By Panos Katsiroumpas/ firstname.lastname@example.org
We are just 2 weeks away from the end of a thrilling Top 16 and in the Magnifying Glass you can read everything that matters from this week’s action. The analysis of the Games in Piraeus and Novgorod and the key aspects of the other 6 games.
The bench of Barca played their part! Barcelona is a team with a deep roster and in such games the quality bench that they have, gives them the needed boost for a win. Pleiss and Abrines were effective and did the best to give their team a secure lead throughout the game.
The adaptation of the newcomers! Satoransky and Thomas play extremely well the last month, something that shows that they are now adjusted in the playbook of Pasqual. They are real economy players and offer in every part of the game. In Kaunas they combined for 23 points, 6 rebounds and 6 assists with both missing a total of only 2 Field Goals.
Machine of assists! In the Magnifying Glass of previous week, we referred to the creation contribution of Redding and Renfroe, having 16 of the total of 19 assists of their team against Galatasaray. This week they moved one step forward dishing 17 of Alba’s 20 assists against Red Star. (Redding 11& Renfroe 6)
Comeback and Boban! Even though Red Star felt short early in the game, needing to overcome a 19-point deficit, they made a huge comeback to equalize the game in the closing minutes. Marjanovic left his mark again with 27 points and 10 rebounds, getting help also from Jenkins. In the end the bad offensive decisions cost the win to the Serbian side.
Like his Father! Alessandro Gentile was the reason that led Olimpia Milano to defeat Baskonia. He plays excellent after his injury and his numbers prove that he involves more his teammates in the offensive game. In the first 5 games of the Top 16 he averaged 14 points and 1.5 assists, while in the last 4 games after his injury averages 24 points and 4 assists.
The mistake of Baskonia. The team from the Basque country took a 15pt lead in the 2nd quarter. Instead of controlling the tempo they continued to play quick and gave the opportunity to Milano to comeback in a blink of an eye. When the Italians found rhythm they just continued dominating the game and in the end they took an easy win.
Samardo AGAIN! Together with Gentile were the players that turned this game in favor of their team. He played excellent in both ends, he scored big baskets, won battles and played huge defense. He proved that he needs a bigger part of the offensive pie of the Italian team.
Nemanja and Goudelock! Another huge game from the 2 stars of Fenerbahce. Goudelock was in the zone again, scoring from everywhere and reminded us the big game in Athens against Olympiacos. Nemanja played his usual all-around game, giving his team stability and quality plays in offense.
Suicidal Trends! Panathinaikos managed to escape with a very important away win in Istanbul even though the Greens tried to commit suicide inside the game. They manage to build double digit deficits 4 times in the game, one in each period. Despite their poor roster Galatasaray forced 4 comebacks and everybody has to congratulate them.
Undersized Gold! We have referred many times the previous weeks about the quality of Patrick Young and how the Florida Gators alumni can become the new big name of undersized centers in a classy Euroleague team. Against Panathinaikos he was fantastic with 24 points and 9 rebounds, dominating the battle against Batista.
3 point execution! In such close game like that in Istanbul the shooting efficiency matters, in the end the difference was the execution from the perimeter. Panathinaikos finished the game with 13/29 and almost 45%. On the contrary Galatasaray was shooting with only 6/24 and 25%, and in the end this was the difference between the two teams.
Jaycee Killer!! Against Maccabi was one of those nights that Jaycee Carroll was in the zone. He took advantage of the good screens and executed perfectly creating big damage to the defensive plan of Maccabi. He finished the game with 18 points in 15 minutes.
Another Maccabi. Maccabi was forced to play without their centers because of their bad day. Schortsanitis and Tyus played together 20 minutes, and Goodes tried to play with Alexander and Randle in 4&5 position. These 20 minutes were the best of Maccabi in offense and defense and both performed well. They combined for 29 points and 14 rebounds and grow our curiosity if we are going to see this line-up again in the future.
Miss Matches. With the way that Maccabi chooses to play defense, with switches in almost every screen, it was obvious that Real Madrid had many miss match situations. In the majority of the plays they took advantage of them and especially inside they scored a lot and created big problems to the Israeli defense.
Highlights of the week! 1) The HUGE 3pt shot of Bogdan Bogdanovic as the clock running down in the 1st half from 15 meters against Malaga. 2) The very bad injuries of Ricky Hickman and Davis Bertans that will miss the rest of the season. Hope both they will come back stronger.