The Usual Suspects: Top 16 Round 8

29/Feb/16 10:33 February 28, 2016

Lefteris Moutis

29/Feb/16 10:33

Eurohoops.net

For one week, law and order had been restored in Europe. However, this was too good to last. A new crime wave is again terrorizing people from the Spanish coasts to the Caspian Sea and from the Bosphorus strait to the Russian steppe

By Aris Barkas/ barkas@eurohoops.net

For one week, law and order had been restored in Europe. However, this was too good to last. A new crime wave is again terrorizing people from the Spanish coasts to the Caspian Sea and from the Bosphorus strait to the Russian steppe.

While the police are trying to investigate crimes all over the old continent, it’s more and more obvious that there’s a strange connection of this activity with the Turkish Airlines Euroleague. As new faces are added in the criminal investigation, with some of them spotted in Athens and Barcelona, but still unrecognized, four very familiar names are back this week on the most wanted list along with a notorious figure from Spain.

Nikita Kurbanov: This is the second time that this Russian enforcer has seen his name in the most wanted list, so he can no longer be considered an under-the-radar case. In showdown between two gangs in the Russian capital, he did his part as CSKA Moscow dispatched Khimki Moscow Region. He left 18 points, 3 assists and a performance index rating (PIR) of 22 – all career highs for him – in his wake. His old army training seems to be paying off as he is now part of the criminal elite. This is probably the last time anyone underestimates him.

Luke Harangody: You may remember this old member of the Boston underworld who recently made Istanbul his home. And in this ancient crossroads between continents, he is once more up to no good with a new gang, Darussafaka Dogus Istanbul. Of course, his victim this week, Unicaja Malaga, knew what to expect, since Harangody’s operating base last season was Spain. But they just couldn’t stop him. He dominated with 21 points, including a perfect 3-for-3 three-pointers, and 8 rebounds, proving that at least one part of Istanbul now belongs to him.

Anthony Randolph: This is not news anymore as this big-time gangster is back with a vengeance. It was just a matter of time for him to explode, just as his Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar cohorts are emerging as a menace to be reckoned with. This voracious crew is capable of anything, and Randolph proved it once again. In the gruesome aftermath of his dirty deeds it was obvious that poor Cedevita Zagreb never stood a chance. Randolph spun out of control for 28 points, 13 rebounds, 5 assists and a 43 PIR, second-best this season and tied for fifth-best in Top 16 history.

Felipe Reyes: He is a Spanish aristocrat by descent and a legend in Madrid. He may seem brutish at first, but he has become quite the eloquent con artist, always showing up in the right spot to get an offensive rebound and never missing a big play. The devil is in the details, so don’t fixate on his 18 points and 23 PIR. He was only able to make off with the loot after downing 4 of 4 free throws late in the caper as Real Madrid escaped from Brose Baskets Bamberg and solidified its place once again among the most respected gangs in Europe. Don Felipe did it again.

Marko Guduric: You may not know him, but the authorities have long ago marked his name. This young crook made his name a couple of months back in eliminating FC Bayern Munich and once again he was there this week when Crvena Zvezda Telekom Belgrade needed him the most. Quick hands, charm and a total of 14 points were enough for the Serbs in order to prevail over Anadolu Efes Istanbul. Guduric hit when it counted the most and if you are not careful, he may do it to you next time.

Art credit: JPSportart