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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 +++
Jul
2

The 24 must-see regular season games in 2014/15 Euroleague

Euroleague-Maccabi-Win

Week by week, day by day, we try to forecast the ‘must-watch’ games in the Euroleague Regular season for 2014/15. If you are feeling particularly evil, feel free to bookmark this and come back to mock us after Week 10.

The rules here are pretty simple. I get to pick one game for each night of Euroleague play this year except for Round 10 where I pick one for each group as the dates aren’t decided yet. Priority on how it will affect qualification placing trumps clash of big clubs, and I need to avoid reverse fixtures wherever possible. Let’s do this.

Round 1
16 October – Valencia vs Olympiacos
I was tempted to herald the return of Limoges here seeing as they are taking on the reigning champs but this is a game between an established power in Olympiacos and a team that won EuroCup last season and is trying to establish itself as a legitimate third force in Spain.

17 October – Fenerbahce vs Olimpia Milano
On the one hand we have a team that enters every year with a heap of expectation and tends to under-perform. On the other a team that exceeded expectations, fell away in spring, and just about managed to take its domestic title. Fener have reloaded, as per usual, Milano appear to have done the opposite. This game could set an early tone.

Round 2
23 October – CSKA Moscow vs Maccabi Elektra Tel Aviv
Because, well, duh.

24 October – Limoges vs Cedevita Zagreb
Eugh this was a tough day to call and not because of an abundance of hot match-ups. Limoges make their home return to EL action, Cedevita should prove interesting and a road win would be big for them here.
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Sep
0

Podcast: Lotsa Eurobasket, including interviews with Mike Fratello, Alexis Ajinca, Robertas Javtokas, more

Taking the Charge podcast seriesEpisode #53 (or perhaps that should be “Volume II, Episode 1”) of the BallinEurope/heinnews co-produced “Taking the Charge” podcast series is now available online or via iTunes.

With co-host David Hein “enjoying” the Eurobasket 2013 tournament going down the stretch live in Ljubljana (that “enjoying” is in quotes because we know for a fact that the man’s working like a dog over there), the focus is all on the Continental tournament.

The final round tips off today in lovely Slovenia and we’ve got four short interviews for your listening pleasure with one representative from each of the first four games: Check out the ‘cast for words from young Team Serbia sensation Vasilije Micic; Les Bleus former Charlotte Bobcat Alexis Ajinça; the Czar Himself and current Team Ukraine mastermind Mike Fratello; and Robertas Javtokas of Lietuva.

Naturally, we couldn’t resist the change to offer some Official Fearless Predictions™, including what must be the world’s first championship-game prognostication for Eurobasket 2015.

In our sports movie review of the week segment, we’re looking at an HBO production from 1995 (also known as that time when HBO wasn’t yet HBO) centered on a Rucker Park classic, Rebound: The Legend of Earl “The Goat” Manigault.

Check out the entire podcast here or to subscribe from this episode ad infinitum, enter http://heinnews.com/feed/taking-the-charge/ into iTunes or any podcast aggregator.

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May
0

Euroleague championship game: Official BallinEurope Fearless Predictions™

BiE’s got enough time to throw these out there, so here goes nothing … since in this debacle, we went with a final score of 72-60 – albeit with way wrong finalists picked – we’ll run with it: Olympiacos 72, Real Madrid 60, to complete the amazing back-to-back. And your Euroleague Final Four MVP will be … Kyle Hines.

(Regular readers of this ‘site of course realize what this likely means: Los Blancos take their first EL title since ’95 and, say, Felipe Reyes will take the individual award; wager accordingly.)

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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…

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Apr
3

BallinEurope’s Euroleague Bracket (plus bonus Official Fearless Prediction™)

From the ever-busy Better Late Than Never Department, below runs BallinEurope’s Euroleague Bracket; it says here that CSKA Moscow avenges last season’s heartbreaking season-ender by besting Olympiacos in the Final Four round and grabbing the title that eluded them in 2012.

Bonus Official Fearless Prediction™: The final score of the championship game will be 72-60.

