By Eurohoops Team/ email@example.com
Turkish Airlines EuroLeague via “Experts Round Table: Round 26” looks into the battle for a playoffs berth, favorite low post scorers and the upcoming collision between CSKA Moscow and FC Barcelona. Sharing their takes are Euroleague Basketball Legend Theodoros Papaloukas; Luca Chiabotti, the former basketball expert-in-residence at La Gazzetta dello Sport in Italy; Patrick Reichelt, sports editor for Munchner Merkur; Alex Madrid of Eurohoops Spain; and Frank Lawlor, Editorial Director of Euroleague Basketball.
“Question: Who is your favorite scorer close to the basket in this season’s EuroLeague?
“I’m going to pick Georgios Printezis, even though he’s behind 61 other players in two-point percentage. There are reasons for this. In a season where Olympiacos has a problematic backcourt and a lack of quality in creation, he ranks ninth in two-point attempts and, out of all those players who shoot so much, only four have a slightly better percentage than his. The main reason I’m choosing him? He’s the only one among them who scores so often in the post without depending on his teammates. He creates many plays for himself and, whereas all the players with higher percentages are just great finishers, Printezis can still score a lot with a very good accuracy (57%) but also function as a creator so that his teammates can get open shots.”
“Tornike Shengelia of Baskonia. I don’t consider in my ranking the pick-and-roll alley-oop players because the passer deserves more credit than the scorer… Shengelia has a lot of big moves around the basket. He can score one-on-one facing the basket. He can score posting up. He is quick and fast and he is a good passer. I also really like Jordan Mickey of Real Madrid, a young player who will dominate around the basket in the future.”
“Honestly, I am a big fan of experience. Therefore, my choice is Nikola Mirotic. Not always spectacular, but he is mostly doing the right thing. And he is the leader we all could expect. He can make the difference for Barcelona in the approaching crunch time of the season.”
“Dancing in the low post or playing close to the basket are just two of his many virtues, so I choose Toko Shengelia as my favorite. The Georgian shows determination when facing the rim and is also one of the most powerful finishers in the EuroLeague. He is a beast. If you want proof, ask Nikola Mirotic about Toko’s game-winning dunk against Barcelona.”
“I’ll take this season’s leader in two-point accuracy, Ioannis Papapetrou of Panathinaikos, who is making those shots at an impressive 70.4% rate. Players who achieved that rate in the past were often super-sized centers who dunk a lot. Papapetrou may be the best cutter in the EuroLeague, can dunk if he has to, but usually exploits the gaps created in the modern game by the spacing of three-point shooters. It helps immensely to have a consummate passer like Nick Calathes who sees those gaps, too.””
Read the rest of the “Experts Round Table: Round 26” on EuroLeague.net.