By Nikos Varlas/ email@example.com
Eurohoops will select 3 players from each team in the Final Four whose performance we consider crucial regarding how their teams will fare in Madrid and will present them in 12 different parts. One by one they will “parade” through and we will focus on their role and the reasons they are important.
Why he’s a catalyst
Nando De Colo had his debut in 2010-11 in the Euroleague wearing Valencia’s jersey. He returned to the league in a more mature age with the experiences he has gained from his stint in the NBA and the successes with the national team of France. We knew it the moment his return to Europe from the NBA was announced but we now have the proof on the court. The 28yearold Frenchman is one of the best Combo Guards that we have ever seen in the tournament! That’s not an exaggeration.
In offense it’s hard to stop him and almost impossible to do so when he’s on a good day. At the same time, he’s a quality creator, excellent in steals and usually scores a lot while being economical with his attempts. Even in the area of rebounds, for a backcourt player, you can say that he is distinguished.
The most important thing, and this a sign of his class, is that in offense he usually makes the right decisions and consistently with a high percentage of accuracy. The 14.2 points (51% in two-point field goals, 46% in three-point field goals) with 3.2 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 1.4 steals, that he tallies on average this year, demonstrate the impact that he has on CSKA’s game and his effectiveness. He produced the same and even better numbers in the playoffs but with the amazing 62,5% in three-point field goals!
The Frenchman has one more gift. The instinct to finish plays in offense after an isolation play (even those under the hardest conditions) when the shot clock or the quarter is expiring!
Because no one is perfect, defense is definitely not his forte. Against very hard contact defense, sometimes he retreats and does not take many initiatives. Rarely, though, will he finish a game with bad numbers or many missed shots. He will simply not take the shots that he is used to taking.
His role in the Final Four and coach Itoudis’s expectations clearly derive from everything that’s been analyzed above. In the games that will decide the title of the European champion, CSKA needs the De Colo that we’ve been watching all season long. Above all else, he expects the Frenchman to be a sure solution in the Hero or Money Balls, as they’re called! To make the difference when the ball is hot. In case Milos Teodosic is not on a good day or is not making the right decisions, then the expectations will be higher in the creative part as well.
Like in 2010!
For the past years he had been playing in the NBA but in 2010, as a leading figure of Valencia he won the Eurocup! The title was decided through a final four format that was held in Vitoria! Five years later, the Frenchman, in another Final Four in the same country, wants to win the most important title on a club level and place it in his trophy collection, next to the historic gold metal that he won with France, in the Eurobasket of 2013!