Here on the Continent, we realize what NBA fanatics have been missing as they twiddled thumbs waiting for cessation to the player lockout – and continue to twiddle as they await Christmas opening day. BallinEurope’s Enrico Cellini, however, knows better; below, he lists his top three buzzer-beaters thus far into the 2011-12 Euroleague – where devotion happens – regular season.
• The regular-season round of Euroleague basketball has provided plenty of dramatic finals so far. Coincidentally – or maybe not – the top three buzzer-beaters turned in so far were made by teams on the road. First came Dimitris Diamantidis’ three-pointer that capped Panathinaikos’ comeback (after going down by four in the last 15.6 seconds!) on the court of Unicaja Malaga in the sixth week of competition.
As a matter of fact, Coach Zeljko Obradovic could legitimately claim the clutch play to be considered a joint venture, as Obradvoic mapped out on his blackboard the play that created a good shot for Diamantidis. The six-time (!) Euroleague Defensive Player of the Year and incumbent MVP might object by pointing out he scored seven threes in the game, including two in those last 15.6 seconds. He’d have a point, too … (So to speak.)
• Then came Milos Teodosic. The 24-year-old veteran is in his first season as CSKA playmaker but has not hesitated to take over the reins of the team. See how Teodosic demands the ball and knocks down the game-winner on Brose Baskets Bamberg’s court in week 7. Seven was also the number of victories CSKA reached, thanks to his big shot.
• Enter Gianluca Basile. Last week, visiting Cantù led in Spain for most of the game but suffered Gescrap Bilbao Basket’s furious comeback in the fourth quarter. With 2.3 seconds on the clock, 36-year-old Basile got the rock way outside the perimeter, and, well, you know the rest. What’s worth mentioning is that Basile defined the shot as an “intelligent missile” rather than as one of his famous self-proclaimed “ignorant shots.” See why below.
Enrico Cellini is lifelong basketball fanatic and a long-time sportswriter with a focus on Italy and Spain. He was born among European hoops, was raised watching the NBA, and thinks choosing between American and European basketball is like choosing between one’s mother and father. You can follow him on Twitter or check out his Italian-language blog Hoop Addicted.