Tanjevic: “NBA coaches don’t understand,” “Kanter has forgotten how to play”

Not to fan the flames of debate here at BallinEurope or anything … a few particularly incendiary comments made by former Limoges/Asvel Villeurbanne head coach and current Team Turkey technical coordinator Bogdan Tanjevic were first reported on Italy-based La Gazzetta dello Sport and subsequently picked up by Sportando and France-based Passion Basket, among others. We can easily surmise that Tanjevic won’t be offered a job by Utah Jazz Basketball Inc. any time soon…

On Enes Kanter not playing on the national team in 2012, Tanjevic said that “He is a great talent and we miss him a lot. He decided not to join us but honestly, he needs us more than we need him. He has not played or trained with us in the past three years. I [also] had to replace [Kerem] Gonlum, who was on holiday with his family. Without Kanter, it will be a little more difficult but I think we’ll be able to get into EuroBasket 2013.”

But Tanjevic also sees a problem with dependence on NBA stars at all – namely, the coaches. Was he surprised when Kanter declined to play with Team Turkey? “I’m not surprised at all … America is the perfect place to lose your head. Firstly, because the coaches [there] do not understand. In the NBA, there are just three or four coaches who have been there for 100 years, making billions and winning trophies. Others are weak. Including [Utah Jazz head coach] Tyrone Corbin…

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Euroleague Power Rankings: Do-or-die Week Edition

The key word in week three of the 2011-12 Euroleague Top 16 round: Blowout. The closest game was decided by eight points (Bennet Cantù 82, Maccabi Tel Aviv 74) and the average match showed a 16-point differential as certain teams (CSKA Moscow, FC Barcelona, Montepaschi Siena) asserted their superiority, a couple of sleeping giants (Olympiacos, Panathinaikos) stirred, and two (Unicaja Malaga, Emporio Armani Milano) firmly established themselves as this stage’s busts.

Going into tonight’s games four, nothing has changed within the elite, though mid-pack much jostling for position may be seen. With the group leaders all in excellent position to at least solidify a strong hold on a semifinals berth, this could prove to be a make-or-break week for no fewer than those nine sides in the scrum.

The key word for week four, then, in BallinEurope’s estimation: Injuries. The ‘bug is truly hunkering down amid some Euroleague teams, and one could build a pretty decent roster from those who are out, questionable or hampered this week. Potential difference-makers who will be sitting include, among others, Viktor Khryapa (CSKA); Ante Tomic (Real Madrid); Omer Onan, Marko Tomas (Milano); Kerem Gonlum, Ermal Kuqo (Anadolu Efes); Steven Smith (PAO); and Shawn James (Maccabi Tel Aviv).

Below run another edition of the BiE power rankings as we enter this decisive week. Once again, please note that these rankings are an indicator of how teams are trending, with some consideration given to play in other leagues and heavy emphasis on Euroleague results.

Without further ado, then, onto the rankings! Go ahead, you can guess the first four, surely…

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Euroleague Top 16, Week Two, Night One: Six games, 100 facts

Courtesy the Euroleague folks, BallinEurope brings a compendium of facts and figures spanning history and record books regarding tomorrow night’s slate of a half-dozen games – plus lines on the games and highlight clips. Enjoy!

CSKA Moscow vs. Anadolu Efes Istanbul
• CSKA leads the all-time series between the teams, 8-7.
• Nenad Krstic has scored in double figures in each of his last 16 Euroleague appearances dating back to the 2003-04 season.
• Andrei Kirilenko and Nenad Krstic lead the Euroleague in index rating with at averages of 27.8 and 21.5 per game, respectively.
• Kirilenko also leads the Euroleague in blocked shots (3.2 bpg).
• Milos Teodosic is ranked second in the Euroleague in assists this season with a career-high 5.6 assists per game.
• Darjus Lavrinovic needs three more blocks reach 100 for his Euroleague career. With his next block, Lavrinovic will tie former CSKA big man Terence Morris for 12th place all-time.
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Iverson, Besiktas blue-chippers not enough against Efes Pilsen, 85-83 (OT)

Say what you want about the European extension of Allen Iverson’s basketball career, the man can still play. Unfortunately, an utter lack of depth ultimately killed Beşiktaş Cola Turka and Ergin Ataman’s coaching debut with the Turkish club against Euroleague side Efes Pilsen Istanbul last night, 85-83 in overtime.

Iverson played a sliver under 40 minutes, going for 17 points on 6-of-11 overall shooting plus an impressive eight assists. Beşiktaş’ other blue chips turned in good-to-excellent games, with Cevher Ozer (27 points, 11-of-18, seven rebounds) the top dog, A.J. Ogilvy (7-of-12, 18 points, 14 boards) continuing as the double-double machine in the Iverson Era; and Mire Chatman (5-of-11, 10 points, six rebounds) solid.

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Highlights from Union Olimpija-Efes Pilsen 2OT thriller

The Euroleague’s game of the night last night and probably ultimately in all of week one was seen in the Union Olimipija-Efes Pilsen battle – and BallinEurope does mean battle – in Ljubljana. By the time the buzzer sounded, some 8,700 had thrilled to only the third double-overtime regular-season game in EL history, with Olimpija surviving, 95-90.

