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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 +++
Nov
0

EURO-NBA: Les Spurs roll, Pek scores 25 but T-Wolves fall

It was a busy Veteran’s Day for the NBA’s European contingent. Tony Parker and Marco Belinelli had big days for San Antonio, Nikola Pekovic had a bigger one for Minnesota but came out on the losing end at the Clippers.

The Spurs put in another insanely balanced performance, spreading minutes and stats across their roster, as they cruised to a 109-85 win over the Sixers. Tony Parker scored 14 points and dished 9 assists in a comfortable victory for San Antonio. Marco Belinelli made his presence felt off the bench, scoring 12 points and grabbing 6 rebounds. Boris Diaw had starters minutes for the Spurs, finishing with 8 points, 5 boards, and 3 assists. In limited action, Nando de Colo scored 3 points, grabbed 2 rebounds, and had 1 dish.

The Timberwolves fell in Los Angeles to the Clippers despite a double-double from Nikola Pekovic. The Montenegrin big man had 25 points and 10 boards in the loss. Ricky Rubio had 10 assists to go along with his 5 points. Alexey Shved got 11 minutes on the court but struggled to make an impact, picking up just one rebound for his trouble.

Another double-double for a European big man, another defeat in spite of it. Jonas Valanciunas scored 10 points and grabbed 13 rebounds as the Raptors lost to the Rockets 110-104. Omer Asik had 4 points and 2 rebounds for Houston while Omri Casspi had 5 points, 6 boards, and 4 assists off the bench for the Rockets.

A third double-double for a European big and a third defeat. Nikola Vucevic scored 15 points and had 10 rebounds but finished on the losing end Monday, as the Magic fell 120-105 in Boston.

Timofey Mozgov made good work of his time on the floor for the Nuggets as the Russian scored 10 points and grabbed 5 boards in a 100-81 win over the Jazz. Evan Fournier’s impact was largely muted, with just 2 points for his efforts. Enes Kanter had 12 points and 4 boards for Utah in the defeat while Rudy Gobert had 3 points and 2 boards off the bench.

The Bulls moved to 3-3 on the season as Luol ‘I’m totally hitting the free-agent market whether I like it or not’ Deng scored 12 points and grabbed 5 boards in a 96-81 win over the Cavs.

Nicolas Batum had 12 points and 8 assists for the Trail Blazers on Monday and the Frenchman’s efforts helped lift Portland past the Pistons 109-103.

Ian Mahinmi was a perfect 6 of 6 from the line for Indiana on Monday. The Frenchman scored 10 as the Pacers remained unbeaten with a 95-79 win over the Grizzlies. Marc Gasol had 15 points and 9 boards for Memphis while Kosta Koufos had 8 points and 3 boards.

Sweden’s Jeffrey Taylor scored 10 points and picked up 6 boards for the Bobcats but they fell 103-94 to the Hawks. Dennis Schroeder got just 10 minutes of action for Atlanta, scoring 4 points, while Pero Antic didn’t play. Normally this column doesn’t mention DNPs but it’s Pero so of course we’re making an exception.

 

Nov
2

EURO-NBA: Marc leads Grizzlies past Celtics, tight loss for T-Wolves


After a weekend filled with double-doubles and topped by a trip-dub from Batman, Monday was a much quiter affair for the NBA’s European contingent.

Marc Gasol scored 14 points and snagged 8 rebounds in the performance of the night by a European. The Spaniard helped Memphis eke out a 95-88 win over the Celtics. Kosta Koufos got 13 minutes on the court, picking up 3 points, 2 assists, and 2 boards in the process. Boston remain winless.

Ricky Rubio could steal but left his shot at home as the Timberwolves fell 93-92 to the Cavs. La Pistola was anything but effective on the open floor, shooting just 0-7. Rubio’s 5 steals and 5 assists meant he was still contributing to the T-Wolves on offence but he scored just 4 points on the night, all from the line. Nikola Pekovic grabbed 12 rebounds to go along with his 8 points but he shot a ghastly 3-12 from the field as the T-Wolves lost by the narrowest of margins.

Omer Asik and the Rockets saw their unbeaten start to the season come to a screeching halt as the Clippers rolled to a 137-118 win. Asik had 6 points and 7 boards in 23 minutes on the court. Donatas Motiejunas got 5 minutes game time and missed his only shot.

Finally Nenad Nedovic played a minor role as the Warriors ended Philadelphia’s unbeaten start to the season. Nedovic picked up 2 points and a rebound in 12 minutes for Golden State as the rolled to a 110-90 win.

Sep
0

EuroBasket: Parker, France, finally get the best of Spain

It took overtime, it took Tony time, but France finally got the best of Spain. Now they move on to the final of EuroBasket 2013.

