Latest

BiE’s official Irish awards ballot +++ Joakim Noah wins NBA Defensive Player of the Year +++ Swee’ Pea makes the cut – Reaches Funding Target +++ The Dish – Too Rude for Masai Uijiri +++ 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 +++
May
0

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…

Continue Reading…

Feb
3

Messina on Teodosic: “I’m no Dr. Frankenstein”

L to R: Milos Teodosic, Ettore Messina

Just because the Euroleague is off this week, it doesn’t mean the media is closed for business and CSKA Moscow leader Ettore Messina gave international news a little to chew over during the bye. The coach wants you all to know a few things: He’s not a mad scientist animating cadavers, nor can he get Milos Teodosic to what the Italian coach sees as his next level.

Spanish-language Piratas Del Basket today quotes Messina in calling out his point guard a bit after the Red Army’s shocking home loss to Zalgiris Kaunas in Monday’s VTB United League game: “Clearly, there is progress in Teodosic’s game, but there’s still plenty of work to do in order for him to reach the necessarily level to be a leader.”

He went on to rhetorically ask media members, “Do you think that I’m doing nothing or that I’m Dr. Frankenstein and I can change his head as I please? Everything depends on the player. I can help but he will only change when he wants to.

Ever since last season’s Euroleague championship final – more known for Vassilis Spanoulis and Georgios Printezis’ heroics, but also notable for Teodosic’s fourth-quarter meltdown – BallinEurope has kept half an eye on the PG in late-game situations. And while CSKA was stumbling to two consecutive Euroleague losses, BiE is sad to note that mercurial Milos has reemerged…

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
0

Here come the Men in Red and Blue!

Dear CSKA Moscow Studios,

BiE was happy to hear that the exciting new cinematic blockbuster from your studios has now entered the production phase. The choices for leads in the “Men in Red and Blue” (or “MiRB” – nice bit of online-centric marketing consciousness shown there, might BiE say) motion picture are intriguing, indeed. Sonny Weems and Viktor Khryapa definitely have that je ne sais quoi-level of star power; BiE likes the idea of Khryapa as an invincible Schwarzeneggeresque action-flick hero for years to come.

But BiE digresses. With MiRB in pre-production, BiE hereby offers his services as songwriter for the soundtrack. My CV is attached … nah, that’s a lie. There is no CV. Let’s say instead that Os Davis is just some guy with a strong willingness to wrap.

Below run the lyrics to the proposed theme song, “Men in Red and Blue.” Thank you. My people will be waiting to hear from your people.

Yours,

Os Davis

“Men in Red and Blue”
© BallinEurope.com, 2012

Here come the Men in Red
(Oooh, in the red and blue)
(Oooh, in the red and blue)
Here come the Men in Red (Red and Blue)
You’re certain to remember

Yeah, yeah, yeah
The good guys dress in red, remember that,
Just in case we ever meet head-to-head and make contact.
We call ourselves the M.I.B.R.
And what we got means we got to go far.
Continue Reading…

Dec
2

Podcast: Interviews with Ettore Messina, Viktor Khryapa; ruminations on, well, a lotta stuff

Now up and running is episode #12 of the “Taking the Charge” podcast series, a co-production of heinnews.com and BallinEurope.

Amid a lot of chatting on recent events in basketball including the frankly bizarre $250,000 fine handed the San Antonio Spurs for recently not suiting up stars to play the Miami Heat in a televised game; Team Spain’s new coach Juan Antonio Orenga, who BiE believes could well have been the perfect choice for the job; questions of who might be the perfect coach for Team Germany (to be announced tomorrow) and Team Russia (to be announced on/by December 24), a question to which BiE has a perfect answer for either; and various Euroleague/NBA speculation, analysis and such.