Official highlight clip and writeup follow the break.

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Sunday roundup: Serbia, Germany, Greece, Tall Blacks win

Krstic krushed for Serbia

A few exhibition games between national teams were played this weekend as the Istanbul Cup and the Love Cyprus Basketball Tournament wrapped with some interesting clashes, indeed.

In Turkey, Team Serbia emphatically demonstrated that they should be discussed among the 2010 FIBA World Championship elite by decisively beating the home team in an 83-70 win. Kerem Tuncer, Omer Onan, Hedo Turkoglu, Semih Erden and Cevher Özer started for Turkey, while Serbia went with Dragan Milosavljevic, Dusko Savanovic, Kosta Perovic, Milos Teodosic, and Marco Keselj.

Though Serbia was cold early, succumbing to an early barrage from Turkoglu and Onan to go down 10-3, they soon got contributions from Perovic and Teodosic to take the lead at 19-17 and finish the first quarter up 27-22.

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Power ratings: 2010 FIBA World Championship

August is here and it’s full speed ahead for the 2010 FIBA World Championship in Turkey later this month. In coming weeks, we’ll be seeing the national teams competing in the tournament playing warmup games all over the planet – indeed, some have already begun play.

With the last few big names having declared “yea” or “nay” on participation in the Worlds, BallinEurope figured it was high time to introduce power rankings for the upcoming tournament. Keep in mind that these rankings are not necessarily how BiE is fearlessly predicting they’ll end up when the 2010 Worlds are over, but rather how the squads are currently trending: You know, if the tournament started today…

All rankings are guaranteed to be 100% subjective with some semblance and factoring in of facts, FIBA rankings and sportsbooks’ odds on the tournament; the handy arrows indicate the team’s progress/regress on the chart (BiE’s pretending we ran one last week. Top 15 teams are ranked below the break.

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Eurobasket 2009 preview capsules, part three

Ball in Europe wraps its capsule coverage of Eurobasket 2009 competitors today with a look at the last five teams in the bunch. You can read part one here and part two here.

Group: B

In brief: Two years after winning gold, Team Moscow – i mean, Team Russia – brings the “new look” team of the tournament. These young guys will be relying on solid fundamental play and the stifling D for which the country’s international teams have come to be known in the 2000s.

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Tips from the Euroleague boss: Week 10

Hello everybody and happy 2009 to every BallinEurope reader! First and foremost, I must apologize for my non-blogging last week. I was on holiday and returned one hour before the games with a ton of things to do. Things didn’t go as planned, either, trades were not good and I went down some positions. Hope the new year brings you all you wish for.

Basketball-wise, I just want Cajasol to avoid relegation. I could wish for a terrific Euroleague Final Four, but hey, it’s in Berlin, in a state-of-the-art, brand new arena, with four outstanding teams, a Junior Tournament that’s stronger than ever and a good, professional organization. Hopefully, little can go wrong.

I started 2009 with a 168.6 score — not bad, but not at all good. I’m trying to avoid players on teams already eliminated or named group champions. The problem is, only three trades are available: We will have open changes at the end of this round, and there is a ton of work to do.

My team right now has Mantas Kalnietis and Greer at point guards; Jonas Maciulis, Romain Sato, Igor Rakocevic and Sani Becirovic at wings; Tiago Splitter, Felipe Reyes, Marcus Haislip and Mike Batiste in the middle. Becirovic has the flu and is questionable in the big game against Fenerbahce Ulker. He did not play this weekend. This pretty much conditions all my trades. If Sanny Boy plays, he will have a good game for sure. But honestly, I don’t know.

Then Tau plays Joventut with nothing to worry about, but they play at home and coach Ivanovic likes to win it all. Rakocevic has a big matchup against Ricky Rubio and Splitter surely wants to take revenge against Edu Hernandez-Sonseca, who outclassed him in Badalona to become the Week 7 MVP. It’s all too complicated.

I decided to trade Greer, Becirovic and Splitter. Strange as it may seem, I think it will work best.

My first trade has to be logical. If I think Becirovic won’t play, then Ibby Jaaber is set to rock the show. If Becirovic finally plays, then, well, I made another mistake. We’ll see! I’m also picking up Immanuel McElroy because Alba needs to win to make the Top 16. I don’t expect McElroy to have the incredible game he had in Badalona last week – but he should be fine against Olimpija. That way, I can add any player I want at center. Maccabi plays at Malaga and I don’t like that fantasy-wise. Even though I am tempted to grab Cyril Julian, one of my favorite players, I decided to go with Ksystof Lavrinovic. So my team looks like this:

Mantas Kalnietis – right now, the most underrated player in the game and Zalgiris needs a win.
Ibby Jaaber – Lottomatica needs to win to finish second. Jaaber is in great shape.

