Βest backcourt in the EuroLeague!

04/Feb/17 17:21 February 4, 2017

Aris Barkas

04/Feb/17 17:21

Eurohoops.net

With two-thirds of this year’s thrilling and still ongoing regular season behind us in the EuroLeague, Eurohoops attempts to present, with the help of statistics, the teams with the best lines of guards, forwards and centers in the competition

Βy Stelios Toromanidis/ info@eurohoops.net

The main subject of much discussion and analysis in various basketball hangouts throughout Europe is the comparison between the best teams of the Old Continent with regard to the completeness and effectiveness in the three main positions of the sport. Those of the backcourt (positions 1-2), the forwards (positions 3-4), and the centers (position 5). Which team is superior and where, which position makes all the difference in the end and which players are barometers for each unit throughout the season in the EuroLeague?

Trying to give some answers to the above questions, Eurohoops looked at the stats of all the players in the competition and presents to you the best backcourts, forwards and big men so far in the competition, based on the numbers.

PART 1: Backcourt (guards)

In the first of three parts of this special, we are going to deal with the masterminds of each team who come from the backcourt section. The guard is the one who makes the decisions and guides the whole. With the completion of 20 of the 30 games in the regular season, we have a sufficient statistical sample that allows us to highlight the best but also lower ranked teams with regard to the guard positions (1-2).

Ranking method

1st Step: First of all, we gathered the guards of each team separately and made 16 tables, one for every unit in this year’s EuroLeague.
2nd Step: On each team’s table, we added the points collected by every backcourt player in the ranking system (PIR) and then divided the result by the total of games of every guard on the team. This is how we calculated the average ranking (PIR) of the backcourt for each of the competition’s 16 gladiators. In this way, the stats of ALL the guards of a team are presented as if it were ONE player.

Results: CSKA dominate, Unics are pretty high up thanks to… Langford

The teams that are tied at the top in the standings after the first 20 rounds (CSKA, Real) are the ones with the best backcourts in the competition. They are followed by Darussafaka and Unics Kazan, who have many talented guards, while further down we have Panathinaikos and Olympiacos, with Zalgiris occupying the last position. But let’s look at each team separately…

1 CSKA Moscow (PIR: 10,3)

cska

On their roster they have perhaps the best duo of backcourt players in the EuroLeague (Teodosic, De Colo), which is complemented by the excellent playmaker Jackson and the formidable shooters Higgins and Fridzon. All of them have gathered a three-digit number in the overall ranking and make up a most powerful backcourt. The group is supplemented with the Kulagin brothers who help out a lot whenever they are needed.

  Player Games Points 2FG 3FG Assists Turnovers PIR
1 Nando De Colo 13 244 58/108 19/47 46 42 273
2 Milos Teodosic 15 253 39/71 40/114 114 43 267
3 Aaron Jackson 19 168 43/71 19/41 70 36 196
4 Cory Higgins 17 167 41/79 15/37 31 24 164
5 Vitaly Fridzon 20 140 30/46 18/39 18 19 128
6 Dmitry Kulagin 15 63 14/33 9/28 19 14 47
7 Michail Kulagin 6 22 3/6 4/11 0 5 7
  GUARDS TOTAL 105 1057 228/414 124/317 298 183 1082
  GUARDS AVERAGE 20 10,1 55,1% 39,1 2,8 1,7 10,3

2 Real Madrid (PIR: 10)

real-madrid

They might have only four guards, but all of them are top class players, the most prominent of course being Sergio Llull. The Spanish star is the absolute boss of this year’s Real, after Sergio Rodriguez departed for the NBA. Alongside him, the boy wonder of this year’s competition, Luka Doncic, in his first big season, while the killer Jaycee Carroll along with the experienced Dontaye Draper complement an excellent quartet.

  Player Games Points 2FG 3FG Assists Turnovers PIR
1 Sergio Llull 17 306 64/120 38/127 102 35 296
2 Luca Doncic 19 162 23/42 26/61 68 33 248
3 Jaycee Carroll 20 180 34/60 30/72 14 11 130
4 Dontaye Draper 17 40 11/18 2/24 33 13 53
  GUARDS TOTAL 73 688 132/240 96/284 217 92 727
  GUARDS AVERAGE 20 9,4 55% 33,8% 3 1,3 10

 

darussafaka-unics-fener-pao

3 Darussafaka (PIR: 9,4)

The trio of Wanamaker, Wilbekin and Bertans is full of talent, athleticism and great efficiency in shooting from the 6,75m line, which results in Darussafaka’s backcourt being featured in third place. Arslan and Yagmur have complementary roles, as can be seen in the table below.

