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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 +++
Jan
39

Union in San Antonio: Spurs reportedly buy out Aron Baynes contract, sign to multi-year deal

This just in from TalkBasket.net: According to the international hoops-centric website, the San Antonio Spurs have signed Union Olimpija’s Aron Baynes to a multi-year deal and will complete a $400,000 buyout to land the player’s rights. Baynes had worked out for NBA teams including the Sacramento Kings in 2009, but didn’t stick in the big league.

After flirting with Erazem Lorbek in the offseason, Spurs brass were no doubt impressed by Baynes’ EL regular-season display (during which he looked much like Lorbek, 2011-12 edition) in which all he did was lead the league in two-point attempts, two-pointers made, offensive rebounds, total rebounds and performance index rating.

For San Antonio fans who subscribe to the “seeing is believing” credo, here’s a couple of goodies for you…

Continue Reading…

Dec
6

Teodosic watch: Milos clutch in win over FC Barcelona; CSKA Moscow displays awesome arsenal

Teodosic: Hero again

Going into last night’s Euroleague-closing match against FC Barcelona, Ettore Messina and CSKA Moscow seemed to have deduced the solution to Milos Teodosic’s fourth-quarter woes dating back to the 2012 Final Four tournament: Simply blow out opponents so that no clutch play is required.

In hindsight, this game mathematically meant little: Thanks to the week 5 blowout induced by Barça, CSKA faced the nigh-impossible task of winning by 22 points against the EL-undefeated Spanish side. Revenge blowout or no, however, it was quickly obvious that both teams came unwilling to go into the ‘League break with a loss.

And so going into the fourth quarter, CSKA faced its first true crunch-time test since October. As per BallinEurope tradition, BiE reports Teodosic’s stat line through the first 30 minutes as a bit of a mixed bag: 3-of-4 overall shooting, five rebounds, three steals and five TOs.

Messina sat his starting point guard for the fourth quarter’s first 6½ minutes; despite a couple bursts of nifty transition ball by CSKA, with 3:32 remaining and Ante Tomic sinking two free throws, the Red Army had fallen a point further behind since the fourth-quarter opening.

Then in came Milos. Continue Reading…

Dec
2

On Hezonja, Todorovic plus a couple of Swedes: FC Barcelona’s future as bright as the present?

Barcelona’s future: Alex Abrines, Mario Hezonja, Marko Todorović

As though FC Barcelona’s red-hot play – they’re now at 14-4 overall after an 0-2 start in Spain – weren’t enough to keep European basketball devotees watching, here are two more reasons for you: Mario Hezonja and Marko Todorović.

At just 17 years old and despite missing the entire 2011-12 regular season, Hezonja finally got a taste of the action in Barça’s 78-48 laugher over Beşiktaş in Turkey last Friday night. His Euroleague debut stat line read five points, two rebounds and one steal in a few ticks under 12 minutes of play.

Hezonja again did not play in Spain this weekend, unlisted on the roster for Barca’s 81-64 win over Cajasol in Liga Endesa play; the 12th-man spot was filled by 20-year-old Todorović of Montenegro. In the Beşiktaş game, Todorović’s 12 minutes of court time was the most he’s gotten all season and the national teamer was good for four points, four rebounds and two blocks.

Potentially the nucleus of a shiny new Barca frontcourt? Continue Reading…

Nov
136

Poll: Which player in Europe should be in the BallinEurope logo?

Congratulations, thanks and an apology all go out from BallinEurope this morning.

In order, that’s a congrat to Arvydas Sabonis, who will receive the honor of immortalization (sorta) as one half of the to-be-redesigned BallinEurope logo. Sabas was mighty impressive in amassing more votes from readers in the public opinion poll here than Dirk Nowitzki, Ricky Rubio and poor Tony Parker combined;

a shout out to all those who voted in the BiE poll; you’re gonna love part two for sure; and

apologies for the relative lack of contributions last and, foreseeably, this week. To put it in brief, BiE headquarters is relocating (read: “Os is moving”), but in December things will be again running smoothly here.

Right, then. Let’s get down to business. Based on suggestions from BiE readers, contributing writers and such, the field for Sabonis’ cartoon opponent in the BallinEurope logo will be the following.

Erazem Lorbek got some support from commenters and BiE admits that once again the Barcelona big went underrated on these pages. So BiE didn’t have Lorbek in his top five for Euroleague MVP balloting last season; this nomination should make up for that. While Lorbek’s numbers are generally down in 2012-13, he looks to be rearing back with three consecutive double-digit EL games and could be wearing the Blaugrana colors for some time yet.

The BallinEurope endorsement, however, goes to Sofoklis Schortsanitis. Not only is Big Sofo a fan favorite, not only would Sofoklis be done well in caricature, but can’t you just imagine him squaring off against Sabonis? Vote Sofo.

Despite the possibility of imminent retirement, Juan Carlos Navarro stays on the list. And Bo McCalebb’s there because he’s Bo. And because BiE wants that FYR Macedonia jersey in the logo.

