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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 +++
Dec
0

2012: The year in Euro-centric basketball highlight clips

What say we close out 2012 with a whole bunch of highlight clips? BiE knew you’d be willing. Tomorrow, a list of the most popular BallinEurope stories of the calendar year will be running, but today comes an attempt to encapsulate the past 365 days in European hoops, YouTube style.

From Ibaka’s blocks to the return of Ricky Rubio, from a stunner in Istanbul to a double miracle in Italy, from the US to the Continent and back again, BallinEurope’s got your highlights right here… Continue Reading…

Dec
2

On Hezonja, Todorovic plus a couple of Swedes: FC Barcelona’s future as bright as the present?

Barcelona’s future: Alex Abrines, Mario Hezonja, Marko Todorović

As though FC Barcelona’s red-hot play – they’re now at 14-4 overall after an 0-2 start in Spain – weren’t enough to keep European basketball devotees watching, here are two more reasons for you: Mario Hezonja and Marko Todorović.

At just 17 years old and despite missing the entire 2011-12 regular season, Hezonja finally got a taste of the action in Barça’s 78-48 laugher over Beşiktaş in Turkey last Friday night. His Euroleague debut stat line read five points, two rebounds and one steal in a few ticks under 12 minutes of play.

Hezonja again did not play in Spain this weekend, unlisted on the roster for Barca’s 81-64 win over Cajasol in Liga Endesa play; the 12th-man spot was filled by 20-year-old Todorović of Montenegro. In the Beşiktaş game, Todorović’s 12 minutes of court time was the most he’s gotten all season and the national teamer was good for four points, four rebounds and two blocks.

Potentially the nucleus of a shiny new Barca frontcourt? Continue Reading…

Oct
61

Euroleague Power Rankings: 2012-13 Opening Day Edition

All right, it’s that time again! With hours to go before the 2012-13 Euroleague season tips off, BallinEurope breaks out its first power ratings for the big league.

Whereas normally a disclaimer to the effect of “the following ratings are based on current trending only and are not necessarily based on the overall quality of the teams” runs here, this year BiE’s switching things up a bit. To wit: For this edition of Euroleague power rankings, the teams *will* be run based on BallinEurope’s totally subjective viewpoint. (Mainly because BiE couldn’t figure out what to do with Barcelona…)

Get your arguments ready and read on for this season’s first power rankings, with Official BallinEurope Fearless Predictions™ for the upcoming season peppered throughout. Enjoy the games!

The favorites
1. Olympiacos Piraeus. The usual reserved spot for the defending champion comes with some justification this year, as Vassilis Spanoulis & Co. show no signs of letting up on their 2011-12 season-ending 22-4 run. In the off-/preseason, Olympiacos’ foursome of Spanoulis, local hero Georgios Printezis, Kostas Papanikolaou and Evengelos Mantazaris suited up for a disappointed Team Greece – all but Mantazaris acquitted themselves nicely, with 50-of-89 (56.2%) overall shooting and Spanoulis dishing out just under six assists per game in three Olympic qualifiers.

Continue Reading…

Sep
13

EuroBasket 2013 draw seedings: Some thoughts

Exactly what the title says then – BallinEurope takes a look at the seedings for the EuroBasket 2013 draw and riffs a bit. As we know, the six groups from which the final divisions will be comprised look as follows.

No. 1 seeds: Spain, France, Russia, FYR Macedonia

No. 2 seeds: Lithuania, Greece, Slovenia, Great Britain

No. 3 seeds: Italy, Croatia, Germany, Montenegro

No. 4 seeds: Finland, Poland, Ukraine, Bosnia & Herzegovina

No. 5 seeds: Georgia, Belgium, Latvia, Turkey

No. 6 seeds: Czech Republic, Serbia, Israel, Sweden

Mulled-over reactions follow.

Continue Reading…

Sep
29

BallinEurope’s All-FIBA EuroBasket 2013 Qualifying Round Team

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…

Continue Reading…

Sep
11

Eurobasket 2013 qualification round bullets: Picture taking shape

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.

Continue Reading…

Sep
22

Montenegro 72, Serbia 62: Déjà vu from Guess Who in fourth quarter

“It. Uh … it … it happened again.”
“It? It? It? No! No, Billy! What the f*** is it, it, it? There is no it! It is you! You happened again!”
– dialogue from White Men Can’t Jump

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.

Continue Reading…

Sep
9

Good Milos vs. Bad Milos: Is Teodosic the problem for Team Serbia?

The two sides of Milos Teodosic

The increasingly good Bball Headlines reported on a little high-profile commentary from the peanut gallery recently, quoting former Team Serbia head coach Zoran Slavnic in singling out Milos Teodosic as central to the current team’s woes in EuroBasket 2013 qualifiers.

“Some of the players that I called up to the national team for the first time five years ago have not made any progress. One could say they have even declined. I am very disappointed with the game of Milos Teodosic as well as with his behavior. His game doesn’t involve his teammates even if he is the most creative player in Europe of the past ten years.

“It is really amazing that his [coaches have] failed to teach him his role on the team and to play as a point guard. He is the main culprit in the recent losses and is still behaving very irresponsibly. He is the best point guard in Europe, but he hasn’t shown it in the national team.”

But can Teodosic, the former European Player of the Year, Euroleague MVP and FIBA World all-tournament member, really deserve such blame for Team Serbia right now? Come to think of it, does Team Serbia actually have great problems? Okay, so they failed to qualify for the Olympics from a tough EuroBasket 2011 crowd. And right now they’re no mighty Montenegro, the 6-0 side Serbia faces in Podgorica tonight.

Continue Reading…

Aug
1

Montenegro 73, Serbia 71: A star is born as Ivanovic hits buzzer-beater three

How do you quiet one of those notoriously airplane-loud crowds in Belgrade? Eighteen-year-old Nikola Ivanovic, showing poise beyond his years, had the answer to that riddle on Saturday in Team Montenegro’s Eurobasket 2013 qualifying round game against Serbia. To cap the stunning upset victory, Ivanovic calmly launched a near-halfcourt three, struck gold and instantly utterly silenced a stunned Serbian house.

Continue Reading…

Mar
1

How good is Nikola Vucevic? Very.

Not long ago, BallinEurope handed out mid-season grades for NBA players representing The Continent; rookie Nikola Vucevic was awarded a solid 3 out of 5 – a 3.5, really, if only this self-imposing grading system weren’t so harsh. BiE assessed that “subjectively speaking, Vucevic has been particularly impressive for the surprisingly impressive Philadelphia 76ers; if he were getting more playing time, there might be mutters about the former USC Trojan vis-a-vis Rookie of the Year honors.”

Today, Sam Chadwick takes a look at Vucevic in the form of a “draft review” column and, crunching a few numbers, echoes BiE’s contention. Chadwick deduces that the sky’s the limit for this rookie who could in fact become a top-level NBA big. How good is Nikola Vucevic? How about Dwight Howard-level good?

Name: Nikola Vucevic
Country of birth: Switzerland
Nationality: Montenegro
College: University of Southern California
Position: PF/C
Height: 7’0” (2.13 meters)
Age: 21 (born October 1990)

Vucevic quietly made a name for himself at the University of Southern California, where he had career averages of 11.1 points, 8.0 rebounds and 1.1 assists across three years while shooting 51% from the field and 30% from three-point range. He made the All-Pac 10 second team in his second season and All-Pac first team after averaging 35.0 minutes, 17.1 points, 10.3 rebounds and 1.7 assists in his junior year. His junior year also saw him make the Fox Sports All-American third team and become the first player to lead the Pac 10 in rebounds in consecutive years.

Continue Reading…