  Player Games Points 2FG 3FG Assists Turnovers PIR
1 Brad Wanamaker 20 300 65/135 34/79 90 56 319
2 Scottie Wilbekin 19 212 25/50 39/90 64 36 220
3 Dairis Bertans 20 134 15/38 24/43 27 16 124
4 Ender Arslan 3 6 1/1 0/3 2 2 3
5 Mehmet Yagmur 8 3 0/0 1/5 2 4 -5
  GUARDS TOTAL 70 655 106/224 98/220 185 114 661
  GUARDS AVERAGE 20 9,4 47,3% 44,5% 2,6 1,6 9,4

Unics Kazan (PIR: 9,4)

Tied with David Blatt’s team is Unics Kazan, a team that has been built around its absolute leader, Keith Langford, who is the best guard and scorer in the EuroLeague, while also being the only player who has gathered over 400 points in the PIR. On his side: the very good creator, Quino Colom (in his first year in the competition), the injured Johnson and Pongrashov, as well as the complementary Stoll, Panin and Voronov.

  Player Games Points 2FG 3FG Assists Turnovers PIR
1 Keith Langford 19 423 92/217 43/109 69 41 433
2 Quino Colom 16 177 39/88 20/64 87 35 228
3 Orlando Johnson 14 112 23/50 16/40 7 20 69
4 Paul Stoll 11 48 3/12 12/32 32 15 66
5 Vadim Panin 18 52 7/11 12/34 17 18 53
6 Anton Pongrashov 3 28 7/16 4/10 16 12 30
7 Evgeny Voronov 15 59 18/31 4/17 7 18 25
  GUARDS TOTAL 96 899 228/425 111/306 235 159 904
  GUARDS AVERAGE 20 9,4 53,6% 36,3% 2,4 1,7 9,4

5 Fenerbache (PIR: 9)

Zeljko Obradovic’s backcourt armada, led by Kostas Sloukas, is in fifth place. The small Bobby Dixon is a high quality option, and Bogdan Bogdanovic is a top class player but one who missed many games due to an injury. If he hadn’t been injured, Fenerbahce would have been higher in the rankings.

  Player Games Points 2FG 3FG Assists Turnovers PIR
1 Kostas Sloukas 20 226 52/101 27/52 99 56 235
2 Bobby Dixon 20 219 30/67 45/118 61 32 209
3 Bogdan Bogdanovic 8 89 18/33 12/28 33 16 107
4 Melih Mahmutoglu 10 24 2/5 6/21 4 4 6
5 Berk Ugurlu 4 2 0/2 0/2 1 2 -1
  GUARDS TOTAL 62 560 102/208 90/221 198 110 556
  GUARDS AVERAGE 20 9 49% 40,7% 3,2 1,8 9

6 Panathinaikos (PIR: 8,3)

One of the best backcourts is that of Panathinaikos. Nick Calathes is the leader, surrounded by the excellent American trio of Rivers, James and Feldeine. Coach Pascual has Pappas as a secondary option, as is shown in the stats, complemented by the young Bochoridis with very few appearances in the backcourt gang.

  Player Games Points 2FG 3FG Assists Turnovers PIR
1 Nick Calathes 20 232 76/144 20/44 118 38 288
2 KC Rivers 20 239 43/87 45/99 14 21 165
3 Mike James 12 166 52/87 11/38 32 29 163
4 James Feldeine 20 130 23/58 24/64 47 16 107
5 Nikos Pappas 16 82 19/40 8/32 21 19 66
6 Eleftherios Bochoridis 7 12 1/5 3/4 0 2 1
  GUARDS TOTAL 95 861 214/421 111/281 232 115 790
  GUARDS AVERAGE 20 9,1 50,8% 39,5 2,4 1,2 8,3

 

efes-bamberg-osfp-barca

7 Efes (PIR: 7,9)

Below Panathinaikos we come across Efes’ guards. The best of the bunch are Thomas Heurtel and Jayson Granger, who do most of the work in scoring as well as creating. Brandon Paul has also left good impressions after his first games, replacing Bryce Cotton in the backcourt of the Blues. After the first few rounds, Furkan Korkmaz is also history.

  Player Games Points 2FG 3FG Assists Turnovers PIR
1 Thomas Heurtel 20 275 82/160 24/62 105 56 262
2 Jayson Granger 20 173 46/105 18/60 75 28 179
3 Brandon Paul 8 95 9/20 19/44 8 9 78
4 Dogus Balbay 13 19 5/14 3/7 13 3 27
5 Maxim Mutaf 5 12 0/1 4/8 3 2 15
6 Bryce Cotton * 10 80 17/36 12/32 14 9 56
7 Furkan Korkmaz * 2 2 1/4 0/1 1 0 3
  GUARDS TOTAL 78 656 160/340 80/214 219 107 620
  GUARDS AVERAGE 20 8,4 47% 37,4% 2,8 1,4 7,9

8 Bamberg (PIR: 7,4)

If it were the best eight backcourts that qualified, Bamberg would get the last ticket. The superstar might be out, but the uniformity and cohesion of the Germans in the guard positions makes all the difference and is the weapon of Trinchieri’s team in their effort to make it to the playoffs. Strelnieks, Zisis and Causeur have more responsibilities than the rest, while Staiger’s case is also interesting as he has executed 36 three-pointers and only one two-pointer!

