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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.

Nov
0

EURO-NBA: Vucevic’s dub-dub and Rubio’s dimes highlight Sunday

Nikola Vucevic’s double-double helped the Magic overcome the Nets while Ricky Rubio had 10 assists as the T-Wolves topped the Knicks.

It was a good night for La Pistola as the Timberwolves beat the Knicks 109-100. The T-Wolves out-scored the Knicks 40-19 in the first frame as Kevin Love led Minnesota with 34 points and 15 boards. Hot starts have been the order of the day in the early going for the T-Wolves, with 38 and 34 in the opening quarters of their other two games. Rubio had 10 assists and 8 points in this effort, although his shooting was a less than impressive 3-11 including 0-3 from deep. Nikola Pekovic’s double-double was outshone by Love’s outburst but the Montenegrin was his usually beastly self, with 12 boards and 11 points on the night.

Nikola Vucevic got it done on both ends for the Magic as they recorded an impressive 107-86 win over the Nets. Vucevic had 19 points and 12 boards, 6 on each end, as Orlando rolled to 2-2 to start the season. For Brooklyn, Andrei Kirilenko had 3 points and 4 boards in 11 minutes while Mirza Teletovic got 7 minutes and shot just 1-6 to finish with 2 points and a rebound. #FreeMirza continues its struggle.

The Wizards may have lost to the Heat on Sunday but the move to Washington seems to be to Marcin Gortat’s liking. The Polish big man had 12 points and 11 rebounds in the losing effort. Kevin Seraphin was an efficient 4 of 5 from the field as he picked up 9 points in 15 minutes for the Wiz. Miami’s Big Three all scored 20+ as the Heat took the win 103-93.

Paul Gasol had 16 points and 13 rebounds, all on the defensive end, as the Lakers edged the Hawks 105-103. Dennis Schroeder got 22 minutes off the bench for Atlanta, finishing with 10 points, 4 assists, and 3 boards. Pero Antic once again saw limited action for Atlanta, picking up 2 points and 4 rebounds in 8 minutes.

Oct
2

BallinEurope’s Top 10 Euro-centric storylines in NBA 2013-14 season

Pero Antic: Ready for his (NBA) closeup

Though the NBA’s opening night went down yesterday (North America time), the far majority of teams in the Association has yet to tip things off. What better time then, to enumerate 10 or so storylines BallinEurope will be following in 2013-14?

(That was a rhetorical question.)

Right, then. Here’s what we’re looking at in the NBA season to come.

• Tony Parker and his French Foreign Legion. The San Antonio Spurs, who first dipped into international talent when they drafted that guy from the Virgin Islands back in 1999, added yet another non-North American this offseason to go with Parker, Nando de Colo, Boris Diaw, Manu Ginobili, Tiago Splitter et al in Marco Belinelli. The thought here surely is for the Western Conference champs to supplement shooting off the wing and supplement they shall.

Meanwhile, pundits aplenty (all the way up to Bill and Jalen” over at Grantland.com) wonder openly about the psychological effect of heartbreaking losses in game six and seven of last year’s finals. BiE’d say that this ain’t no ordinary team and despite never having been in this position (i.e. as the previous year’s runner-up) to start a season, the Spurs’ll shrug it off. What cannot be so easily brushed aside is ol’ Father Time, who’s clearly gaining on Ginobili and surely must be sneaking up on Tim Duncan…

• Marcin Gortat’s fortunes on the Wizards. As part of an all-out – and possibly bald-faced – salary dump/preparation to tank for the draft lottery, the Phoenix Suns dumped The Polish Hammer in the eleventh hour to a suddenly impressive-looking Washington side. Continue Reading…

Oct
5

CSKA beat Timberwolves 108-106 in overtime


CSKA Moscow’s U.S. tour started off with a hard-fought 108-106 victory over its NBA opposition, the Minnesota Timberwolves, but only after requiring an extra five minutes of time.

The Timberwolves didn’t get off to the best of starts, but the reserves provided a spirited fightback, turning a 18 point deficit into a four point lead with 1:17 remaining in the game. Unfortunately, they just couldn’t seal the deal in normal time as Derrick Williams’ layup failed to connect with 1.9 seconds to go, while in extra time, Othyus Jeffers’ failed to score up close with a second to go.

Failure to convert these shots summed up the game for the Timberwolves as they converted only 41.2% from the field, and 19% from beyond the ark. CSKA fared better with a 52.5% conversion rate on all attempts, which proved to be the difference.

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It was Williams who had the most prolific game for the Timberwolves, scoring 21 points to go with nine rebounds, 16 of which came from the final 29 minutes. However, he will reflect on how he missed three out of four free throws in the final 1:11. Kevin Martin finished with 16 points, but shot only 5-of-15 from the field, while A.J. Price scored 14 points, 5-of-7 coming from the field.

For CSKA, it was Milos Teodosic who proved to be the difference, finishing with 26 points, five rebounds and nine assists. His contribution was vital in both forcing the game into overtime, hitting two charities, and then clinching the game by splitting free throws to arrive at the final score.

The Timberwolves’ form was inconsistent during the game, despite having pulled off a 12-2 point run near the end of the first half. Despite that run, the second half saw them struggle to get a grasp of the game, and saw them trailing 72-63 with 3:20 left in the third.

However, the unlikely combination of Price, Jeffers, Williams, Alexey Shved and Ronny Turiaf brought the Timberwolves back into the game, providing them with a 92-88 lead with 1:17 left. And while Williams put the Timberwolves up three, 95-92, with 34 seconds remaining, it was Teodosic who erased the difference with his free throws, bringing the game into overtime.

