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The BBL experience – Rowdy in Frankfurt +++ Fearless predictions: Euroleague playoffs +++ A Dario triple-double? Now that’s good timing +++ Swee’ Pea needs your help +++ Final Four: What the bookies say when the bookies talk +++ The greatest Eurodance tribute to Goran Dragic ever +++ Swaggy P’s tribute to Os moving back to the USA +++ Help Swee’ Pea make the big screen +++ The Dish: Can I play with Madness? +++ Just point out the bounce +++
Oct
61

Euroleague Power Rankings: 2012-13 Opening Day Edition

All right, it’s that time again! With hours to go before the 2012-13 Euroleague season tips off, BallinEurope breaks out its first power ratings for the big league.

Whereas normally a disclaimer to the effect of “the following ratings are based on current trending only and are not necessarily based on the overall quality of the teams” runs here, this year BiE’s switching things up a bit. To wit: For this edition of Euroleague power rankings, the teams *will* be run based on BallinEurope’s totally subjective viewpoint. (Mainly because BiE couldn’t figure out what to do with Barcelona…)

Get your arguments ready and read on for this season’s first power rankings, with Official BallinEurope Fearless Predictions™ for the upcoming season peppered throughout. Enjoy the games!

The favorites
1. Olympiacos Piraeus. The usual reserved spot for the defending champion comes with some justification this year, as Vassilis Spanoulis & Co. show no signs of letting up on their 2011-12 season-ending 22-4 run. In the off-/preseason, Olympiacos’ foursome of Spanoulis, local hero Georgios Printezis, Kostas Papanikolaou and Evengelos Mantazaris suited up for a disappointed Team Greece – all but Mantazaris acquitted themselves nicely, with 50-of-89 (56.2%) overall shooting and Spanoulis dishing out just under six assists per game in three Olympic qualifiers.

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Sep
0

Podcast: Peeking at the Euroleague, riffing on Hecking, interviewing The Iran Jobbers

Now up and running is episode two in the Taking the Charge podcast series, a gabfest brought to you by heinnews and BallinEurope. On the menu over there is a nice spread of basketball-related matters, including:

• a look at recently-run tournaments in Germany: the 2012 Domreiter Cup in Nürnberg with defending Euroleague/Greek League champs Olympiacos besting Brose Baskets Bamberg, Maccabi Tel Aviv and BC Khimki; and the Beko BBL Cup, which saw 2011-12 Euroleague runners-up CSKA Moscow top Bayern München, Beşiktaş JK and Žalgiris Kaunas. (In advance, BiE will say that whoa, eight interesting storylines really demonstrates the allure of the big league: fresh, dramatic storylines that change week to week…);

• some riffing on FC Nuremberg football coach Dieter Hecking’s, um, interesting comments of last weekend and the German basketball federation’s response; and

• a lengthy and fascinating interview with Till Schauder and Kevin Sheppard, producer/director and subject, respectively, of the excellent newly-released documentary The Iran Job. (BiE’ll have a bit more on this later for the more textually-inclined.)

Enjoy the podcast and stay informed about our new releases and comment to your heart’s content via our spiffy Facebook page. Like us! We love your likes!

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Aug
6

NBA turn for Pleiss on ice; may play Spanish ball for four years

Prior to the BBL Supercup in Bamberg of last week, Sport Eagle TV got an interview with Tibor Pleiß, who won two – no, three – consecutive Bundesliga championships and three German Cups with Brose Baskets. Pleiß was drafted at no. 31 overall by the New Jersey Nets and his rights ultimately landed with the Oklahoma City Thunder.

With Pleiß set to play for Caja Laboral Baskonia this season, OKC fans already know they have to wait; unfortunately for them, it may be something of a long wait indeed – but at least the 22-year-old has his head on straight vis-à-vis the medium term: “I had the chance to go to the NBA, but on my mind was to go to Spain for a couple of years, three, four, to make the next step, to [become] a better player.”

A tad disappointing for European basketball enthusiasts who have been following Pleiß’ progress since making the Bundesliga with the Köln 99ers back in 2006 it may be, but this most likely represents the best choice for a guy who would likely be buried on the bench of a title contender in what should be his formative years.

See below for Pleiß’ discussing topics such as missing the Olympics, the future of Team Germany, playing for Baskonia and his progress in learning Spanish.

Team Germany ended up winning Beko Supercup 2012 with a 78-74 victory over Pleiß’ future teammate Maciej Lampe and Poland.

Jun
2

“What has happened here?” The best Euro-centric buzzer-beaters of 2011-12

In clearing out the virtual desk of 2011-12 basketball season stuff, BallinEurope today presents this compilation of the year’s top Euro-centric buzzer-beaters. The requirements to make the list were two: the primary player in the buzzer-beater most be of European nationality or the shot must take place in a game featuring European teams; and the buzzer-beater must take place at the end of a quarter, i.e. no shot-clock buzzer-beaters considered.

Greater weight was given in consideration to the relative importance of the win earned with the highlight shot. Keeping one’s team alive is more important than YouTube glory, after all.

And on with the list. Firstly, honorable mentions go to:

Travis Diener for Banco di Sardegna Sassari against Fabi Shoes Montegranaro on April 15. Sassari would go on to win in overtime, 79-77, and continue in a successful season which had them ultimately placing fourth in the Serie A. Unfortunately for the purposes of this post, not quite a buzzer-beater.

