Aftermath (EL 5g.) – Three left unbeaten

2014-11-15T01:14:17+00:00 2015-05-23T16:15:46+00:00.

Aris Barkas

15/Nov/14 01:14

Eurohoops.net

After the first half of regular season, only three teams are left unbeaten. CSKA Moscow in Group B, Barcelona in Group C and Olympiacos at Group D are at 5-0, while in Group A Anadolu Efes and Real Madrid share the top with a 4-1 record

 By Aris Barkas/ barkas@eurohoops.net

After the first half of regular season, only three teams are left unbeaten. CSKA Moscow in Group B, Barcelona in Group C and Olympiacos at Group D are at 5-0, while in Group A Anadolu Efes and Real Madrid share the top with a 4-1 record. On the bottom, there’s no team with a zero in the wins column, so anything still goes. But before we get to the second round, let’s see what happened in the thrilling fifth week of action.

MVP

Andrew Goudelock

This time the choice was easy. He made some of the biggest shots of the game, finished it with 34 points on 10/13 threes, registering a new Euroleague record. So far he is our choice for the MVP award twice and also the big hope of Fenerbahce/ Ulker into building a real Final Four contender. What more could you ask? Maybe some more consistent defensive effort, but if he continues scoring like this, he may get away with it.

Best Five

  1. Taylor Rochestie: Niznhy beat twice this week on the road Unics – for Euroleague and VTB League – with Rochestie putting the dagger on Thursday, having in total 24 points and 4/4 threes.
  2. Andrew Goudelock: After an off night at OAKA, he returned to Munich with a vengeance in a key road win.
  3. Cedi Osman: A young prospect became a man in the win of Anadolu Efes over Real Madrid by scoring 16 points on 4/4 threes, having 7 rebounds and 3 blocks. Plus he is a blessing, since we can put him in every position from “1” to “3”.
  4. Devin Smith: No disrespect to the monster game of Brian Randle (12 p., 7 r., 6 bl.) who was robbed of a block in the official boxscore of the game, but simply put, when Smith plays good (24 p., 7/18 s., 10 r.) Maccabi wins, like they did on the road at Malaga.
  5. Shane Lawal: When Sassari got some inside game, got also its fist ever win in Euroleague. And that was all Lawal’s work with 25 points, 10/12 shots and 9 rebounds.

Best losing performance: Sergio Llull

In a game which should have gone either way, the Spanish guard was his usual self. Llull scored 20 points on 7/15 shots, he had also 3 rebounds, 2 steals and no turnover. If Real had got the win, his place would probably be in the best five.

Biggest win: Anadolu Efes

The young guns of Dusan Ivkovic proved against one of the favorites to win the title that they can aim high. Anadolu Efes after beating Real Madrid has a chance to finish on top of the group A standings, even though we expect the Spaniards to be furious when they will host the Turks at their home. That’s not a small feat, considering the fact that Efes played without one of their most important players, injured center Nenad Krstic.

The favorites: Barcelona – OlympiacosCSKA

Playing at home against Panathinaikos and Galatasaray respectively, the first two teams proved to be up to the challenge and remained unbeaten. Yes, Olympiacos‘ numbers were more impressive, but the Greens proved during the last few weeks that they have build a very strong unit, so a win with a double digits margins by the Catalans is still a great result. Also unbeaten CSKA for three quarters seemed to be in trouble at Limoges. Still the Russians finished the game with a 27-5 partial score in the last ten minutes, totally dominating the court.

The upset:  Dinamo Sassari

Zalgiris was impressive so far in the season, the defense of Sassari was not its strongest point but the Italians shocked the Lithuanians by getting 21 steals. This was the key number for their first ever win in Euroleague and given the way Zalgiris played in the previous four games, the final result was a surprise.

The underachiever: Valencia

After winning the Eurocup and after a great season in ACB, Valencia seemed capable of taking the next step. The choice of Buycks didn’t work, the injury of Dubljevic created more issues and at this point, despite Nemanja Nedovic’s addition, Valencia is left alone on the bottom of Group D (1-4). The saving grace of Perasovic‘s team is that they still have three games at home vs Galatasaray (2-3), Neptunas (2-3) and Crvena Zvezda (3-2). Also they have already one – home – win over Laboral Kutxa (2-3), so it’s not time yet to panic.

The disappointment: Unics Kazan 

It was evident since the Euroleague qualifying round that Unics (1-4) has major chemistry issues. However we expected that time will help the team play like a unit. So far they don’t and coach Pedoulakis has to find a way to make things work. On paper, Unics is a team capable even for the play offs, but if they don’t get their priorities right, then they are on course to miss the Top16.

Last word: Coach Crespi

After surviving adversity last season in Siena, he couldn’t last more than three months on the bench of Laboral Kutxa. His assistant, Ibon Navarro, replaced him and he said goodbye to the team with an emotional message: “I am sorry. Basketball is my life. The ambition to coach Baskonia was like a dream for me.  Things have not gone as I wanted and expected. I am sorry as a person and as a coach. I don’t like to say anything more, I have many thoughts in my head. But I know what it means to respect and now is not the time to do more valuations. Thank you”. That been said, Crespi becomes the second Italian coach after Simone Pianigiani who can’t follow on the footsteps of Sergio Scariolo and Ettore Messina outside Italian borders. However the conditions that Crespi met in Vitoria were far from ideal…

Euroleague 2014-2015 – 5th Day

Anadolu Efes

75 – 73

Real Madrid

F.C. Barcelona

78 – 69

Panathinaikos

Cedevita Zagreb

67 – 80

Alba Berlin

Limoges

76 – 86

CSKA Moscow

Dinamo Sassari

92 – 80

Zalgiris

Neptunas

94 – 87

Valencia

FC Bayern

86 – 93

Fenerbahce

Olympiacos

93 – 66

Galatasaray MP

Laboral Kutxa

66 – 86

Crvena Zvezda T.

Unicaja Malaga

66 – 70

Maccabi Tel Aviv

EA7 Milano

90 – 71

PGE Turow

UNICS Kazan

73 – 79

Nizhny Novgorod