  Player Games Points 2FG 3FG Assists Turnovers PIR
1 Janis Strelnieks 20 228 48/85 33/76 68 24 251
2 Fabien Causeur 19 194 54/82 18/61 42 26 220
3 Nikos Zisis 20 152 30/72 12/48 89 42 178
4 Lucca Staiger 15 54 0/1 18/36 3 2 42
5 Maodo Lo 17 72 20/42 10/26 14 14 38
6 Aleksej Nikolic 3 2 0/0 0/1 4 0 5
7 Jerel McNeal 5 9 3/7 1/5 8 8 -1
  GUARDS TOTAL 99 711 155/289 92/253 228 116 733
  GUARDS AVERAGE 20 7,2 53,6% 36,4% 2,3 1,2 7,4

9 Olympiacos (PIR: 6,9)

Four teams are tied in ninth place. First up, Olympiacos, who have Vassilis Spanoulis as their leader and around him a pretty good supporting cast that cannot move along his performance standards, and as a result, even though the Red-and-whites are third in the EuroLeague standings, their backcourt is ranked lower.

  Player Games Points 2FG 3FG Assists Turnovers PIR
1 Vassilis Spanoulis 19 246 54/104 25/85 121 81 238
2 Erick Green 20 185 37/88 26/63 16 19 138
3 Vangelis Mantzaris 20 120 8/26 31/76 27 18 103
4 Daniel Hackett 11 55 13/33 4/15 18 2 61
5 Dominic Waters 5 24 8/14 1/3 12 6 14
6 Ioannis Athinaiou 5 3 1/3 0/3 5 3 -3
  GUARDS TOTAL 80 633 121/268 87/245 199 129 551
  GUARDS AVERAGE 20 8,3 45,1% 35,5% 2,5 1,6 6,9

Barcelona (PIR: 6,9)

Keeping company to the Piraeus team is the “confused” Barcelona of the resourceful Tyrese Rice and the many injuries (Ribas, Koponen, Navarro, Renfroe) that have disrupted the Blaugrana’s guards.

  Player Games Points 2FG 3FG Assists Turnovers PIR
1 Tyrese Rice 20 294 66/146 37/120 104 55 248
4 Petteri Koponen 17 165 16/52 34/67 35 19 141
2 Brad Oleson 17 85 25/37 10/38 34 15 92
3 Juan Carlos Navarro 10 59 8/27 11/35 20 16 44
5 Alex Renfroe 10 38 6/16 7/14 13 15 41
6 Stefan Peno 8 9 2/5 1/3 4 5 9
7 Pau Ribas 2 9 0/1 3/6 1 1 7
  GUARDS TOTAL 84 659 123/283 103/283 211 126 582
  GUARDS AVERAGE 20 7,8 43,5% 36,4% 2,5 1,5 6,9

 

maccabi-armani-baskonia-zvezda-galata-zalgiris

Maccabi Tel Aviv (PIR: 6,9)

The Israelis have rich individual talent in the guard positions, but they lack in team work and specific roles on the court. This is why their ranking in general as well as in terms of the best backcourts is low.

  Player Games Points 2FG 3FG Assists Turnovers PIR
1 Andrew Goudelock 18 302 67/126 43/94 53 32 284
2 D.J. Seeley 19 137 20/51 22/48 53 35 136
3 Yogev Ohayon 19 96 18/44 15/35 42 19 103
4 Gal Mekel 14 31 9/22 3/9 22 11 31
5 Sylven Landesberg 13 43 9/20 7/21 2 7 18
  GUARDS TOTAL 83 609 123/263 90/207 172 104 572
  GUARDS AVERAGE 20 7,3 46,8% 43,5% 2,1 1,3 6,9

– EA7 Armani Milan (PIR: 6,9)

The Italians are in a similar situation with Maccabi. Simon, Hickman, Kalnietis and Dragic are experienced and quality solutions among the guards, but cohesion and effectiveness are not profuse in the team and their course thus far betrays this fact.