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Jun
2

Getting back to business: After completing threepeat, Bamberg says “Auf Wiedersehen” to Pleiss, Slaughter, Suput

Now that Brose Baskets Bamberg has completed the 2011-12 season with its third straight German Bundesliga title, management there can get down to business – and some serious business they’ll have to take care of, indeed.

First, the frivolity. From the Beko BBL official website, BiE contributor and he in-the-know about all things German sports, David Hein summarized Bamberg’s championship title and current situation as follows.

“Brose Baskets once again proved masterful in dealing with the favorites role as Bamberg confirmed the expectations of nearly all prognosticators in sweeping Ratiopharm ulm in the Beko BBL Finals to compete the incredible double three-peat. It was a testament to Ulm and their amazing season that Isaiah Swann did not allow Bamberg to take Game 3 at home without a fight as he drained eight three-pointers in scoring 36 points. But as usual the depth and balance – and fortitude – of Brose Baskets were just too much: Bamberg won Game 3 by the score of 97-95 to complete the 3-0 sweep and hoist the championship trophy into the heavens of Franconia for the fifth time in the last seven years…

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May
8

Euroleague 2012-13: An attempt to deduce the composition (plus Official Fearless Prediction™)

At least this much is clear...

Yesterday, the basketball-centered bit of the Twitter universe was centered in two real-life locales: New York City and Barcelona. Topics in play were the falling of ping-pong balls in New York City and Euroleague’s incipient decision on the construction of Euroleague 2012-13. Hopefully, BallinEurope will get something together on the former later, but for now, BiE’ll attempts a quick look at the roster of teams for the upcoming season.

The three-year A-licenses are currently under review, but you gotta figure Caja Laboral Baskonia, FC Barcelona, Real Madrid, Olympiacos, Panathinaikos, Anadolu Efes, Fenerbahçe Ülker, CSKA Moscow, Maccabi Tel Aviv, Montepaschi Siena and Žalgiris Kaunas are in. Asseco Prokom Gdynia is in the second year of its license, making them the 12th of the 24 teams.

Also up for review is Unicaja Malaga. While Spain is still even officially considered *the* best domestic or regional league in Europe (more on this momentarily), the big league could certainly defend a yanking of the license based on the team’s bottom-half finish in the Liga Endesa and consistently better recent performance by Valencia BC.

Virtus Roma is the only original A-license team to have been removed from the EL roll call, getting its placement in Euroleague ball “suspended for having finished in the bottom half of its national competition.” Unicaja might easily find itself on the Eurocup level for 2012-13; let’s just say a *lot* of things would have to happen to even get the team into the EL qualifiers.

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May
May
2

German Bundesliga playoffs: Bamberg, Ulm grab Games One at home; Pleiss injures knee

The semifinals are underway in Germany and, as always, David Hein has one eye on the action there. Read on to find out about the Brose Baskets Bamberg-Artland Dragons and Ratiopharm Ulm-s.Oliver Baskets matchups in game one … plus, a bit of distressing news for forward-thinking Oklahoma City Thunder fans.

The top two seeds in the German Beko BBL playoffs defended home turf to start the semifinals as two-time defending champions Brose Baskets blasted Artland Dragons, 103-70, while ratiopharm ulm knocked off s.Oliver Baskets, 77-65.

Bamberg’s win over the Dragons could prove costly, however, as star center Tibor Pleiß went down with a right knee injury in the fourth quarter and reportedly underwent an MRI yesterday to determine the extent of the injury.

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May
0

Down goes Goliath: Bonn plays David, slays Bamberg in playoffs opener

Biggest shocker of European domestic-league basketball playoffs thus far? David Hein posts this brief report on German Bundesliga no. 8 seed snapping top dog Brose Baskets Bamberg’s 48-game winning streak in the first match of their quarterfinals meeting – there’s even a quality Luol Deng-like buzzer-beater to boot…

Telekom Baskets Bonn squeaked into the German Beko BBL playoffs, but that didn’t stop Mike Koch’s team from pulling an absolute shocker in the opening game of the postseason. Benas Veikalas’ tip-in just before the buzzer gave the eighth-seeded Bonn a 75-74 victory at two-time defending champions and top-seeded Brose Baskets Bamberg.

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Apr
0

Bundesliga roundup: Bamberg show Berlin who’s boss, Artland-Bayern playoff set

From the land of Dirks Nowitzki and Bauermann – David Hein reports on a few happenings in Germany’s top division of basketball as the league gets set to close the regular season and start the playoffs. Read on to find out about Brose Baskets Bamberg laying down the law against Alba Berlin, the Artland Dragons-Bayern München playoff showdown, and how things are suddenly up in the air for the Fraport Skyliners.

Tucker, Pleiß lead Bamberg to big win
Brose Baskets Bamberg once again answered the bell with a knockout as the two-time reigning German Beko BBL champions knocked off Alba Berlin 100-90 in a game that was only a matter of pride for Bamberg, who had long clinched the home court advantage throughout the playoffs.

P.J. Tucker continued his incredible play for Bamberg with 24 points, eight rebounds, four assists, three steals and one block while shooting 8-of-9 from the field, including 3-of-4 from long range. In the last five games, Tucker is averaging 22 points, 9.2 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 1.6 steals and 0.8 blocks while shooting 61 percent overall from the field, including 45 percent from long range and 82 percent from the free throw stripe.

Tibor Pleiß had a superb game as well with 19 points, six rebounds, two assists and one block for Bamberg, who have won 22 of their last 24 games in the league and bounced back from their loss the previous weekend at Bayern Munich.

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