Drama does not mean quality. There were extended periods of fantastic basketball when France played Spain on Friday night. There were equally lengthy spell where the play was horrid. Overtime certainly fit the latter but it followed a fourth quarter of breathtaking ball. After quietly riding to the top of the scoring charts in this tournament, Tony Parker finally made his presence felt when his country needed it most.

In 37 minutes of play Parker exorcised the demons that plagued French basketball, due largely to the Spanish golden generation. Most of them were there and delivering. Marc Gasol had 19 points and 9 boards but he also gave the ball up 6 times. Rudy Fernandez landed alley-oops at the business end of the game, en route to 17 points. Jose Calderon was there in body but he left his shot in the locker room.

Parker however would have to carry most of the load on his own. Nicolas Batum was awful. Alexis Ajinca made some bonehead plays. Boris Diaw and Florent Pietrus gave support inside but for France to win, and avenge 2011 and 2012, it would take something memorable from Parker. In the fourth quarter, it was Tony time. The San Antonio Spur brought France level and then in front. It wasn’t just a momentary spark. The most gifted French baller who ever lived scored 32 and collected 6 rebounds. Like Gasol he had turnover problems but not enough to take him off the floor.

Then came OT. An utter mess of poor offence. Spain struck first, France moved ahead, and then the errors came. It looked like we’d have Sergio Rodriguez and Parker squaring off for five minutes of drama but hero-ball is badly over-rated. The victory would come down to who made the fewest mistakes. Victor Claver’s air ball was one too many for Spain.

So for the third time in their history, France advance to the final of EuroBasket. In 1949 they lost to Egypt in Cairo. Two years ago it was Spain. This time around they face Lithuania. Third time lucky won’t be easy. On paper this isn’t a contest but Lithuania’s depth and organisation means they a far from a straight forward opponent. On the inside they can hurt France. From the outside they have a bunch of options with chips on their shoulders. Parker will be ready. He needs his team mates to be too.

Sep
5

EuroBasket: Spain rout Serbia 90-60 in quarter finals

Spain brutalised Serbia early as they romped to victory in the first quarter final of EuroBasket 2013.

Spain started hot and rarely let off in a rout of Serbia. Everyone knew the Spanish had speed but Serbia weren’t ready for how hard Spain would start the game. A 21-5 first quarter set the tone for the contest. Spain’s guards created opportunities at will as Serbia’s battered back-court struggled to keep up. Nemanja Nedovic bravely tried to compete but the injured Golden State Warrior couldn’t handle the constant pressure being brought by Spain’s offence. The rough start rattled Serbia early and their shot was off, further hampering their cause.

Spain didn’t let up in the second quarter despite Dusan Ivkovic’s best efforts to calm his young charges. Marc Gasol utterly dominated Nenad Krstic, a match-up he was expected to win but one in which the Serbian looked lost throughout. Serbia finally got a dash of success on the other end but with Rudy Fernandez raining threes for fun, it was a case of damage limitation. With Spain 22 points up as half-time neared, Pablo Aguilar put up a three on the buzzer and lead was 48-23.

When it’s going your way, it’s going your way. With 3.38 left in the third quarter Gasol heaved a full court pass to Sergio Llull for an easy lay-up, releasing the ball before he even knew where the Real Madrid man was, and the lead grew to 69-29. There wasn’t an aspect of play where Spain didn’t look in control. On the inside they battered Serbia. Their outside shooting was downright scary. Serbia’s Eagles looked like rabbits in the headlights. The question for Ivkovic was no longer what he needed to win this game. It was what he must do to get his young side refocused on the games ahead that will decided whether they play in the FIBA World Cup next year.

Serbia showed some fight in the final frame but in truth it was as much Spain easing off as the Serbs finally finding their confidence. The Spanish now await the winner of tonight’s second quarter final between the hosts Slovenia, who beat Spain in the first round, and France. The French are hungry for revenge after losing the 2011 final to Spain and then dropping a chippy Olympic quarter final to them last year. Whoever progresses, they will face a formidable opponent in Spain. After taking it easy at times in the early rounds, Spain look hungry for the three-peat.

Jun
11

Eurobasket 2013: Which NBA players are in, which are out?

Because it’s never too early to start looking ahead to Eurobasket 2013 – wait a minute, there’s only 11 weeks left until tipoff? Definitely not too early, then, to take a look at the formative rosters for the big Continental tournament.

