Βy Aris Barkas/ firstname.lastname@example.org
There are still 12 games until the end of the EuroLeague regular season, however for the first time there’s a gap in the standings between the teams in the first eight spots and the rest of the league.
After the win of Darrusafaka Dogus, the team of coach David Blatt alongside Panathinaikos and Crvena Zvezda are tied with a 10-8 record between the 6th and the 8th spot of the standings, while Barcelona and Anadolu Efes are for the moment out of the playoffs with a 8-10 record. CSKA Moscow remains on the top with a 14-4 record, Real Madrid and Olympiacos follow at 13-5, Baskonia after the defeat in Greece is tied at 12-7 with Fenerbahce, as one more gap was created between second and fourth place. Still the MVP comes from elsewhere.
He made all the difference for Barcelona over Anadolu Efes, having a heck of game with 18 points (8/12 FG), 8 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal, 1 block and 3 turnovers. Not bad for a newcomer who has the chance to do even more now that Barcelona has decided to release Joey Dorsey. Faverani needs to keep up like this and the first test was more than positive.
- Stefan Jovic: The Crvena Zvezda general didn’t have any pity for Maccabi in Tel Aviv with 14 points, 2/4 threes, 3 rebounds and 7 assists.
- Brad Wanamaker: He proved again that he is the brain of Darussafaka Dogus’ body with 16 points (2/2 3p.), 7 rebounds, 5 assists, 1 steals and 2 turnovers in the win over Unics Kazan.
- Nando De Colo: Without Milos Teodosic on the court, he took it once more upon himself to lead CSKA Moscow to the win over Brose Bamberg with 26 points 9/14 field goals, 4 rebounds, 5 assists and 3 steals.
- Ahmet Duverioglu: He came out of nowhere and surprised Panathinaikos in the win of Fenerbahce with 13 points, 4 rebounds and 2 blocks in 15 minutes.
- Vitor Faverani: What a comeback.
Best losing performance: Mike James
While the performance of Panathinaikos in Istanbul is not worth remembering, he did the best he could. Even if you can’t beat a team like Fenerbahce playing alone, he can’t be blamed for not having any help while scoring 25 points, making 7 out of 8 two-pointers, 2 out of 3 threes and 5 out of 5 free throws. He was a machine.
Coach of the week: Zeljko Obradovic
Fenerbahce has again one of the four best records in the league and Zoc led his team not just to the win over Panathinaikos. You can argue that the Greens were still thinking about their win in the Greek semifinal cup against Olympiacos, but that does not change the fact that Fenerbahce secured also the tie breaking advantage over Panathinaikos and did it without Ekpe Udoh while “introducing” Duverioglu to the top level of European basketball. Of course, coach takes credit.
Biggest win: Olympiacos
In theory the game between two of the three teams which were tied in the second place should have been a dogfight. On the court, this never happened. Olympiacos had an extra motive to explode after losing the Greek Cup semifinal to Panathinaikos, but Baskonia was not prepared from something like that. Yes, they didn’t have Laprovittola and Sengelia, still at this game it’s highly questionable if they could do something different.
Last word: Maccabi Tel Aviv blues
Milano finally smiled with the win over Galatasaray and Maccabi Tel Aviv was the team that has suffered a big blow to its playoffs chances this week. A home defeat by Crvena Zvezda can be the nail in the coffin of one more bad season as Maccabi with a 6-12 record – like Zalgiris Kaunas with the same record and also the duo of EA7 Emporio Armani Milano and Galatasaray with 5-13 – must get 8 to 9 wins in the 12 remaining games in order to have a chance of catching the playoffs train.