BallinEurope doesn’t actually get to vote for Euroleague Coach of the Year, but we can still pretend. And in BiE’s opinion, the question of who should get the honor comes down to three, interestingly enough each in his first season with his current club.
Now that BallinEurope has posted this website’s Official Euroleague Bracket as well as the only truly unassailable set of predictions, BiE takes stock of a little EL Bracketology from good ol’ Twitter. What sort of conclusions may be drawn from a sample size of 30 tweets (well, 29 plus Sannti’s) hashtagged with #ELbracket? Well…
The clear popular favorites within the sample to win their quarterfinals series are CSKA Moscow (with 93% of tweets liking the Red Army), FC Barcelona and Olympiacos (each with 77% of the “vote”). Surely to no one’s surprise, fandom was divided on the Real Madrid-Maccabi matchup, with Los Blancos liked 19-11 among our group.
Of the 16 possible finals matchups, seven combinations were covered. Again unsurprising was the fact that no one was gutsy enough to gamble on Anadolu Efes Pilsen getting so far, but two brackets with Caja Laboral Baskonia hoisting the trophy were found – and after the way these guys have squeaked in to advance twice this season, who can truly scoff? A final outcome of CSKA defeating Barca was chosen by nearly 33% of those who picked a tournament winner, and 60% predicted CSKA for 2013 Euroleague champions.
And some of BallinEurope’s favorite brackets were…
● In the category of “Best Presentation of a Euroleague Bracket” which BiE just made up, the winner is JovicaTasevski. Future bracketcrafters, this is your standard.
Monday hangover: Power struggles in Italy, Spain; Zalgiris’ continued rise; Obama vs. the Lakers Rule
It’s never too late for the ‘Hangover (or so BiE’s telling himself). Excuses aside, following are a few Eurocentric impressions, notes, highlight clips – and the no. 1 reason why Barack Obama is thrilled the Los Angeles Lakers went down in the playoffs last season…
• Power vacuum in Italy? Coming into 2012-13, most pundits in the European basketball sphere reckoned Montepaschi Siena was due for an off year after an off offseason which saw them downgrade at several positions. And while it appears that Siena won’t be giving up its stranglehold on the Italian national title easily (they’re currently at 4-1; more on this shortly), the team’s dismal Euroleague play indicates this isn’t a Montepaschi team in the mold we’ve become accustomed to.
Right, with the weekend over and many an hour spent viewing the roundball, BallinEurope rounds up some news items – and video clips! – from the week that was.
• Could this be Real Madrid’s year? Los Blancos are exactly one Rudy Fernandez miss from a perfect 8-0 overall mark early in 2012-13 after topping Caja Laboral Baskonia, 83-81, in overtime this weekend in the Liga Endesa.
Baskonia got a combined 47 points from Nemanja Bjelica and Maciej Lampe while turning over the ball just once – thus not allowing Real to demonstrate their nice quick transition to the fast break – yet ultimately couldn’t answer what’s looking like the best team out of Spain this season.
The rumor’s starting to burgeon on Twitter. In just a few minutes (2pm CET, to be precise), go reports and say sources, officials of Euroleague champions Olympiacos are to announce that the former University of Memphis/Caja Laboral Baskonia big man Joey Dorsey will be released from his €2 million contract with . Further, others say that Dorsey has in fact received an offer from an NBA club, so let’s begin the speculation and Officially Fearlessly Predict™ it’s … the Dallas Mavericks…
Since BiE will typically have to play catch-up with a week’s worth of Euroleague games on Saturdays, a new concept comes to the website in the Sunday hangover. Those of you who have followed BallinEurope since the days of its origins may recall the old “Monday cigarettes” column – and this one hopes to recall those days (but with video clips!). And so, notes and observations from the opening week of play in the big league…
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!
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.
A handful of rights-owned players will be suiting up to play on both sides of the Atlantic over the next eight days, but today BallinEurope takes a slightly wider view beyond these exciting-but-mostly-irrelevant dozen games. Below a look at five players – a bit of a future dream team, perhaps, though desperately seeking a monstrous big man – taken in recent NBA drafts and currently developing in Europe’s higher levels. And yes, there will be highlights.
Your five for the European present and NBA future, then…
This one’s exactly what the title says; this morning, BallinEurope takes a brief look at five key players competing in the ongoing EuroBasket 2013 qualifying round with NBA contracts signed or rights owned. Let’s get right to it, then, beginning with a couple of reasons Brooklyn Nets fans should be a heckuva lot more optimistic than they were post-D12 rejection.
• Mirza Teletovic, PF – Team Bosnia & Herzegovina, rights owned by the Brooklyn Nets. If Teletovic’s signing by the Nets this offseason could be classified as “under the radar,” the longtime Caja Laboral stud is a massive attention-grabbing phenomenon on the screen right now. The excellently-named From Russia With Dunk proclaimed Teletovic to be “dominating” in EuroBasket 2013 qualifying games; NBC Sports described his play as “tearing it up”; at Ridiculous Upside, he’s “lighting it up” – all statements made with justifiable reason.
BiE doesn’t believe FIBA names a EuroBasket qualifying round MVP, but Teletovic could make quite an impressive case for the theoretical award. The prospective Net boasts a stat line of 25.7 points, 6.2 rebounds, 1.5 steals and 0.7 blocks per game for his 4-2 side. Team Bosnia & Herzegovina has been content to dump the ball inside to Teletovic continuously to the tune of 20.7 shots per game, tops in the qualifiers. Teletovic’s best showings have come against the woefully outmuscled Netherlands, who he’s punished for lines of 33/6 and 36/7.
At 6’9”, Teletovic will not solve all of Brooklyn’s problems underneath, but right now he’s looking like a reasonable upgrade from Kris Humphries. Nice signing.
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.