By Aris Barkas/ firstname.lastname@example.org
Only the wins of Real Madrid and Anadolu Efes were decided on details this week, as the rest of the Euroleague games turned out to be a walk for the winners. What’s not a walk however is the race to playoffs.
As you can see in the standings, while CSKA Moscow (10-1), Fenerbahce and Real Madrid (8-3) and even Olympiacos and Baskonia (7-4) are creating some distance from the pack, Panathinaikos and Anadolu Efes (6-5) have a small advantage, over the three teams that are tied in the eighth spot (Maccabi Tel Aviv, Dogus Darussafaka, Barcelona) and every one can still hope. And speaking about Maccabi and hopes, it’s time to introduce our MVP.
It’s one of those cases in which the numbers talk by themselves. The Italian forward of Brose Baskets in the road win against Maccabi Tel Aviv had a career night with 27 points, 6/8 threes, 14 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal and 1 block for a 40 ranking. It can’t get much better than this, specially for a team that made a habbit of losing in the closing seconds. Still, this time things were different:
- Erick Green: He had 15 points on 6/9 shots, 5 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 steals, 1 block and 1 turnover for a 20 rankings, as Olympiacos got an easy win over Unics Kazan.
- Luka Doncic: His numbers are relatively tame (17 p. 3/5 3p. 4 r. 4 as.) but when you add in the mix the fact that he is 17 years old and made the two most important shots in Real Madrid’s win over Zalgiris Kaunas, you can’t but admire him.
- Chris Singleton: He had almost a perfect game for Panathinaikos with 13 points, 7 rebounds, 1 assist, 3 steals and 1 block as the Greens beat Galatasaray with ease.
- Nicolo Melli: He had alreade made a name for himself, but after this game, his stocks just had a limit up.
- Ekpe Udoh: The big man of Fenerbahce had a historice performance against Crvena Zvezda with 15 points, 9 rebounds, 5 assists and 5 blocks.
Best losing performance: Tyrese Rice
Anadolu Efes managed to beat Barcelona, but he did his part with 22 points on 9/21 field goals, 7 assists, 1 turnovers and 3 rebounds, trying to make a one man comeback for the Catalans. He couldn’t complete it, however this doesn’t change the fact that once more he proved to be the leader of Barca.
Coach of the week: Dimitris Itoudis
Without Nando De Colo and Milos Teodosic, every one wanted to see if CSKA Moscow would be in trouble. In the end, the defending champs got a very easy road win against EA7 Emporio Armani Milano, playing the same brand of effective and on the same time beautiful basketball. And even if the players did it, the coach also has to take more than big credit for this.
Biggest win: Baskonia
Against a team with an expensive roster and high ambitions, Baskonia managed via defense to get its 7th win and stay among the top5 of the league. In a game that for the winners was the definition of team work, things proved to be quite easy as they got not only the positive result but also a valuable 21 points advantage in case of a tie.
Last word: Roller-coaster
Despite the good start EA7 Milano, as we getting near the middle of the regular season, is back in having issues. Four defeats in a row, not being able to compete with CSKA Moscow, which was missing Teodosic and De Colo, and parting ways with Alessandro Gentile makes up for a lousy week that the Italians must put behind fast if they want to return on playoffs course.