancing to the championship?
Euroleague Final Four: Who wins, CSKA Moscow or Olympiacos?
- CSKA Moscow (55%, 37 Votes)
- Olympiacos (45%, 30 Votes)
Total Voters: 67
Euroleague Final Four: Who wins, FC Barcelona or Real Madrid?
- Real Madrid (51%, 35 Votes)
- FC Barcelona (29%, 20 Votes)
- It doesn't matter; either will lose in the finals (20%, 13 Votes)
Total Voters: 68
BallinEurope tries to take the responsibilities of Euroleague media partnership seriously and so spent way too much time deliberating over the vote for this season’s all-Euroeleague team/MVP awards. Having been given through last Friday – and after the result of the Olympiacos-Anadolu Efes game was in – to fill out the ballot, let’s just say BiE stayed up late determining just the right order for submission. One can’t take this stuff too seriously, can one?
Of course, every year, the thoughtful media member must first define “Most Valuable Player” Should this title be taken to mean simply the best player within the given association for the given year? Or perhaps the value of Player X to his *team*, i.e. consideration of how much worse X’s squad would have been without him, is most important – though this contention relies on speculation rather than the fact of accumulated stats.
Questions upon questions: What about the defensive contributions which elude statistical measure? Or those intangibles of leadership that a cagey veteran like Vassilis Spanoulis (or Sarunas Jasikevicius, for seven-minute bursts, for that matter) adds to a successful side? And on this note – How much emphasis and importance should be placed on participation with a winning team? The All-Euroleague first team these days has tended to include five players from Top Four teams, rewarding winning with an individual nod. But wasn’t someone having enough of a banner year to get a Montepaschi Siena or Caja Laboral Baskonia much further into the EL season than expected?
You see the can of worms BiE had opened; it’s like this every year.
Regardless, BiE’s ballot is in and after a subsequent weekend of watching more hoops, an examination of the thinking process. The Euroleague ballot is set in the now-fairly standard format: Media partners may vote for five players, with five points awarded to each voter’s no. 1 choice, four to the no. 2, three to the no. 3, etc. Once again, the ‘League is allowing free voting: Any five players regardless of position may be chosen. (At least that part was easy…)
So here’s how BiE’s ballot looked. Continue Reading…
France’s Livio Jean-Charles leads World Team to 112-98 shootout win, first back-to-back victory since 1999 [Highlights]
Those squeezing in viewings of the 2013 Nike Hoop Summit game between NBA playoff matches yesterday not only saw quite the shootout featuring world-class talent but also a bit of history: In upping their all-time record to 5-11 against Team USA with the 112-98 win, the World Select Team earned their second back-to-back win ever in the competition and first repeat since 1999.
The big news individually speaking was ASVEL Lyon-Villeurbanne’s Livio Jean-Charles, who overshadowed his more headline-grabbing teammate Andrew Wiggins of Canada, with a huge 27 points and 13 rebounds. (For the record on this day, Jean-Charles is currently projected as a #36 overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft over at Draft Express; surely this guy’s stock will be rising before the Day…) Team World overcame fierce performances from prospective Duke Blue Devil Jabari Parker (22 points) and Kentucky Wildcat-to-be Julius Randle (19 points, eight rebounds).
But without further ado – To the highlight clips!
Oregon Live put together a “top 15 plays of the game” clip for your
debate perusal – No, one second thought, BiE’ll go with “debate”. How did Rondaé Hollis-Jefferson’s insane pickpocket steal of and follow-up jam on Mouhammadou Jaiteh only land at no. 10, for example? For another, how did Randle’s reverse baseline dunk get beaten by Dante Exum’s circusy and-one? In any case, see for yourselves…
Here’s a more styled game-highlight compilation put together by BallisLife which puts the emphasis on the individual, showing how the showcase features of the ‘Summit…
And major props to the always excellent Euroleague Adventures, for their excellent job video-recording *everything* in the leadup to the game. A couple samples from their post-game work run below – there’s Jean-Charles described (correctly) and the should’ve-been-game MVP, followed by Team Russia/Triumph Lyubertsy’s Sergey Karasev on “Being a Sharp Shooter”. BiE seriously urges you to check out ELA’s massive cache of clips from the Nike Hoop Summit as well – right here.
Congratulations again to the World Select Team on the victory; we’ll leave with a Tweet, perhaps a suggestion for success to future Nike Hoop Summit squads: Maybe it’s all about the bonding…
The World Team bonded over the week and it showed tonight with an impressive team performance and… instagram.com/p/YWnqk-P_hg/
— Nike Hoop Summit (@nikehoopsummit) April 21, 2013