Finally, there’s Vassilis Spanoulis. Damn straight BiE went there; after all, the guy did orchestrate Olympiacos’ magic run to cap 2011-12 with a couple of titles and he’s been an anchor on Greek national teams since 2000.

You may now blow up the comments section – but vote first!

Which player in Europe should be in the BallinEurope logo?

  • Vassilis Spanoulis (56%, 108 Votes)
  • Juan Carlos Navarro (20%, 39 Votes)
  • Bo McCalebb (11%, 21 Votes)
  • Sofoklis Schortsanitis (11%, 21 Votes)
  • Erazem Lorbek (2%, 5 Votes)

Total Voters: 194

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Nov
30

You decide: Who should be the new BallinEurope logo? Should “Pau” be retired?

“Pau”, Ramunas have served BiE well…

Sooner or later, it had to happen. With Ramunas Siskauskas – half of BallinEurope’s logo – now retired from the professional ranks, the icon (or possibly icons; more on this later) of this website must change. And so today we’re asking the question at top, i.e. Who should be the new logo?

We’ll be running a poll on this question next week, but please feel free to put forth suggestions in the “comments” section below this post. A few suggested guidelines: Since the winning choice will be immortalized (well, as immortalized as things can get online) in illustrated form, BiE asks that you consider only guys easily caricatured or are at least easily recognizable by the uniform.

After making a few kneejerk-reaction choices, BiE also consulted with this site’s contributing writers and a pilgrim father of BallinEurope. Below runs the tentative list of candidates thus far.

Continue Reading…

Nov
1

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.

Continue Reading…

Oct
45

Barça back on track? Blaugrana get first win of 2012-13 against Dallas Mavericks, 99-85

Who says the preseason NBA/Euroleague games don’t matter? Certainly not BallinEurope readers, who are using the round of exhibition matches to compare relative levels of talent and play.

Well, more grist for the debate mill was produced last night as FC Barcelona surprised the Dallas Mavericks at the ‘Palau, 99-85. The occasion marked the third such triumph for the Spanish side in recent years and chases up the 2010 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers. Perhaps most significantly locally, even those a bit begrudging about European basketball may admit that this was a big win for Barça.

Continue Reading…

Jun
8

Erazem Lorbek: Deal not done with San Antonio Spurs, options open

Over at Kosarka.si, Erazem Lorbek, Slovenia’s most sought-after basketball player on the free-agent market cleared the air a bit vis-à-vis Spain-based reports that he’d already reached an agreement with the San Antonio Spurs for the 2012-13 season.

Lorbek stated that he’d heard the reportage from Spain that he’d signed a deal to play in the NBA, characterizing it as “false information.”

The Euroleague first-teamer went on to say that he saw two other options for himself for 2012-13 beyond the NBA: To renew a contract with FC Barcelona or to get with another Euroleague team. Lorbek also indicated that all options are open and that the NBA is not necessarily in the driver’s seat.

Lorbek concluded with the acknowledgement that he is suffering from a few minor injuries, but he should be ready for the next season.

Continue Reading…

Jun
4

FC Barcelona tops Real Madrid, 73-69, to take Spanish title; MVP Lorbek, Mickeal, Vazquez lead way

Congratulations this morning go out to FC Barcelona, winners of the fifth and final game in the Liga Endesa championship, 73-69, over Real Madrid. In yet another cliffhanger, Los Blancos “died with their boots on” as the official league writeup would have it, while the Blaugrana were led by Pete Mickeal (17 points, nine rebounds, 23 performance index rating), Frán Vazquez (16 points, eight boards, four blocked shots) and prospective San Antonio Spur/series MVP Erazem Lorbek (10 points, six rebounds).

Highlights and extrapolated game report follow.

Continue Reading…

Jun
4

FC Barcelona vs. Real Madrid: Stats, highlights heading into El Clasico game five

What is the Mickeal Difference?

Tomorrow night will see game five of a series that has lived up to its billing as another “El Clasico.” After dramatic moments aplenty (yes, there will be clips), Real Madrid will head to the Palau Blaugrana for a decisive showdown with longtime rivals FC Barcelona.

The folks over at Liga Endesa headquarters have crunched a few numbers, sprinkling the results with a dash of numerology, on the first four games of the series. Stat geeks out there may want to consider the following.

• The 81-Point Threshold and the 29 Rule
In this series, at least 81 has proven to win in this series; game one and four, Barcelona won 81-80 and 81-75, respectively. More compelling is the “29 Rule” in this series, i.e. the first team to 29 points wins the given match. It should be noted, however, that both Barcelona in game one and Real in game two would have to come back in the fourth quarter after getting overtaken at 29.

• The Navarro Factor
Once again, as goes Juan Carlos Navarro, so goes FC Barcelona. A marked contrast colors Navarro’s numbers when comparing the Barça wins to losses. One indication of defeat early on tomorrow night: Barcelona’s dependence of his three-point shooting. In the first three games, Barcelona went an uncharacteristically awful 18-of-69 (26%) as Navarro was just 6-of-18 – including 4-of-9 in the game one win. Game four? Barcelona went 10-of-20 while Juan Carlos did more facilitating and took only one shot from beyond the arc.

Continue Reading…