There is only one team remaining without any win in this year’s Euroleague: Le Mans from France. However, the team features some talented players and a respected coach. What is going wrong?
I saw already several games of the French team this season, especially as they feature some nice NBA prospects. Nicolas Batum, at latest since his performances at the Nike Hoop Summit, is considered as a true NBA star for the future. But after a tremendous start in the Euroleague season, his stock is falling during the last weeks.
The teams start to know the moves of the forward and also give him space to take open jumpers which he can not nail regularly. His creativity does not help him to fill the stat sheet nor to make his team a winning one in the EL. But today’s game showed some other incredible lacks in the Le Mans organization.
Armani Jeans Milano dominated the boards at will with 16 offensive rebounds when Le Mans had 20 rebounds…in TOTAL. This was quite a surprise as Milano was one of the weakest teams in rebounding so far this season. Next to this, Le Mans misses a true PG. And this for several seasons now. Yannick Bokolo is stagnating and he is not a Starting PG in the Euroleague. So Le Mans uses a lot Raviv Limonad at the 1, but he has originally been recruited to play SG and bring some scoring. The third PG, Antoine Diot is a rookie and he brings for the moment nothing more than hustle and effort.
For the French league though, this seems to work as Le Mans is ranked 3rd for the moment. But they will face 9-1 Nancy this weekend in a real top game on the French soil. When the Euroleague is not the eldorado for Batum so far, the ProA gives him the opportunity to shine a bit more. But even here, after a stellar start of the season, his numbers are down.
On the other hand, we had Danilo Gallinari tonight. The Italian superprospect is rocking big time in the Euroleague so far. He finished the night with a fantastic 26rkg points and he definitely looks back in shape right now. He is adding more and more of an all-around game right now with 7rebs and 5asts against Le Mans. And he totally blew out Batum who tried to guard him in defense. 1-0 for “il Gallo”.