Latest

Former Galatasaray baller Jamont Gordon talks about the road to recovery +++ FIBA Europe Under 20 final highlights and top plays +++ VIDEO: Ettore Messina’s coaching philosophy +++ The 24 must-see regular season games in 2014/15 Euroleague +++ Until it matters, it won’t matter +++ Watch all 40 of Angela Salvadores points against USA +++ LeBron, another sign that David Blatt just keeps on winning +++ Better know a Euro – Alessandro Gentile +++ Better know a Euro – Ioannis Papapetrou +++ Better know a Euro – Nemanja Dangubic +++
Jun
0

Better know a Euro – Nikola Jokic

nikola-jokic-2014-nba-draft
With the 2014 NBA Draft taking place on Thursday we’re providing you with quick refreshers on all of the Europeans hoping to hear their names called on draft day. Next up, Nikola Jokic.

Nikola Jokic
Position: C
Draft Express Rank: 43
Draft Express Projection: 43 to Atlanta Hawks.
Nationality: Serbia
Club: Mega Vizura
Season: Finished 8th in ABA Liga with Mega Vizura,, reached the final of the Serbian Cup, lost in Serbian League semi finals to Crvena Zvezda.
Notable personal honours: Belgrade NIJT All-Tournament team 2013.

Bear in mind: If everything goes to Jonathan Givony’s projections the Hawks will be loaded with European centres on their books, with Nurkic tipped to be called in the first round and Pero Antic already in town. There’s a more than likely chance this scenario doesn’t present itself but either way, don’t be surprised if Jokic stays in Europe for the next while.

So how good is he? Here are his highlights from the 2014 Nike Hoop Summit:

Jun
0

Better know a Euro – Thanasis Antetokounmpo

thanasis-antetokounmpo-2014-nba-draft
With the 2014 NBA Draft taking place on Thursday, we’re giving you a refresher on every European hoping to hear their name called. Next up, Thanasis Antetokounmpo.

Thanasis Antetokounmpo
Position: SG/SF
Draft Express Rank: 57
Draft Express Projection: 41st to Denver Nuggets.
Nationality: Greece
Club: Delaware 87ers (D-League)
Season: Finished last in the East Division of the D-League.
Notable personal honours: D-League All-Defensive third team 2013/2014

Bear in mind: As his younger brother Giannis managed to catch everyone off guard with his highlight reel laden rookie season in the NBA, Thansasis has big foot steps to follow. On the upside, scouts have a better idea of the Greek’s game purely because he came on their radar sooner. That could help ease the transition if and when he moves.

So how good is he? Here’s the DraftExpress take:

Jun
0

Better know a Euro – Vasilije Micic

Vasilije-Micic-2014-NBA-Draft
With the 2014 NBA Draft taking place on Thursday, we’re providing refreshers on all the European playerss hoping to hear their names called. Next up, Vasilije Micic.

Vasilije Micic
Position: PG
Draft Express Rank: 36
Draft Express Projection: 39 to the Philadelphia 76ers.
Nationality: Serbia
Club: Mega Vizura
Season: Finished 8th in ABA Liga with Mega Vizura,, reached the final of the Serbian Cup, lost in Serbian League semi finals to Crvena Zvezda.
Notable personal honours: All-tournament team at 2013 FIBA Under 19 World Championships.

Bear in mind: Despite his relative youth, Micic has four seasons of pro hoops under his belt. That will give him some serious maturity for a 20 year old.

So how good is he? Here are his highlights from the Adidas EuroCamp:

Jun
0

Better know a Euro – Artem Klimenko

Artem-Klimenko-2014-NBA-Draft
With the 2014 NBA Draft taking place on Thursday, we’re providing you with refreshers on all of the European prospects hoping to hear their names called. Next up, Artem Klimenko.

Artem Klimenko
Position: C
Draft Express Rank: 38
Draft Express Projection: 37 to Toronto Raptors.
Nationality: Russia
Club: Avtodor Saratov
Season: Won the Russian Superleague with Avtodor (for non-European readers this is the second tier for Russian clubs after the VTB League)
Notable personal honours: Defensive MVP of 2012 Adidas EuroCamp

Bear in mind: Klimenko lacks the beef of Nurkic but won’t be expected to contribute to the same degree so soon. If the Russian goes to Toronto, he’s going to have time to develop and potentially fill out.