The real highlights, however, are the brief-but-telling interviews with CSKA Moscow head coach Ettore Messina and his big man Viktor Khryapa. David Hein’s chat with Messina comes particularly recommended: In fewer than 500 words, the Red Army general manages to succinctly explain why CSKA will only get better as the Euroleague season goes on (yikes!), two areas in which his coaching was improved by his year with the Los Angeles Lakers organization and his take on FIBA’s international tournament format changes.

Plus, as always, Taking the Charge brings you fresh music (this time it’s Vir, post-punk hailing from New Zealand and operating in Oakland, plus the movie of the week, the classic American football-themed Marx Brothers flick “Horse Feathers.”

Check out the entire podcast here, and talk to you next week on Taking the Charge!

Continue Reading…

Oct
2

Interview: Sonny Weems of CSKA Moscow

For this week’s episode of the heinnews/BallinEurope “Taking the Charge” podcast series, Sonny Weems joined us for a chat – serendipitously timed after his 30-point barrage in a career day for CSKA Moscow at Partizan Belgrade last week – not to mention a 13-point, five-assist, three-steal effort against VEF Riga on the weekend.

The entire interview with the former Toronto Raptor/Žalgiris SG/SF may be heard here beginning at the 46:15 mark. Below run a few outtakes for the more textually inclined…

Continue Reading…

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.

Continue Reading…

Sep
46

What’s wrong with team Serbia? Coach Duda’s confession

Those who tuned into David and Davis’ podcast over at heinnews this week and/or have been reading the rants posted on BallinEurope on Milos Teodosic’s play in the recent FIBA EuroBasket 2013 qualifiers know that BiE fears something is amiss in Serbia. BallinEurope’s contributing writer from over there, Marko Savkovic, today tells us that head coach Dušan Ivković attempted to address some of the issues dogging his Team Serbia yesterday. Did Duda succeed in his explanation? You be the judge…

Team Serbia walked a very thin line last Tuesday, narrowly escaping elimination from EuroBasket 2013. Three days later, its coach Dušan “Duda” Ivković faced the press.

Yes, Israel was beaten fairly convincingly on Tuesday evening. If it hadn’t been for a couple of late three-pointers from Guy Pnini, Omri Casspi’s strong 1-on-1 display and some staunch 4th quarter defense, Serbia would have won by a margin far greater than 19 points necessary to finish second in the group. Belgrade’s Pionir Arena welcomed home team’s rise from the state of complete disarray into which it had fallen in after its disgraceful loss to Estonia. Yet the smiles and cheers were those not so much confidence or gratitude, but of relief. Relief for a nation which – you have to compare – 10 years ago celebrated its last world championship.

On Friday, coach Duda spoke to the press.He accepted part of the blame for the team’s abysmal showing in the EuroBasket qualifiers, but also argued that “we [Serbia] are not a team going about to disgrace our nation.”

Continue Reading…

Jul
3

Euroleague Basketball Institute recommends rule changes for “more free-flowing and rhythmic game”

The Euroleague and its Basketball Institute concluded its “Basketball Rules Summit” yesterday and today has put out a press release detailing some of the recommendations for future EL and Eurocup play. Said media communique follows.

(Euroleague) – …The spirited two-day debate among 13 of the top coaches, players, referees, team and league executives, media, television and marketing experts reached a consensus on proposals to improve a range of game situations that respected the summit’s goal in making the competitions cleaner, fairer and more exciting.

Continue Reading…

Jun
0

Quiz: The NBA- and Euro-centric year in basketball, 2011-12

2011-12: The year of Spanoulis?

Quick! Before those memories of basketball championships European and NBA fade completely, take a brief look back at the season that was – one crazy one on The Continent that began with Tony Parker, Ty Lawson and Mehmet Okur playing over here and concluded with titles taken by King James and Emperor Spanoulis. Get out those pencils and take the BallinEurope quiz…

1. The 2011-12 Euroleague season:
a) was one of the greatest ever
b) was the greatest ever
c) proved Jordi Bertomeu’s contention that “we don’t need NBA imports to be a top-quality competition
d) was awesome, but man, i’m jonesing. When does the season start?

Continue Reading…