BallinEurope is previewing all 18 Euroleague Basketball teams over the next 18 days. Yesterday it was the turn of Olimpia Milano. Today it’s Ergin Ataman and Panathinaikos.
Ergin Ataman has a loaded up Panathinaikos roster, with Juancho Hernangomez, Kostas Sloukas, and Mathias Lessort just some of the new arrivals. Will it be enough to bring the Greens to Berlin?
Euroleague record: 9-23
Regular season position: 17th
Greek League record: 16-6
Regular season position: 2nd
Playoffs: Lost finals 3-1 (Olympiacos)
Other: Lost Greek Cup semi-final (Olympiacos)
Christos Serelis (Coach), Neoklis Arvdalas (Karditsa), Giorgos Kalaitzakis (Free agent), Nikos Chougkaz (Peristeri), Paris Lee (Asvel), Arturas Gudaitis (Alvark Tokyo), Mateusz Ponitka (Partizan), Giorgios Papagiannis (Fenerbahce), Derrick WIlliams (Free agent), Nate Wolters (Free agent), Lefteris Bochoridis (Aris), Dimitris Agravanis (Rio Breogan), Matt Thomas (Alba Berlin), Nikos Pappas (Free agent)
Who is new?
Ergin Ataman (Coach), Olek Balcerowski (Gran Canaria), Juancho Hernangomez (Toronto Raptors, NBA), Jerian Grant (Turk Telecom), Mathias Lessort (Partizan), Kostas Antetokounmpo (Fenerbahce), Kyle Guy (Joventut Badalona), Ioannis Papapetrou (Partizan), Dimitris Moraitis (Peristeri), Luca Vildoza (Partizan), Kostas Mitoglu (Olimpia Milano), Kostas Sloukas (Olympiacos).
Marius Grigonis, Lefteris Mantzoukas, Alexandros Samodurov
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Need to know
I mean, to state the obvious, this is a very different Panathinaikos team to recent seasons. The last couple of years of watching the Greens in Euroleague Basketball have been painful for the neutral. I can’t imagine what it was like for actual Panathinaikos fans.
With hope comes expectation. Ergin Ataman knows that he’ll be expected to deliver impressive results early in his tenure. He gets a chance on the opening night as the Greens host Olympiacos in the Oaka.
Read our look at the future of basketball in the Philippines and the need for Puso to evolve now.
What the bookies think
Panathinaikos are 6/1, which makes them joint-second favourites in the sportsbooks. On a pure technicality they are third favourites in basketball betting as more books like Monaco more than them to do well. It’s razor tight in the eyes of the bookies between them both.
What we think
This will be a very good Panathinaikos team. The word will is important as this is an enormous amount of change to work through. Don’t get me wrong, the final record is going to be great. I just expect a few results that make everyone, not just PAO fans, wonder how they lost. Those will mostly be in the front half of the season. By new year, this team will be where it wants to be.
If Olympiacos and Panathinaikos hate me now with this prediction, just wait. Add on tomorrow’s review and you’ll be united in fury at me.
Pick: 4th place in the regular season