A sober and thoughtful Milos Teodosic spoke with media in the leadup to his CSKA Moscow’s Euroleague Final Four meeting with Olympiacos. The mercurial Milos relates that his team, despite rumors, is not overconfident heading into the match and takes a Nietzschean stand on The Red Army’s shocking loss to the Greek side in the 2012 championship.
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…
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…
In a series of advertisements featuring CSKA Moscow players and dance team, Papa John’s hopes to be hocking a lot of pizzas in the big city. The advertising campaign is your fairly standard stuff; a representative sample runs starring Milos Teodosic, Andrey Vorontsevich, the team mascot and Anton Ponkrashov resembling the world’s largest pencil with ramrod-straight party hat on head runs below the break.
But one commercial is particularly worthy of mention. For all those who thought basketball-related advertising in France was weird … check out this episode of Papa John’s pizza parties. In the ad, Sonny Weems demonstrates the only way to get Russian lessons: namely, with one sexy babe as tutor while, um, fully dressed in CSKA gear in a bathtub at a party. Until a teammate spoils the fun that is…
We’ll be running a poll on this question next week, but please feel free to put forth suggestions in the “comments” section below this post. A few suggested guidelines: Since the winning choice will be immortalized (well, as immortalized as things can get online) in illustrated form, BiE asks that you consider only guys easily caricatured or are at least easily recognizable by the uniform.
After making a few kneejerk-reaction choices, BiE also consulted with this site’s contributing writers and a pilgrim father of BallinEurope. Below runs the tentative list of candidates thus far.
Right, with the weekend over and many an hour spent viewing the roundball, BallinEurope rounds up some news items – and video clips! – from the week that was.
• Could this be Real Madrid’s year? Los Blancos are exactly one Rudy Fernandez miss from a perfect 8-0 overall mark early in 2012-13 after topping Caja Laboral Baskonia, 83-81, in overtime this weekend in the Liga Endesa.
Baskonia got a combined 47 points from Nemanja Bjelica and Maciej Lampe while turning over the ball just once – thus not allowing Real to demonstrate their nice quick transition to the fast break – yet ultimately couldn’t answer what’s looking like the best team out of Spain this season.
Since BiE will typically have to play catch-up with a week’s worth of Euroleague games on Saturdays, a new concept comes to the website in the Sunday hangover. Those of you who have followed BallinEurope since the days of its origins may recall the old “Monday cigarettes” column – and this one hopes to recall those days (but with video clips!). And so, notes and observations from the opening week of play in the big league…
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.”
What can be said about the Estonia-Serbia game that hasn’t been already? Once again Serbia gave up a halftime lead; once again the team was forced to try and dig out of a fourth-quarter hole; once again the lack of communication on offense was evident (Would you believe just five total assists?); and once again Milos Teodosic self-destructed in the fourth quarter…
Until the 2013 Euroleague Final Four then, for which CSKA Moscow is already Fearlessly Predicted™ to appear, Milos Teodosic will be represented by the green dude at right. Yep, it happened again last night.
As though programmed lately to self-destruct at the sound of the fourth-quarter buzzer, Teodosic began the 31st minute with his first statistically-recorded bad pass of the final 10. To his credit, Good Milos was briefly seen in the 34th and 35th, with proper awareness on defense to net him a pair of rebounds that led to two time-killing Team Serbia possessions and reduction of Montenegro’s lead to just three at 59-56 – capped by Dusko Savanovic’s jumper with the assist by Teodosic.
Maybe it was the substitutions, then, but before you could say “Hulk smash,” Bad Milos had thrown the ball away twice more for a final quarter stat line of 1-of-2 shooting, two rebounds, one assist and three TOs in under eight minutes. In total, Teodosic’s cumulative stats through seven EuroBasket qualifiers are as follows.