Latest

The BBL experience – Rowdy in Frankfurt +++ Fearless predictions: Euroleague playoffs +++ A Dario triple-double? Now that’s good timing +++ Swee’ Pea needs your help +++ Final Four: What the bookies say when the bookies talk +++ The greatest Eurodance tribute to Goran Dragic ever +++ Swaggy P’s tribute to Os moving back to the USA +++ Help Swee’ Pea make the big screen +++ The Dish: Can I play with Madness? +++ Just point out the bounce +++
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.

468x60

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

Sep
1

Podcast: Tony Parker! Ricky Rubio! New BiE editor!

Taking the Charge podcast seriesEpisode #54 (alternatively “Volume II, Episode 2”) of the BallinEurope/heinnews co-produced “Taking the Charge” podcast series is now available online or via iTunes.

But enough with the pleasantries. Let’s get right to the headliners. From the post-games of last week’s Eurobasket 2013 final matches come words from perhaps the biggest names we’ve ever had on the show. First up is 15 minutes’ worth of post-game press conference from the peerless Tony Parker along with Team France coach Vincent Collet in the afterglow of Les Bleus’ triumphant gold-medal win over Lithuania.

Following this is the positively gregarious Ricky “The Human YouTube Highlight Clip” Rubio after Team Spain’s bronze-medal win; in the post-game, hard-working David Hein gets La Pistola to weigh in quickly on his national team’s future as well as the importance of Nikola Pekovic.

But that’s not all: new BallinEurope editor-in-chief Emmet Walsh has introduced himself at length online but gets audio room in which to stretch his wings when he guests on this edition of Taking the Charge. Emmet tells us about his motivations for running BallinEurope.com and his love of the European game before he and Hein face off in a “Fact or Fiction”-like round of Q&A regarding some thematic motifs. What does Emmet think about, say, Olympiacos’ chances for a Euroleague three-peat? Tune in to find out…

Finally, the sports movie review of the week is a documentary set in the world of Emmet’s other sports love, that utterly unique game called Gaelic Football. This Irish national television production is called “Jimmy’s Winnin’ Matches” and is one fantastic look at how important a coach/trainer/manager – in any sport, really – can be.

Check out the entire podcast here or to subscribe from this episode ad infinitum, enter http://heinnews.com/feed/taking-the-charge/ into iTunes or any podcast aggregator.

Continue Reading…

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.

Sep
2

Eurobasket: Slovenia and Croatia progress, Spain win

We know half of the teams through from Group F after a wild Saturday. Two Balkan teams locked up their places in the quarter-finals with wins today while Spain cruised to their first win in the second phase.

Damn that crowd makes a difference. Slovenia and Greece delivered one of the ugliest first quarters of offence we’ve seen all tournament but the home team was perfect from the line to move into a 13 point lead after the first frame. That lead grew to 26 points before the inevitable Greek fight-back. Greece knocked 20 off the lead to make it a two possession game inside the final two minutes. Slovenia dug deep yet again, with the Dragic brothers combining for 39 points, 10 boards, and 6 rebounds en route to a 73-65 victory. It was a nervous finish but the win puts the home team top of the group and safely through to the last eight.
Continue Reading…

Jun
10

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…

May
1

Podcast: Interview with Ricky Rubio; wrapping the 2012-13 Euroleague season, NIJT; reviewing The Wrestler

Taking the Charge podcast seriesEpisode #35 of the BallinEurope/heinnews co-produced “Talking the Charge” podcast series is now available online and is downloadable from iTunes – and o boy, it’s a good one.

Days after Olympiacos made European basketball history, we’re still amazed by another incredible run by the Reds and so discuss the context of this back-to-back title victory. Also up for discussion are reasons why Real Madrid and FC Barcelona should be proud and CSKA Moscow a bit ashamed. And what about that Red Army side? Will they blow up the team? What is the future of Ettore Messina, Milos Teodosic and Nenad Krstic with the club after a most disappointing Euroleague finish?

We also weigh in on the results and performances of the Nike International Junior Tournament, with particular reference to the finalists, champions Club Joventut Badalona and runners-up FC Barcelona – an extreme contrast in styles vis-à-vis club development within the economic realities of European sport in the 2010s.

Ricky Rubio WolvesOf course, this show’s highlight is the brief interview with none other than The Human YouTube Highlight Clip himself, Ricky Rubio. In remarkably succinct fashion, La Pistola weighs in on this year’s Euroleague Final Four, the past frustrating season with the Minnesota Timberwolves (and the importance of Nikola Pekovic) and the possibilities for Team Spain in the upcoming Eurobasket 2013 tournament.

Finally, our sports movie review of the week focuses on the 2008 film The Wrestler featuring Mickey Rourke in an outstanding tour de force career-comeback performance.

Check out the entire podcast here or to subscribe from this episode ad infinitum, enter http://heinnews.com/feed/taking-the-charge/ into iTunes or any podcast aggregator.

Thanks for listening and talk to you next week!

Continue Reading…