Aftermath (Top16 5 g.) – Only CSKA perfect

2015-01-31T00:18:19+00:00 2015-05-23T12:53:43+00:00.

Aris Barkas

31/Jan/15 00:18

Eurohoops.net

After five weeks into Top16 only the unbeaten so far all season CSKA Moscow remains the perfect leader of Group F. That shows how difficult things are going to get, specially if you consider that the “army team” survived a close call

By Aris Barkas/ barkas@eurohoops.net

After five weeks into Top16 only the unbeaten so far all season CSKA Moscow remains the perfect leader of Group F. That shows how difficult things are going to get, specially if you consider that the “army team” survived a close call and also that only Fenerbahce/ Ulker managed to get a road win this gameday.

In Group E, Maccabi Tel Aviv and Real Madrid share the top (4-1), Barcelona and Panathinaikos follow (3-2), Galatasaray and Alba Berlin are one step behind (2-3), while Zalgiris Kaunas and Crvena Zvezda are still in the game (1-4).

In Group F, behind CSKA (5-0) there’s  Olympiacos at 4-1 and a tie between Fenerbahce/ Ulker and Anadolu Efes at 3-2. Nizhny and Laboral Kutxa (2-3) are also targetting the play offs, EA7 Milano is near them (1-4) and Unicaja still searches for a win (0-5). So here’s we have to remember.

MVP

Dontaye Draper

He doesn’t produce the numbers who can give him the Euroleague weekly MVP award. However he was simply great against Olympiacos, he had 14 points and 3 rebounds, one assist and 3 turnovers. As you may have guessed, the devil is on the details. In 22 minutes of action he had 5/6 shots, 4/4 of them were threes, and he also pressed the ball without ever taking a break, doing his part in keeping Spanoulis just to two points.

Best Five

  1. Dontaye Draper: He is our MVP
  2. Mike James: He needed no time in order to be  a factor for his team in Euroleague, scoring 16 points on 6/9 shots in the easy win over Ea7 Milano. Him and Laboral Kutxa is a match made in heaven.
  3. Dimitris Diamantidis: Are you surprised by his position? Don’t be as 3D can also be a great small forward with 14 points, 5 rebounds and of course 6 assists in 27 minutes.
  4. Andrei Vorontsevich: CSKA is like the mythical Hydra. You cut one head and two others come out. This time it was Vorontsevich with 22 points on 9/14 shots and 9 rebounds who proved to be the x-factor in the overtime win over Nizhny.
  5. Sofoklis Shortsanitis: When the season started he was a questionmark due to his injuries woes. When he is ready to go, Maccabi is just better and Sofo proved that with 17 points and 8 rebounds in 25 minutes against Real Madrid.

Best losing performance: Felipe Reyes

He is having a great season, he is constantly there when he teams need him and he became the all time leading rebounder in Euroleague, over Mirsad Turkcan. With 1288 rebounds he is the king, he despite 20 points, 11 rebounds and 3 assists by Reyes, Real Madrid lost the game in Tel Aviv.

The biggest win: Maccabi Tel Aviv

Despite trailing for 28 minutes, despite playing against unbeaten Real Madrid, the champs found the way. Maccabi Tel Aviv got the win, Real is no longer perfect and the ghosts of Milan’s final four were present in Israel. Despite many changes in the roster, despite David Blatt moving to the NBA, Maccabi is back on track as the season is getting near its most crucial stage.

The fighter: Nizhny Novgorod

There are no moral victories in sports, but Nizhny in Moscow came quite close to that. The Cinderella of Euroleague send the game against CSKA Moscow in overtime. In the end the quality and quantity of the “army team” couldn’t be matched, still Nizhny will never go down with a fight.

The missing ingredient: Unicaja Malaga

This is indeed a curious case. Somehow the leader of Liga Endesa has a 0-5 record in Top16. What’s even more puzzling, is that coach Plaza’s team always fights on the court, always has a clear strategy, but despite its efforts it can’t close the games the right way. This a very difficult riddle to solve and time is running out.

The underachiever: Olympiacos

Anadolu Efes decided that they would not be defeated by Spanoulis and they contained him. This time, with the captain of the Reds being a non factor, no other player of the former champions could do something against a well coached team and the result was a 14 points defeat. Still, the race for the play offs just gotten a lot more interesting.

The dissapointment: EA7 Milano

It’s hard to see a team that in theory has the potential to do more, being just mediocre. Milano’s goal should have been at least to stay on the same level with last season, but – as we have pointed already many times – this is not the case, not when you lose almost by 20 points to Laboral Kutxa.

Last word: The Serb connection

Sasha Obradovic started his career in the top level of European basketball as a member of Crvena Zvezda and his return to Belgrade as the coach of Alba Berlin was more than emmotional. See his reaction during the standing ovation his received by his country men and as usual one video worth a million words. And by the way, good karma helped in the first ever Top16 win of Crvena Zvezda.

Euroleague 2014-2015 – 15th Day

Unicaja Malaga

60 – 68

Fenerbahce

Panathinaikos

86 – 77

Galatasaray MP

F.C. Barcelona

89 – 72

Zalgiris

Laboral Kutxa

102 – 83

EA7 Milano

Anadolu Efes

84 – 70

Olympiacos

Crvena Zvezda T.

86 – 69

Alba Berlin

CSKA Moscow

103 – 95

Nizhny Novgorod

Maccabi Tel Aviv

90 – 86

Real Madrid