Jonas Maciulis – The Bull has been playing really well lately, becoming his team’s leader.
Romain Sato – No Kaukenas in Nancy, so Sato should step up. He had a 56 index game in the Italian League recently.
Igor Rakocevic – Don’t expect Tau to sit players out: Dusko Ivanovic is not that kind of coach.
Immanuel McElroy – Frankly, I don’t see anyone in Olimpija matching his athleticism and strength.

Ksistof Lavrinovic – A nightmare matchup for anybody, especially playing alongside the team’s silent leader Shaun Stonerook.
Felipe Reyes – Madrid must win to finish second. Expect Reyes to battle hard against Kaya Peker and Kerem Gonlum.
Marcus Haislip – A tough game for him against Maccabi Electra. Still, I had no more trades.
Mike Batiste – Panathinaikos needs to win big and hope for Siena to lose to finish second. That’s why he stays.

Good luck everybody, and see you again before the start of the Top 16! Enjoy the unlimited trading – It’s now or never!


Tips from the Euroleague Fantasy boss: Week 4

Hello everyone, this is Javier Gancedo, always from Euroleague Basketball. Looks like it has been yet another great fantasy week for me. I am beginning to get worried after modifying all my previous entries because of injuries. Seriously. We’ll see what happens this week.

It has been a fantastic week in Euroleague, especially the nine-game marathon last night. We all finished at 2am, totally destroyed but happy to have experienced the best regular season in Euroleague Basketball history.:Buzzer-beaters, Louis Bullock, double-overtime games, Vlado Ilievski missing again at the buzzer, close games, passion, drama, upsets… Seriously, the Euroleague is getting better than ever, and it is impressive that CSKA is the only unbeaten team, despite being without J.R. Holden and Matjaz Smodis.

Before anything else, I would like you to introduce our new online game, the Eurocup FabFive Challenge!

This is a very down-to-earth, exciting game in which you can pick five players, one from each range, with no restrictions whatsoever. If you want to have five point guards, go ahead. Five centers? Be my guest. Just keep in mind that players may move from one group to another depending on their index rating and you will need to trade every week to have a valid, five-player team. The trades after Week 1 should be exciting. Players can go from the top group to the bottom one if they have a really bad night, and vice versa! Just build your team and maybe we all can put together a private league. OK, well, keep reading and then make a team, but don’t forget: It’s a great game, we all think.

As for Fantasy Challenge, I had a pretty decent week with good trades, especially Emir Preldzic. Preldzic rolled against Olimpija, showing he is the closest thing to Toni Kukoc in 1990 that European basketball has seen lately. If he keeps developing, Preldzic will be a hell of a player, mark my words. I moved up to 9th place in the BallinEurope private league and yes, I erased some of my deficit in the Kuqo situation. I even cracked the Top 40 with a different team. I’m telling you all this because bad times will come, no doubt about it. Of course, beating EVICROCK will be tough, as he is doing very, very well.

As for this week, I wanted to trade early because honestly, I wanted you all to know about FabFive as soon as possible. I may regret my trades before the deadline and if so, I will notify you right away – especially since it’s quite probable that someone will get injured, anyway.

Remember when I told you Nikos Zisis would be there until Holden comes back? I’ve changed my mind, since Belgrade is a tough place to play and I expect the game to be low-scoring. I also traded Bracey Wright due to the showdown against Tau Ceramica and then removed Felipe Reyes because Kerem Gonlum may out-rebound him. Those are my three trades this week.

I believe Armani Jeans Milano has been playing well lately and, since they play Panionios On Telecoms at home, I think it’s time for them to do well in front of their fans. Therefore, I added Michael Hall at power forwards and centers, a big moneymaker. My main move this week was picking up Chris Warren of Air Avellino. Warren plays against Cibona and even while Rawel Marshall will also be extremely motivated, I am sure that the Avellino swingman will have a good game. At point guard, I had to choose between Lynn Greer and Earl Calloway. I’m going with Greer for the sake of Euroleague experience, even though I wrote the Cibona-Olympiacos game report and Calloway was just UNSTOPPABLE in the third quarter.

So my team goes like this:

Aaron Miles – Another Cajasol playmaker that leaves the team and becomes a Euroleague star. Oh my.
Lynn Greer – Should have an interesting shootout against Dewarick Spencer in Le Mans.

Jonas Maciulis – The Bull returns home to play Regal FC Barcelona. He should be a solid choice.
Emir Preldzic – Has been unstoppable lately and is way underpriced.
Sani Becirovic – Sanny Boy is the Euroleague superstar he was several years ago. In top shape right now.
Chris Warren – Again the X factor. He should be ready to do well against Cibona.

Mirza Begic – It’s more than seven extra credits in our teams. You have him, right? C’mon, don’t lie.
Mike Hall – I liked what I saw in Madrid this week. Few power forwards are playing more minutes right now.
Mirsad Turkcan – Even when Andre Hutson knows him well, Turkcan should out-rebound EVERYBODY!
Mike Batiste – Big Mike always plays better on the road and the game in Sopot should be no exception.

As always, good luck in the Fantasy Challenge… And try the Fab Five, the great game with the gangsta name!