A few players returning to the NBA made expected final appearances with their European clubs last night as the mass departure to the ‘States begins. BallinEurope runs down a handful of individual performances from Adriatic League, Eurocup, and FIBA Eurochallenge games.
• Big shot of the night, NBA-related or no, was certainly Mehmet Okur’s three-point dagger to give Turk Telekom the 83-81 win over Pinar Karsiyaka. Reports FIBA Europe in part: “With Turkish basketball still talking about the 50-point explosion by Okur’s former Utah Jazz teammate Deron Williams for Beşiktaş last week, Okur capped another solid performance with a long-range shot that gave the Ankara team an 83-81 triumph on Tuesday.
“Utah Jazz big man Okur, like New Jersey Nets guard Williams, is to soon head back to the United States following Saturday’s announcement that the lockout is set to end this week.
“Okur had 14 points and 10 rebounds in Izmir against Karsiyaka. … His free throw had given Turk Telekom an 80-79 advantage with 31 seconds to go, but Karsiyaka went back out in front when Alper Saruhan landed a jumper.
“After a timeout by the visitors, Okur caught a pass by Muratcan Güler and hit the shot from the arc with nine seconds to play for a two-point lead. Mire Chatman of Karsiyaka had an opportunity to put the home side back in front but his three-pointer was off target.”
• The Jerusalem Post informs that “Maccabi Tel Aviv fans got their last look at Jordan Farmar at Nokia Arena on Saturday night when the yellow-and-blue improved to 8-0 in the Adriatic League with a 96-89 victory over Cedevita Zagreb.”
Right. So let’s have a look, then.
And check out this nice work from Israel-based Haaretz on the remainder of the EL/NLB contender’s 2011-12, i.e. “With Farmar’s departure for the U.S., Maccabi’s second season begins.”
• For Valencia BC, Tiago Splitter in his second departure from European pro ball went for nine points on just 4-of-12 shooting to go with 12 rebounds in under 30 minutes of playing time. Valencia ended up winning at Lukoil Academic, 72-64, as former University of Maine/Estudiantes Madrid forward Nik Caner-Medley put in a ridiculous 27 points.
Splitter ended with stint with the Spanish side having played two games each in the Eurocup competition and the Liga Endesa, with a cumulative average of 12.8 points and 8.3 rebounds per game.
• Asvel did not play with Tony Parker or Ronny Turiaf but won 70-53 at Oostende anyway, and Beşiktaş was without Deron Williams – though the New Jersey Net “looked on as a supporter” and watched before the game as *his freaking jersey number was retired.* In D-Will’s stead, Erwin Dudley (a.k.a. Ersin Dagli) had 20 points and 14 rebounds in Beşiktaş’ Eurochallenge victory against ZZ Lieden, 76-69.
• Coming soon (maybe): Euroleague games featuring final turns by Thabo Sefolosha with Fenerbahçe Ülker, Ty Lawson with Žalgiris Kaunas, and Nikola Pekovic with Partizan Belgrade, among others.
One interesting consequence of the NBA lockout – and possibly a precedent-setter – are the cases of Ersan Ilyasova, who has long stated that he ultimately prefers playing with Anadolu Efes rather than the Milwaukee Bucks, and of frequently disgruntled Rudy Fernandez, whom Real Madrid would like to keep around.
In fact, France-based Basket News yesterday reported that “Ersan Ilyasova, encore lié à Milwaukee pour un an, souhaiterait négocier avec les Bucks pour rester à l’Anadolu Efes.”
Second season, indeed…