So how good is he? Here’s the DraftExpress take:

Jun
1

Better know a Euro – Bogdan Bogdanovic

Bogdan-Bogdanovic-2014-NBA-Draft
With the 2014 NBA Draft taking place on Thursday, we’re giving you a refresher on all of the Europeans hoping to hear their names called. Next up, it’s Bogdan Bogdanovic.

Bogdan Bogdanovic
Position: SG
Draft Express Rank: 30
Draft Express Projection: 35 to the Utah Jazz.
Nationality: Serbia
Club: Partizan
Season: Won the Serbian league with Partizan, made the Top 16 of Euroleague but went down at the semi final stage of ABA Liga.
Notable personal honours: Euroleague Rising Star 2014, Serbian League Finals MVP 2014.

Bear in mind: We failed miserably in our attempts to get people to buy into the idea of him and Bojan Bogdanovic starring in a detective show called Bogdanovic and Bogdanovic. On a more serious note, dude can score and he knows it. He won’t be afraid to pull the trigger early and often in the bigs.

So how good is he? Here’s the DraftExpress take:

Jun
0

Better know a Euro – Jusuf Nurkic

Jusuf-Nurkic-2014-NBA-Draft
With the 2014 NBA Draft taking place on Thursday, BallinEurope has a refresher on each of the European prospects hoping to be drafted. Next up it’s Croatian league winner and a man destined to be compared to Dario Saric for at least the next three days, Jusuf Nurkic.

Jusuf Nurkic
Position: C
Draft Express Rank: 11
Draft Express Projection: 15 to Atlanta Hawks.
Nationality: Bosnia and Herzegovina
Club: Cedevita Zagreb
Season: Won Croatian league and Cup double.
Notable personal honours: 2012 European Under 18 B MVP, 10th in PIR for ABA Liga in 2013/14.

Bear in mind: Nurkic is big, really big, for a 19 year old. That size carried him well through the ABA season and should put him in good stead to adapt to the NBA game. The fear is he encounters the type of foul trouble Jonas Valanciunas suffered early but, like the Lithuanian, he should have the talent to adapt.

So how good is he? Here’s the DraftExpress take:

Jun
0

Better know a Euro – Dario Saric

Dario-Saric-NBA-Draft
With the 2014 NBA Draft taking place on Thursday, BallinEurope has a refresher on each of the European prospects hoping to be drafted. First up it’s ABA Liga winner and new Anadolu Efes signing Dario Saric.

Dario Saric
Position: PF
Draft Express Rank: 8
Draft Express Projection: 17 to Boston Celtics.
EDIT: Prior to last night Saric was tipped to go 11 to the Nuggets but his plan to stay in Europe has dropped him down the rankings.
Nationality: Croatia
Club: Anadolu Efes…as of today having spent the past season with Cibona Zagreb.
Season: Won ABA Liga with Cibona, lost the Croatian League finals to Cedevita.
Notable personal honours: European young player of the year 2013, ABA Liga season and finals MVP 2014, 2010 FIBA Europe Under 16 Championships MVP, NIJT MVP 2011, 2012 FIBA Europe Under 18 Championships MVP, 2013 FIBA World Under 19 Championships All Tournament team.

Bear in mind: Saric has signed with Anadolu Efes, one of a string of big signings with the Istanbul club this summer. Even if Saric goes in the lottery, which looks likely, he probably won’t step onto a NBA court until 2016 at the earliest.

So how good is he? Here’s the DraftExpress take:

Jun
0

Blatt’s Cavs to take on Maccabi in pre-season

David-Blatt-Cleveland-Cavaliers-Maccabi-Tel-Aviv

Euroleague champions Maccabi Tel-Aviv are heading to the US and they’re going to run into an old friend. The Euroleague champions will play the Cleveland Cavaliers at Quicken Loans Arena on 5 October in the Euroleague US Tour. Last week the Cavaliers hired David Blatt, the man who led Maccabi to Euroleague glory this past season, as their new head coach. It may be pre-season but this is bound to be an emotional occasion for Blatt as he takes on his former charges.

Two days later, on 7 October, the Tel Aviv club heads to Brooklyn to take on the Nets at the Barclays Center as the second and final part of their US tour.

