Heading into games two of the 2011-12 Euroleague Playoffs, BallinEurope acknowledges CSKA Moscow and Panathinaikos’ superiority over their opponents, FC Barcelona having tallied an emphatic win, and Olympiacos shocking Montepaschi Siena in Italy.
(Early on, the Reds look like the only possible big bracket buster: The far majority of predictions – BiE’s included – under the Twitter hashtag #ELbracket and elsewhere have Montepaschi advancing the Final Eight in Istanbul.)
So to get things started in advance of tonight’s game two matchups of Unics Kazan at Barca and Olympiacaos at Montepaschi Siena, below run the Euroleague’s official top five plays from the playoff openers – for some reason posted in silent-movie fashion…
All right, so that’s not exactly satisfying. Luckily, the ‘Tube is stocked enough with clips. First up, BallinEurope fave Pete Mickael’s career night of 22 points, seven rebounds against hapless Kazan compressed into just about one minute.
Spain-based EuroleagueAdventures was in attendance in Barcelona for the game and got some interview time with Henry Domercant, pencilled in high on BallinEurope’s All-Euroleague team ballot. Domercant seems cool, noting that Kazan “has to take better care of the ball” against the Blaugrana in game two. (Indeed, the Russian side was outdone in turnovers by a 14-8 margin.)
Next, some stuff from that possible bracket-busting match. While the big league gave official game MVP and “play of the game” awards to Kyle Hines for his 15-point, four-rebound effort and Georgios Printezis’ fourth-quarter comeback-capping three-pointer, respectively, fans of the huge dunk will surely most appreciate Richard Dorsey bending that glass at about 0:35 into the first vid.
What can be said about CSKA’s 27-point immolation of Gescrap Bilbao Basket, except that it was all Moscow?
Going into the EL playoffs, former Maccabi Tel Aviv coach Pini Gershon enthused about long-time veteran and four-time Euroleague champion Sarunas Jasikevicius, who “still knows how to run the pick-and-roll! He is a great influence on the game of Panathinaikos. Jasikevicius is the key for the Greens,” while “Panathinaikos still relies on the pick-and-roll.”
And so it came to pass. Here’s Saras and Mike Batiste demonstrating – replete with nifty no-look pass from the Lithuanian – one of Panathinaikos’ pick-and-rolls that tormented the outmatched Maccabi.
Throughout the match, PAO continued to adapt. Check out what might be called a semi-pick by Ian Vougioukas against a fourth-quarter haggard Maccabi defense, freeing up Saras to choose his jumper against a tight zone.
And, with this being Greek basketball and all, you can bet the fans were at full throat for this one…