  Player Games Points 2FG 3FG Assists Turnovers PIR
1 Krunoslav Simon 18 203 40/75 28/72 68 30 241
2 Ricky Hikman 20 199 35/84 22/69 62 44 208
2 Mantas Kalnietis 20 139 33/67 19/52 60 33 146
4 Zoran Dragic 20 147 42/76 14/50 16 23 102
5 Andrea Cinciarini 13 41 15/26 2/8 15 10 34
6 Awudu Abass 15 38 5/15 7/17 6 8 23
7 Bruno Cerella 3 5 0/0 1/4 4 0 1
  GUARDS TOTAL 109 772 170/343 93/272 231 148 755
  GUARDS AVERAGE 20 7,1 49,6% 34,2% 2,1 1,4 6,9

13 Crvena Zvezda (PIR: 6,8)

The Serbs’ amazing progress in this year’s EuroLeague cannot be accurately reflected in the ranking of their backcourt. This is because playing time is allocated to many players, most of whom don’t collect many points in the rankings, even though they’ve played in all or in most games.

  Player Games Points 2FG 3FG Assists Turnovers PIR
1 Stefan Jovic 20 165 49/99 16/53 119 40 207
2 Charles Jenkins 20 164 37/94 21/51 51 18 160
3 Nate Wolters 17 119 34/75 12/34 35 22 119
4 Marko Guduric 19 142 28/56 16/53 35 25 115
5 Branko Lazic 20 85 21/35 12/36 6 9 64
6 Nikola Rebic 2 2 1/4 0/0 2 1 3
  GUARDS TOTAL 98 677 170/363 77/227 248 115 668
  GUARDS AVERAGE 20 6,9 46,8% 33,9% 2,5 1,2 6,8

14 Baskonia (PIR: 6,6)

The same conclusion emerges with Baskonia as well, as they have Shane Larkin as their point of reference but at the same time they’ve used various players whose performance levels so far have been low. Pablo Prigioni and Josh Akognon are a thing of the past for the Basques.

  Player Games Points 2FG 3FG Assists Turnovers PIR
1 Shane Larkin 20 267 63/135 25/79 122 58 313
2 Rodrigue Beaubois 17 208 48/81 29/80 19 25 136
3 Jaka Blazic 20 108 24/63 16/44 12 16 79
4 Rafa Luz 20 37 8/18 6/10 30 18 34
5 Nicolas Laprovittola 2 11 1/3 2/6 6 3 3
6 Pablo Prigioni * 3 0 0/2 0/0 6 3 5
7 Josh Akognon * 5 19 5/7 3/14 6 3 5
  GUARDS TOTAL 87 650 149/309 81/233 201 126 575
  GUARDS AVERAGE 20 7,5 48,2% 34,8% 2,3 1,4 6,6

Galatasaray (PIR: 6,6)

Aside from the consistent Sinan Guler and John Diebler’s… bursts, the other guards are lacking in quality, and this is why Galatasaray are at the bottom of these rankings. The departures of Russ Smith and Justin Dentmon have also played an important role, as they didn’t “gel” with the whole and left.

  Player Games Points 2FG 3FG Assists Turnovers PIR
1 Sinan Guler 20 236 59/119 32/92 117 45 255
2 Jon Diebler 20 110 8/19 27/59 26 12 120
3 Bruno Fitipaldo 6 57 8/16 11/21 21 14 40
4 Goksenin Koksal 18 47 11/29 7/20 14 9 18
5 Can Korkmaz 3 9 2/3 1/4 2 2 8
6 Justin Dentmon * 8 98 15/31 18/45 18 7 76
7 Russ Smith * 7 49 14/33 2/12 6 6 24
  GUARDS TOTAL 82 606 117/250 98/253 204 95 541
  GUARDS AVERAGE 20 7,4 46,8% 38,7% 2,5 1,2 6,6

16 Zalgiris Kaunas (PIR: 6)

Zalgiris Kaunas are last in the rankings of the guards. They might be a well-worked unit by Sarunas Jasikevicius but, as is natural because of the Lithuanians’ meager budget (the lowest in the EuroLeague), they can’t manage to get among the top teams even though they have gotten some resounding victories throughout the season.

  Player Games Points 2FG 3FG Assists Turnovers PIR
1 Leo Westermann 20 166 36/79 20/62 106 49 194
2 Lucas Lekavicius 20 148 40/87 13/46 66 33 157
3 Kevin Pangos 20 178 21/70 41/93 61 36 129
4 Arturas Milaknis 20 153 10/23 41/101 24 15 109
5 Renaldas Seibutis 20 52 15/40 3/16 21 15 22
6 Paulius Valinskas 3 4 1/1 0/1 1 1 3
  GUARDS TOTAL 103 701 123/300 118/319 279 149 614
  GUARDS AVERAGE 20 6,8 41% 37% 2,7 1,4 6

 

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