The pre-season games will take place shortly after Maccabi Tel-Aviv’s participation in the Intercontinental Cup. The Euroleague champions will take on FIBA Liga de las Americas champions Flamengo in a two-game series on 26 and 28 September at the Gimnasio Maracanazinho in Rio de Janeiro. The competition, which had been idle for almost 30 years, was re-started last season when Olympiacos Piraeus beat Pinheiros Sky.

Jun
0

The All-Seeing eyes

SportVU2
SportVU has changed the way we measure basketball performance. BallinEurope’s Emmet Ryan spoke with the man leading the technology’s charge, Brian Kopp, to find out how its all-seeing eyes are changing basketball.

Statistics and performance analysis are nothing new to team sports. The long-standing problem for analysts has been breaking down individual performances with relatively limited data sets. To paraphrase Jeff Bridges in Tron Legacy, anaylsts try to picture clusters of information as they move through the computer. What do they look like? Shots? Tackles? The performance analyst community kept dreaming of a world they thought they’d never see. And then, one day, SportVU arrived.

The technology, now owned by Stats Inc in the US, was developed by former members of the Israeli Defence Forces for soccer. Basketball however has been the sport where the visual technology has come to the fore.

The SportVU team installs computer vision cameras in arenas and stadia. The current NBA season was the first time an entire league agreed to have the system set up. Six cameras are installed in the rafters of each arena in the ceiling. The system tracks the x-y co-ordinates of the players and the x-y-z co-ordinates of the ball 25 times per second. The cameras capture video and data. Algorithms in the software tell the cameras what to track and what not to track. From there SportVU creates new data algorithms and analysis to turn that raw co-ordinate data into usable information for teams.

“We can enhance data they’re already using,” said Brian Kopp, vice president of sports solutions with Stats.

Before if a player won a rebound off a missed shot, teams couldn’t differentiate based on context. SportVU is changing that. “Now we can tell you, if there were a lot of people around, was the rebound in traffic or was it uncontested, how much ground did you cover to get that rebound, how many chances could you have had at rebounds versus how many you came away with, a lot more context around rebounding,” said Kopp.

“Another example for that category is passing. Right now assists only counts the successful passes that led to a successful basket. Now we capture every single pass, even those that you missed the shot or the pass that led to the pass that led to the basket. Teams can get a lot more context around passing the ball around versus the tally mark of just the successful assist.”
Continue Reading…

Jun
2

David Blatt smashes the glass ceiling

david-blatt-cleveland-cavaliers
The Cleveland Cavaliers and David Blatt have come to terms, giving the Boston born coach with over 30 years in the European game his first taste of a NBA head coaching gig. Emmet Ryan says this could be a defining moment for European coaches.

You don’t have to go back all that far in history to a time when European players, or indeed any player from outside the USA, was seen as incapable of cutting it in the NBA. It wasn’t until the likes of Drazen Petrovic, Toni Kukoc, Vlade Divac, and Arvydas Sabonis made their mark that Europeans were truly accepted in the league. Dirk’s MVP season struck another blow. The steps have been taken by players in jerseys, the idea of a player whose formative years were outside of the United States not having what it takes is seen as foolish in the modern era.

Coaches however simply haven’t made the breakthrough. Ettore Messina’s single season as an assistant with the Lakers was a big deal. It opened up the prospect of a coach who had made it to the top in Europe being able to transition to the US. Messina was linked with NBA head coaching gigs less than a month ago and now looks likely to join the Spurs as an assistant. Blatt, who is of course American born, is the breakthrough we have been waiting for.

Much as the Bostonian is a noted Celtics fan, he is very much a Euro in the eyes of the NBA. This isn’t Mike D’Antoni with his flavour of Italy coaching in the bigs. Blatt is a Euro lifer. Nearly his entire professional playing career and his full two decades as a coach have been in Europe. Blatt has enjoyed phenomenal success often when resources said he shouldn’t have. Maccabi Tel Aviv’s win in Euroleague this year was the most obvious example but he has taken care of business in Italy and Russia as well as on the international stage. When Russia beat Spain in EuroBasket 2007 they knocked off the reigning World Champions. That was followed up with a bronze in London 2012.
Continue Reading…