While only a few national teams (Croatia and Lithuania among them) have released preliminary rosters at this point and a few major leagues still playing (Spain, Greece, Germany, Italy, etc.), we can at least deduce which NBA players will or won’t be playing. After all, the rosters of 93.3% of NBA teams have finished their 2012-13 season – and the Miami Heat have no Europeans!

Below is a rundown of each team and the status of their potential NBA players. A few high-profile draft choices and rights-owned guys expected to jump over soon are also peppered in, along with links to appropriate sources. If you find/hear of anything relevant to the list, please comment below.
And we’ll do this group by group…

Group A
Belgium –
no current NBA players

France – Kevin Seraphin (Washington Wizards) is out for ’13 but hints he’ll be back in the future.

Ten days ago, based on a L’Equipe report, website Catch-and-Shoot described Joakim Noah (Chicago Bulls)’ Eurobasket status as *très incertain*, and after another punishing NBA season seems unlikely.

No official word on Nicolas Batum (Portland), though the Trail Blazers reportedly be “watching Batum’s injury” this offseason. Perhaps some discouragement is forthcoming…?

France-based media outlet Figaro reported back in May that Ian Mahinmi (Indiana Pacers) and Ronny Turiaf (Los Angeles Clippers) would play; this may have been speculation based on prior results, but Turiaf’s presence on Les Blues for this tournament has been on coach Collet’s mind for a while.

Continue Reading…

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…)!

Continue Reading…

Oct
36

Taking stock of European players in the NBA, 2012-13

Koufos one of four Euronuggets

BallinEurope will be celebrating NBA Opening Day with lots of stuff centered on the big league; firstly, BiE takes stock of Continental ballers in the ‘States.

Taking a look at this year’s roundup, we note that 53 Europeans have been named to NBA clubs’ 15-man roster, just beating the pace of the 52 listed in 2010-11. (BiE didn’t take the tally for last season because, you know, things were kinda confusing during the lockout and all…)

And quite a few teams have seriously European-tinted rosters: Five teams go into the 2012-13 NBA season with four Continental players – and of these 20 players, perhaps only Sasha Pavlovic and Evan Fournier are marginalized at the lower end of the 15-man rosters. If one includes Ty Lawson as an honorary Lithuanian (for at least one more season), the Denver Nuggets could put an all-Euro squad on the floor with Lawson heading up an admittedly odd lineup of Fournier, Danilo Gallinari, Kosta Koufos and Timofey Mozgov.

The team-by-team breakdown goes as follows.

Continue Reading…

Aug
6

Breaking news: Pau, Marc Gasol are actually Spanish

And speaking of Olympic basketball-related fails, the folks over at Bball Headlines this morning post a disturbing number of Tweets from the US from an apparently sizable fraction of the population that has some problem comprehending Pau Gasol’s citizenship. Click the link for “Hint to American girls: [The] Gasols are Spanish.” No, really.

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Aug
26

US NBA stars beat Spain to take gold



(via AFP)

The United States Dream Team of NBA stars captured their second Olympic men’s basketball gold medal in a row and the 14th overall for America by beating Spain 107-100 in Sunday’s final. The US multi-millionaire lineup of NBA elite claimed their fifth crown in the past six Olympics, improving to 62-since revamping the national team program after settling for bronze in 2004.

The Americans ran through the tournament undefeated just as they did in 2008 when they defeated Spain 118-107 in the Beijing final. The latest roster had five gold winners from Beijing and five from the US 2010 world champions.…

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Aug
4

2012 Olympic basketball: The perspective from Spain on the gold-medal game (plus really specific Official Fearless Prediction™)

Marc and Pau: So key yet again

The Liga Endesa official website editorial staff today attempts to answer the question on the mind of USA-detractors and underdog-backers, i.e. “¿What must happen for Spain to win Olympic gold?” Below runs an extrapolation of the article, featuring eight bits of advice of varying degrees of difficulty, plus BallinEurope’s own ever-lovable Official Fearless Prediction™ on the final game of the 2012 Olympics.

Team USA is transparent enough that everyone seems to know their weaknesses and how to exploit them; the blueprint is universally known, but no one is able to implement the game plan. The enormous quantity of talent on Team USA means that playing even a perfect game does not translate to a win.

“We will try not have too many possessions, not miss many shots and control the boards,” said Juan Carlos Navarro. Doing it all at the same time is difficult, but we will try. I don’t know if we’ll reach 100 points … but the points are not important. [What’s important is] to play good defense.”

What else must be done:

Limit turnovers. It is evident that the U.S. defensive pressure up top results in many steals that finish with easy baskets on the other end. Attacking with the ball and getting off to a quick start offensively is key to the USA game. And against Team USA, passes to the wing or inside expose the offensive to further losses amidst the quick hands and speed of the American defenders.

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