By Utkan Sahin & Giannis Rammas/ firstname.lastname@example.org
One of the novelties of this season’s Turkish Airlines EuroLeague format is the double treat of two games per week at times during the season. During such weeks, each team plays two games in four days and the majority do so within 48 hours. With four of those double-round weeks having already passed, the conclusions that can be made are many and varied.
Eurohoops gathered the most interesting ones and presents them to you.
No team has a perfect record in double weeks, but Fenerbahce Istanbul, Olympiacos Piraeus, Real Madrid and Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade have come closest, with 6 wins and 2 defeats each. This is in contrast to Brose Bamberg, whose record when playing back-to-back rounds in the same week is 1-7.
If those numbers do not surprise you, then what would you think of Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv, a bottom-four team, having one of the best responses in double-game weeks? The Israeli team has an overall record of 7-14, but 5 of those wins have taken place in the weeks that contain two rounds. Indeed, when it has played twice within 48 hours, Maccabi has won three of four games. The best of all at 48-hour turnarounds is Fenerbahce (4-0), while EA7 Emporio Armani Milan is on the other side at 0-4.
Having double-round weeks on the calendar has dramatically increased the interest of the games and this view is reinforced by the fact that only 7 of the 16 teams exhibit a plus sign in the offense-defense ratio in those 8 rounds: Anadolu Efes Istanbul, Zvezda, CSKA Moscow, Fenerbahce, Olympiacos, Panathinaikos Superfoods Athens and Madrid.
Its average of 90.8 points gives Madrid the best offense, as well as the best points difference, +8.3. In contrast, its archrival, FC Barcelona Lassa, has the biggest negative value with -7.7 points.
INDIVIDUAL SCORING SHIFTS
Fatigue is one of the most important factors that a player has to deal with in double-round weeks. Some of them have not only found the secret, however; they seem even to get better after 48 hours. First and foremost is Fenerbahce’s Bobby Dixon, who counts only 6.2 points in the first games of double weeks, but skyrockets his average to 17.7 in the second ones.
The Top 10 is completed by players who have a single-digit increase in their average: Vassilis Spanoulis of Olympiacos, Paulius Jankunas of Zalgiris Kaunas and Aleksandar Vezenkov of Barcelona score 5.7 points more in the second round of these week than they do in the previous one. CSKA’s Milos Teodosic follows with 5.6 points more, his teammate Aaron Jackson with 5.5, Barcelona’s Tyrese Rice and Galatasaray Odeabank Istanbul’s Blake Schilb with 5.3, Baskonia Vitoria Gasteiz’s Adam Hanga with 5.2, and Efes’s Jayson Granger is 10th-best with 5 points more late in the double weeks.
INDIVIDUAL PERFORMANCE SHIFTS
Fenerbahce’s Ekpe Udoh has outstanding stamina. With a 23.3 average over his six games, he has the highest performance index rating (PIR) of all players in the busiest weeks of the season. Unics Kazan teammates Keith Langford (21.8) and Artsiom Parakhouski (21.4) are the only other players with PIRs of more than 20 in double weeks.
CSKA’s Teodosic is the only one in the Top 10 with as few as five games, but an average PIR of 19.8, he’s placed higher than Madrid’s Sergio Llull (18.6), Baskonia’s Shane Larkin (18), Fenerbahce’s Jan Vesely (18), Efes’s Thomas Heurtel (17.3), Panathinaikos’s Nick Calathes (17.2) and Darussafaka Dogus Istanbul’s Brad Wanamaker (17).
TOP 10 SCORERS
Ranking and points usually go hand in hand, and there are more than a few players that are present on both lists. In double weeks, too, Langford of Unics is the top scorer and the only one with an average of over 20 points (22).
Madrid’s Llull follows close behind with 19.8 points, while Andrew Goudelock is a new entry, with 18.8. CSKA’s Teodosic scores 18.4 points, Efes’s Heurtel and CSKA’s Nando De Colo have averages of 15.8 points each, but in a different number of games. Darussafaka’s Wanamaker is threatening them with 15.7; Unics’s Parakhouski isn’t very far behind with 15.1; Fenerbahce’s Udoh has rounded his average to 15; while Zvezda’s Marko Simonovic closes out the Top 10 with 14.6 points.