Oh, Mirza. Mirza, Mirza, Mirza…
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…)!
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.
Last night’s recap of the action in FIBA EuroBasket 2013 qualifying round, in brief: Serbia and Turkey took care of business, the miracle campaign of dark horse Azerbaijan ended sadly, and the 24 teams that will comprise The Continent’s big tournament are now known.
BallinEurope has a podcast with Germany-based heinnews on more general matters regarding the qualifying teams scheduled for later today, so a few thoughts will follow. For now, however, contact the virtual trophy makers, because BiE’s announcing its official All-Qualifiers Team. Without further ado, the first five are…
Everything is coming to a head as we’re finally getting a picture of Europe’s big basketball tournament. With eight teams still in the running for five spots, four of today’s FIBA EuroBasket 2013 qualifiers are potentially crucial to making up the final bracket in Slovenia: Germany at Sweden, Serbia at Estonia, Turkey at Portugal and the match of the day, Latvia at Georgia. BallinEurope takes a brief look at these games and the overall picture as the qualification tourney nears its end – bullet-style, natch, with links and YouTubes.
• The way BiE sees it, the picture looks something like the following. In/in barring epic collapse: Montenegro, Germany, Italy, Croatia, Ukraine, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Poland, Finland, Czech Republic. All but out/out: Belarus, Netherlands, Romania, Hungary, Austria, Switzerland. Why are we here: Slovakia, Iceland, Albania, Portugal, Cyprus, Luxembourg.
This one’s exactly what the title says; this morning, BallinEurope takes a brief look at five key players competing in the ongoing EuroBasket 2013 qualifying round with NBA contracts signed or rights owned. Let’s get right to it, then, beginning with a couple of reasons Brooklyn Nets fans should be a heckuva lot more optimistic than they were post-D12 rejection.
• Mirza Teletovic, PF – Team Bosnia & Herzegovina, rights owned by the Brooklyn Nets. If Teletovic’s signing by the Nets this offseason could be classified as “under the radar,” the longtime Caja Laboral stud is a massive attention-grabbing phenomenon on the screen right now. The excellently-named From Russia With Dunk proclaimed Teletovic to be “dominating” in EuroBasket 2013 qualifying games; NBC Sports described his play as “tearing it up”; at Ridiculous Upside, he’s “lighting it up” – all statements made with justifiable reason.
BiE doesn’t believe FIBA names a EuroBasket qualifying round MVP, but Teletovic could make quite an impressive case for the theoretical award. The prospective Net boasts a stat line of 25.7 points, 6.2 rebounds, 1.5 steals and 0.7 blocks per game for his 4-2 side. Team Bosnia & Herzegovina has been content to dump the ball inside to Teletovic continuously to the tune of 20.7 shots per game, tops in the qualifiers. Teletovic’s best showings have come against the woefully outmuscled Netherlands, who he’s punished for lines of 33/6 and 36/7.
At 6’9”, Teletovic will not solve all of Brooklyn’s problems underneath, but right now he’s looking like a reasonable upgrade from Kris Humphries. Nice signing.
Sunday bullets: NBA-flavored European action, USK Prague beats USA, Deron Williams generally trashed, more
Your lazy Sunday just got a little lazier. BallinEurope gives you another few good minutes of clock killing in rounding up some stories for your perusal. As the NBA lockout continues – and many reckon no blinking will be done by either side on Monday, therefore necessitating cancellation of the 2011-12 schedule’s first two weeks’ worth of games – there’s something of a NBA bent to some headline stories. Get some stuff on Deron Williams, Nicolas Batum, Jose Calderon and Kevin Seraphin below. And video clips!
• In his regular-season debut for SLUC Nancy, Nicolas Batum played all 40 minutes, scored 20 points and grabbed six rebounds in his team’s 76-70 victory over JDA Dijon. The Portland Trail Blazer’s first suiting-up for France’s Euroleague side went down last week for an exhibition match against Chalon/Saône.
Right, then. With the last teams advancing into the Euroleague two dozen for the regular season and a break in the Kobe-to-Bologna soap opera today, BallinEurope breaks out an old favorite: power rankings!
Once again, the BallinEurope Euroleague Power Rankings are based on current trends, i.e. who’s hot, who’s not. For this edition of the list, also taken into consideration are offseason acquisitions and a dash of expectations vis-à-vis how these squads will look when the games really start to matter. Let the arguments begin!
1. FC Barcelona – Heard it before? Well, you’ve probably heard about the core of the Barca roster before, too: Juan Carlos Navarro, Pete Mickael, Erazem Lorbek, Victor Sada, Boniface N’dong, Kosta Perovic and Fran Vazquez; getting to add Chuck Eidson and Marcelinho Huertas doesn’t seem fair. In going 8-0 thus far this preseason, the Blaugrana have added to their trophy case with Lliga Catalana and Supercopa Endesa titles and Navarro in particular is still in EuroBasket form. Right now, BiE says this is the team to beat.
ACB preseason: Unicaja Malaga, Lucentum Alicante, Caja Laboral take cups; Gran Canaria bows out in Germany
The 2011-12 ACB season may not have tipped off yet, but the Spanish league’s teams were nevertheless busy in preseason games this weekend. Below, BallinEurope briefly rounds up the action.
• A bunch of regional tournaments went down this weekend in Spain, including the Lliga Catalana semifinials. In this tourney yesterday, reigning Lliga and ACB champions FC Barcelona handled Lleida Basquetbol, 81-64, in their semifinal match; Boniface N’dong went for 18 points in the win.
On the other side of the bracket, Joventut survived a scare from hosts Assignia Manresa to take the 90-87 victory, thanks to a barrage of 14 three-pointers. Former Gonzaga University/KK Zadar guard Micah Downs was the game’s high scorer, with 20 points in Manresa’s losing effort.
The Lliga Catalana final will be played tonight at 8.45pm CET (2.45 EST).
Some news from organizers of the upcoming interesting Holland-based EuroJam 2011 tournament, which pits NCAA men’s and women’s sides against European national teams.
Confirmed for the tournament are NBA Dutchmen Francisco Elson of the Utah Jazz and Dan Gadzuric of the New Jersey Nets – BallinEurope can’t help but speculate as to whether the latter will be using his off-time during the tournament to field offers from European clubs, what with the mass exodus of Nets to the Continent. (NetsDaily hints that Gadzuric’s appearance in the tournament may depend on insurance issues.)
The Sacramento Kings’ Omri Casspi is slated to play for Team Israel in the tourney as well; more on this below.