Euroleague bracket 2012-13 filled out

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Dec
2

NBA on Christmas Day: BallinEurope’s Official Fearless Predictions™

Here on The Continent, all but the hardiest envy those in the Western Hemisphere today; as the holiday fades into evening here, the NBA’s awesome quintupleheader is just beginning: To watch this live, the European would have to pull an all-nighter, with wall-to-
wall basketball straight through to 7am or so. BallinEurope plans to watch the first two and get up before the rooster for the 4.30am CET tipoff of Clippers-Nuggets.

In any case, apologies for the delay, but below run BallinEurope Official Fearless Predictions™ for the Christmas slate. The first game’s already begun (full disclosure: as of this writing, it’s Brooklyn Nets 16, Boston Celtics 12), but BiE’s got the Cs winning in Spike Lee’s neighborhood – wish it could be proven, but BiE did post his vote this way in the ESPN Sports Nation poll today.

On the rest of the slate, the other OFPs include the Los Angeles Lakers over the Knicks in a nailbiter in which Steve Nash goes for nine assists (of course); the Oklahoma City Thunder over the Miami Heat by 8; the Chicago Bulls defend home court against the Houston Rockets, winning by 10 despite game high-scorer James Harden’s efforts; and in that battle of the league’s most exciting teams, the red hot Los Angeles Clippers extend the winning streak (which will end against the Celtics in their upcoming match) over the Denver Nuggets by, BiE’ll say, 11.

Enjoy the wall of ’ball; BallinEurope sure will…

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Nov
15

Minnesota Timberwolves bullets: How good are these guys?

Nice choice, BallinEurope readers. The Minnesota Timberwolves, selected as BiE’s NBA home team for the 2012-13 season, are early darlings in the big league, managing to get off to a respectable 4-2 start (“Their best start in 11 years!” went the hype after the Wolves’ win over the Indiana Pacers) while Kevin Love, Ricky Rubio and at present J.J. Barea are down to injury.

BallinEurope checks in this morning with those fantastic Eurowolves, bullet-style with video and an Official Fearless Prediction™ or two below.

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Nov
9

US Presidential Election 2012: America’s basketball diplomat hits hardwood for last-minute votes (plus Official Fearless Prediction™)

Love him or hate him after nearly four years in office, one thing is for certain: Barack Obama is the first basketball president – a fact that could curry lots of favor with Generation X and Y voters in a celebrity-charged election.

Sure, Bill Clinton was lucky enough to enjoy his home-state University of Arkansas’ 1994 victory in the NCAA Tournament and play host to the Dream Team in ’92. Sure, guys like George W. Bush, Gerald Ford and Richard Nixon were often more erudite when discussing sports than, you know, politics (check out “Fear and Loathing: On the Campaign Trail ’72” for Hunter S. Thompson’s interview with Tricky Dick, an interview which Thompson was told could only be about NFL football). And the Kennedys surely won popularity points for their picturesque family touch-football games.

However, no US president has leveraged sports fandom on an international scale like Obama. (Check out BallinEurope contributing writer Enrico Cellini’s piece on his pet project, tracking Obama’s basketball diplomacy moves.) And the president’s preference for basketball represents the rise of the NBA and to some extent NCAA hopes during David Stern’s reign as the big league’s commissioner.

(Is it any coincidence that Obama came to professional prominence in that hometown of the 1990s’ Incredibulls? BiE thinks not.)

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Oct
8

The BallinEurope Eurocentric NBA preview: 25 storylines to watch

Storyline #15

BallinEurope’s said it before and fully expects to say it again: Better late than never. Stuff like podcast recording, the day job and, you know, life, has delayed the release of this season’s “Eurocentric preview.” BiE figures he’s morally convinced, since 80% of the NBA hasn’t tipped off as of this writing.

We’re doing something slightly different for 2012-13; rather than a team-by-team breakdown of the NBA and its 50-plus Europeans in the rolls, BiE instead presents the 25 storylines this website will attempt to keep tabs on as the 2012-13 edition of the NBA enfolds. Enjoy the season (unless you’re in the Twitter Airlines NBA fantasy league, in which case BiE’ll attempt to seek misplaced vengeance for his general incompetence in the Euroleague game…)!

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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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