As The Continent has bid adieu to eight teams’ Euroleague bids for 2012-13, BallinEurope looks back briefly to take a brief look back at the regular season’s best – not to mention spindly some quality time outside the mall and in front of the YouTube.
The BallinEurope 2012-13 Euroleague Regular Season All-Star Team looks as follows.
• Vassilis Spanoulis, Olympiacos. It’s almost getting difficult to find new ways to trumpet Olympiacos’ success and Spanoulis’ outstanding leadership in calendar year 2012. (They haven’t lost a game in two months? Whoa! Oops, sorry.) Sheer numbers fail to tell the entire story of the Reds’ leader’s first 10 EL games this season, but we love the stats here, so boggle away: How about 16.0 ppg on 46.6% overall shooting to go with 5.9 assists, 1.0 steals and *1.77 blocks* in 28½ minutes per game? BiE reckons Spanoulis was regular-season MVP, an idea backed by Euroleague Adventures’ Sam Meyerkopf in the latest episode of the heinnews/BallinEurope co-produced “Taking the Charge” podcast series. (Shameless self-promotion over.)
• Bobby Brown, Montepaschi Siena. Sure, there were doubters when the budget-crunched Italian side picked up a reputed black hole with the ball to replace some guy named McCalebb. But after a 2010-11 spent outside pan-European competition with Oldenburg, Brown is displaying a passing game unseen since his days at Fullerton. His 5.7 assists per game are easily a career high on any professional level and ranked him third in this category and in assist/turnover ratio through the first 10 EL games. O, he also led the ‘League in points, three-pointers, free throws made and attempted – just call him Bobby Brown 2.0. Bo Who?
• Viktor Khyrapa, CSKA Moscow. Nenad Krstic seems to be getting a lion’s share of the credit for the Red Army’s quite awesome defense as of late, and fair enough. But to the defense-loving fan, Khyrapa is a monster back up to his Euroleague defensive MVP level of 2010; applying Bill Simmons’ simple-but-telling “stocks” (steals + blocks) statistic, Khyrapa’s 2.6 per game trailed only Stephane Lasme (3.0) and Ante Tomic (2.8). The point: With Khyrapa playing as a four with the skills of a three, a lot of defense is turning into CSKA transition offense – and wins.
• Sonny Weems, CSKA Moscow. And the career rise continues…
• Aron Baynes, Union Olimpija. It’s tough not to go with Krstic (and his ‘League-leading 66.67% true shooting percentage, but Baynes did more with less on the marginal Olimpija through the first 10. Aside from 22-year-old Alen Omic, the big Aussie was the only natural center on the Slovenian side and *was* the frontcourt some nights. Leading his team in points and rebounds, Baynes was just two boards short of being the only Euroleaguer to average a double-double in the first phase, “settling” instead for marks of 13.8 ppg and 9.8 rpg. Hopefully, this award will make up in a tiny way for the team’s disappointing finish.