The last five minutes saw a dramatic finish as the Timberwolves then put up a two-point-lead, 103-101, halfway, but back-to-back scores by CSKA put them on the back foot. An equaliser from Price suggested that the match would see another overtime, but Teodosic’s contribution prevented that from happening.

- Quinton O’Reilly @qoreilly

Jun
1

Euroleague American Tour 2013: CSKA Moscow scheduled for Minnesota, San Antonio visits

euroleague-basketball-nba logosThe Red Army is coming to the US as part of the always fun and interesting Euroleague American Tour 2013: Euroleague and NBA officials today announced that in October, CSKA Moscow’ll be taking on a couple of teams with nice Continental/ international ties in the Minnesota Timberwolves and San Antonio Spurs. No word yet on whether a second Euroleague side might also be making the trip, as is customary on the ‘Tour, but the schedule for NBA team appearances in Europe is set.

Official press release on CSKA Moscow in the Euroleague American Tour 2013 and the schedule for the NBA Global Games follows.

(Euroleague) – Euroleague Basketball and the NBA today announced that CSKA Moscow will make its third trip to North America in the past five seasons this October when the team headlines the Euroleague American Tour 2013. The Russian champion and 2013 Turkish Airlines Euroleague semifinalist will play games in the U.S. against the 2013 Western Conference Champion San Antonio Spurs and Minnesota Timberwolves.

On October 7, CSKA will travel to Minneapolis to play against the Minnesota Timberwolves, whose 2012-13 roster included former CSKA star and Euroleague MVP Andrei Kirilenko, former CSKA player Alexey Shved, as along with former Euroleague champions Nikola Pekovic and Ricky Rubio. On October 9, CSKA will visit San Antonio to face the Spurs, whose 2012-13 squad included another former Euroleague champion, Manu Ginobili, and three-time All-Euroleague selection Tiago Splitter among six Euroleague alumni.

This will be the third trip for CSKA Moscow to the United States and Canada to play preseason games. In 2008, the team Russian powerhouse played against the Orlando Magic and the Toronto Raptors.

In 2010, CSKA crossed the pond again to played games against the Miami Heat, Oklahoma City Thunder and the Cleveland Cavaliers. CSKA’s victory in Cleveland made it the first European team to have ever beaten an NBA team on United States soil.

Continue Reading…

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…

Apr
1

FC Barcelona-Panathinaikos: The YouTube history (starring Gallis, Dominique, Obradovic, Saras, Pekovic, Diamantidis, Tomic)

Panathinaikos logoThose in the know about European basketball (or sport, really) need no introduction to either of these storied franchises who add another chapter to the annals tonight: Panathinaikos Athens goes to Barcelona to take on the Blaugrana in a decisive game five Euroleague quarterfinal match – after one heck of a series thus far.

Hyperbolization of these teams’ history – not to mention the nail-biting, cliffhanging suspense of this very playoff series – would be difficult and doing so would be bland. So BallinEurope will simply say that the series between these two clubs has Panathinaikos with a 15-12 overall advantage historically, and let’s get to the YouTubes. Enjoy quite a fascinating collection of a virtual Who’s Who of highlights; once again, YouTube rules.

FCB logo(Incidentally, if this collection seems slightly PAO-biased, apologies. Perhaps the Greek side’s fans are ahead in the video-sharing sphere as well…)

Panathinaikos and Barcelona met under the proper Euroleague banner at the very tail end of the 1993-94 season. In the third-place game, Nikos Gallis capped another EL scoring- and assist-leading season (23.8 and 4.7 per game, respectively) by leading PAO to a 100-83 win in the first game between the clubs in 12 years — back to the Champions Cup days.

Continue Reading…

Feb
0

Fox Sports Net: Andrei Kirilenko’s uniqueness defies technology, statistics (no kidding)

(Andrei Kirilenko image courtesy ESPN.com)

Kirilenko: The nearly undefinable, the “beautiful bastard”

There’s an ages-old joke about the United States and the former Soviet Union’s approaches to technological innovation during the “Space Race”-dominated era of the 1960s which feels no less true in spite of its almost certain apocryphal nature.

Before those days of text-messaging, tweeting and desktop computers larger than actual desk, NASA had set out, as the story goes, to develop a pen that could write in zero-gravity conditions where ink doesn’t properly flow. After thousands of man-hours and surely millions of dollars were invested to no avail, one day a devastating bit of news came from intelligence. The Russians had not only already solved the problem at a fraction of the US’ cost, the solution had proved 100% workable in the demanded conditions. That solution? Use a pencil.

Again, the story is likely untrue in terms of sheer fact, but it does illustrate the tendency of certain cultures at this point in history to throw money at propositions thought best addressed with high-tech.

Thus, today we have Fox Sports Net blogger Joan Niesen using a new high-tech camera to tell us something the Russians (and any international hoops devotee) could’ve figured much more cheaply: That Andrei Kirilenko’s skills are so intangible yet so omnipresent as to defy easy statistical analysis. Niesen uses STATS’ SportVU 3-D camera system to produce some wider-ranging statistics to better express how much AK-47 means to this year’s Timberwolves.

Notes Niesen, among other things:

• “Kirilenko possesses the ball an average of 49 times per game, for an average of 80 seconds per game. That’s the largest amount of time holding the ball for any player on the team that does not play at the point guard position.

Continue Reading…

Feb
1

Super Timberwolves: Peks, AK-47, Shved, Rubio as manga-style heroes [Update, translation]

Big shout out this morning to heinnews, who’s provided BallinEurope with a translation of the Minnesota Timberwolves manga-type comic strip that recently appeared in the Japan-based Dunk Shot sports paper. Read along, panel by panel, below the break — hilarious stuff, really … and who knew Nikola Pekovic had such problems with the ladies?

Continue Reading…