Shades of Vince Carter were shown by Maccabi Rishon’s Willie Warren, who pulled off one of this season’s most incredible dunks anywhere in his team’s 88-82 defeat of Bnei HaSharon on Sunday. Check out the closest approximation to Carter’s infamous “Dunk of Death” we’ve seen since originally pulled off at the 2000 Olympics. Fulfilling the Fred Weis role is Jumaine Jones.
BallinEurope’s man in Italy, Enrico Cellini, contributes quite a bizarre story out of league basketball there. (To think that Cibona Zagreb fans merely created an interesting image in protest of their team’s poor play.) The headline gives away the punchline so BiE won’t forestall this tale’s telling further … um, enjoy.
On January 2, Scavolini Siviglia Pesaro (then 6-6 in Italy) was supposed to be fully focused on preparing for the toughest match of the season, i.e. the Serie A game against almighty juggernaut and five-time repeat champions Montepaschi Siena. Nobody could have ever expected that the greatest challenge for the team would come from outside the court.
On the morning of the game, Pesaro officials informed media that head of a pig had been left in front of Scavolini Pesaro basketball operations offices by an indignant anonymous fan or group of fans (or rather, more appropriately, “fanatic” or “fanatics”).
Yesterday, BallinEurope.com ran part one of Francesco Cappelletti’s analysis and forecast of Italy’s first six Serie A teams for 2009-10. Below runs part two, covering the remaining 10 hopefuls from the top Italian league.
Angelico Biella. Last year’s semifinal is only a memory: Biella must again plunge into the tough reality of its life as small basketball center among wealthier clubs and cities. On the other hand, the peacefulness and consciousness working in Biella makes it easier than in Milano to remain in Northern Italy. That’s what Fred Jones was surely thinking when he decided to cross the ocean and leave the NBA. The dunk specialist from Malvern is the noisiest acquisition an Italian club made this summer, and Jones could easily be Serie A MVP if he stays healthy. Joe Troy Smith is delegated to assist him, above and beyond scoring his usual 15 points per game, with support essential to a squad which has only one other pure shooter in Pietro Aradori. Aradori is set to confirm his past progress before returning to Roma, owner of his contract.
Poring over some Sporting Bet odds and lines on Lega Uno basketball reveals a stunning amount of continued domination from Montepaschi Siena. Not only is Ferdinando Minucci’s team a 4/15 favorite to take the Italian title, they’re also an incredible 3/10 favorite to once again (again!) go undefeated at home.
So the question to our BallinEurope correspondent in Italy, Francesco Cappelletti, was: Just how good *is* Montepaschi, anyway? Responded Francesco:
On this Sunday, in the Supercoppa, Bologna (a 25/1 underdog to take the title) is going to have the pleasure of being the first Italian team to face bulldozer Montepaschi Siena, at the dawn of a new boring season. “Boring” because Montepaschi has just completed a three-peat, the team has confirmed nearly all of its players from 2008-09 (exceptions being Rimas Kaukenas and Morris Finley’s departures, while David Hawkins and Nikos Zisis are in), and three entire regular seasons have passed since the team last lost at home.