By Aris Barkas/ email@example.com
The talk of the NBA is who will be the new coach of the Lakers and one of the players who already reacted after the firing of Mike Brown is one of the biggest Euro-stars of the league. Under Brown the Lakers lost to Utah 95-86 with Turkish center Enes Kanter having 9 points and Pau Gasol just 5 along with 7 rebounds, 2 assists and 3 steals. After Brown’s dismiss, the Lakers beat the Warriors 101-77 with Gasol (photo) producing a double double (14 p., 16 r., 2 as.) against Latvian Andris Biendrins (4 r.).
In general, between the 6th and the 9th of November the Spaniards are shining. Serge Ibaka had 25 points, 7 rebounds and 3 blocks in 105-94 Oklahoma City’s win over Detroit (Sefolosha 4 p., 4 r. – Jerebko 2 p., 2 as.), and 21 points, 9 rebounds and 4 blocks against Chicago (97-81) with Switzerland’s Thabo Sefolosha providing 7 points and 7 rebounds for the winners, while the Bulls got a big game by British Luol Deng (27 p.), a good performance by Frenchman Joakim Noah (9 p., 13 r., 6 as.) and just 2 points by Italian Marco Belineli. Ibaka was the winner in one more Euro-duel as he had 17 points, 4 rebounds and 2 assist in the win over Toronto (108-88). Sefolosha also did good (11 p., 5 r., 2 as., 2 bl.) in a game where the Raptors can only smile for the numbers of Lithuanian rookie Jonas Valanciunas (18 p., 6 r.), while Spaniard Jose Manuel Calderon provided 8 points, 4 steals and 2 assists and Italian Andrea Bargnani 16 points and 6 rebounds.
Calderon did a little better (11 p., 6 as.) in the 109-104 loss by Dallas (Bargnani 25 p., 9 r., 3 as., Valanciunas 4 p., 2 r.,) and one other of his compatriots, Marc Gasol, completes the trio of formidable Spanish big men in the league. Memphis got two wins with Gasol having 14 points, 9 rebounds and 5 assists over Milwaukee (108-90) and 6 points, 4 rebounds and 2 assists over Houston (93-85). For the Bucks Ersan Ilyasona had 7 points and 4 rebounds in that game, but the Rockets are home to an other intriguing European center. Turkish Omer Asik had 10 points, 13 rebounds, 2 blocks and 5 turnovers in the loss by Memphis.
Asik is by default the starting center in Houston and Greek-American Kostas Koufos is getting closer and closer to get this role in Denver. He had a double double (15 p., 10 r.) in the 104-84 win over Utah (Kanter 13 p. 6 r.) and he was better then all the other Euro-Nuggets, with Italian Danilo Gallinari having a modest night ( 5 p. 6 r., 4 as.), Frenchman rookie Evan Fournier playing limited minutes scoring just 2 points and Russian Timofei Mozgov adding 4 points and 4 rebounds. Koufos was also good (14 p., 5 r., 3 bl.) in the 109-97 win against Detroit (Gallinari 8 p., 4 r. – Jerebko 11 p., 6 r., 3 st.), but had problems against Houston. The Nuggets beat the Rockets 93-87, but Koufos had mediocre numbers (4 p., 4 as.) against a double double by Asik (10 p., 13 r.). Gallinari also had a double double in that game (13 p., 10 r.)
However, the best individual performance by a European in the paint belongs to Marcin Gortat. The Poland native flirted with a triple double in the win of Phoenix against Charlotte (117-110) having 23 points, 10 rebounds and 7 blocks. In the same game Slovenian Goran Dragic had 16 points and 8 assist and his numbers were better in scoring in the 107-105 win against Cleveland (26 p., 4 as.), a game in which Gortat had also produced 12 points, 8 rebounds and five blocks.
The other big European delegation in NBA, the Frenchmen, didn’t have any really impressive performances these last day. San Antonio beat Sacramento 97-86 with Tony Parker (5 p., 3 r., 6 as.) and Boris Diaw (9 p., 9 r.) just doing their part and lost to the Clippers 106-84 with Parker (4 p., 6 as.), Diaw (8 p., 2 r.) and Nando De Colo (4 p.) putting mediocre numbers, as also did Ronny Turiaf for the winning side (5 r., 3 st.)
Kevin Seraphin had a good night (16 p., 9 r.) against Boston but the Celtics won 100-94 and his Czech teammate Jan Vesely had just 2 points and 5 rebounds. Nicola Batum did great (23 p., 9 r., 5 as.) but Portland also lost to the Clippers (103-90) of Turiaf (4 p., 5 r.) with Montenegrin Sasha Pavlovic and Englishman Joel Freeland stepping on the court for 5 and 2 minutes respectively. Rodrigue Beaubois ( 5 p., 3 r.) wasn’t a factor for Dallas in the defeat by the Knicks (104-94) and on the contrary Joakim Noah did great (20 p., 9 r., 4 as.) in Chicago’s 99-93 win over Orlando. It was a good game for non- American players with Deng adding 23 points, 8 rebounds and 4 assists, while for the loosing side Montenegrin Nikola Vucevic had a double double (16 p., 10 r., 2 bl.).
Vucevic tried his best (10 p., 5 r.) in his team’s pounding by the Nets (107-68) against Bosnian Mirza Teletovic (5 p., 5 r., 2 as.) and Georgian Tornike Shengelia ( 6 p.). Both of them are still trying to fit in as it was evident in the Nets‘ defeat by Miami with Teletovic scoring 3 points on 1/7 three pointers and Shengelia adding just two points. We have to add the fact that Israeli Omri Casspi played for 10 minutes in the defeat of Cleveland by the Warrioris (106-96) and had 5 rebounds and also that Georgian Zaza Pachulia‘s big rebounding night (6 p., 14 r.) was combined with a win of Atlanta over Indiana (89-86).
And the finale belongs once more to Minnesota Timberwolves, the team which prevailed over Indiana (96-94) and Orlando (90-75) with Andrei Kirilenko, Nikola Pekovic and Alexey Shved doing their duty. Montenegrin Pekovic had 13 and 11 points respectively, Russian Shved’s numbers were 11 points, 7 assists and 7 points together with 3 assists and AK-47 made all the rights moves (6 p., 6 r., 4 r., 3 st., against the Pacers, 7 p. 5 r. 3 st. 2 bl. against Magic).