By Panos Katsiroumpas/ firstname.lastname@example.org
Clearly, to replace him is not at all easy, but if the Russian team could bring a player who would be able to fill the Serbian’s shoes, that is no other than “Chacho,” or, as he’s commonly known, Sergio Rodriguez.
After one year in Philadelphia – which was his second outing on the other side of the Atlantic – the Spaniard decided to take the opposite route from many good players who left the EuroLeague to join the NBA.
With the acquisition of the Spanish guard, CSKA show that they are determined to create a new backcourt with great firepower that will not be lacking when compared with previous versions.
Who he is
Sergio Rodriguez was born in 1986 on the Canary Islands and he made his first basketball steps with Estudiantes, a team that always pays a lot of attention to the country’s talents and he’s one of the many players the team has produced.
After three years with the “Students” he decided to make his first foray into the NBA, since, earlier, he had been selected with the No.27 pick by the Phoenix Suns, who then sent him to Portland on a transfer.
Despite being only 20 years of age, the Spanish guard got playing time in every team he played for, but he didn’t manage to get the role he would have wanted.
So, after spells in Sacramento and New York, in 2010 he decided to be repatriated and play for Real Madrid, the hated rival of the team that had showcased him. He won everything with the Madrilenos: EuroLeague, Championships, Cups; while he also had many personal distinctions. He was the best European player for 2014 and 2015, while that same year he won the title of MVP of the EuroLeague, while he was also crowned European Champion with Real at home against Olympiacos. After six successful years in Madrid, he decided to give the NBA another try and joined the Sixers, having an excellent year, with the best stats for as long as he played on the other side of the Atlantic. Of course, Philadelphia were a team in a process of rebuilding themselves and are trying to build a very young unit in order to become a big power in the years to come.
Despite his good season, it wasn’t enough to keep him in the NBA and so he returns to Europe, this time to play in another top-level club, CSKA Moscow.
The truth is that there are not many things you can say about the Beard, since he’s a player who has proven he can play at the highest level and upgrade any team that decides to add him to their manpower.
Most who follow the EuroLeague, even a little, know exactly the kind of player he is and what he can offer his team.
Very fast, an amazing passer, he can really do wonders in the pick-and-roll game, while he’s ideal at keeping the right distances and passing at the right time.
He’s excellent on the open court and great at the two-on-two game that CSKA like to play for large stretches of their games, in terms of offense.
He’s also an excellent shooter, while he can create rifts with his speed and his explosiveness. Overall, he’s a player overflowing with talent, unpredictable, and the one who plays more to make his team better than boost his own numbers.
Where he outmatches and where he lags behind in comparison with Milos
With most people knowing about his talent, but also his competitive features, the question that arises is whether his addition is an upgrade in terms of quality when compared to Teodosic.
Here, now, we’re talking about each person’s individual taste, so what we can do, is to see, generally, where he’s better and where he lags behind.
My own personal opinion is that we’re talking about two players of the highest level, with a lot of talent, so for me the most important thing is in what way and how fast the Spaniard is going to adapt to CSKA’s game.
Initially, he looks like he’s a good fit for the fast paced basketball that Itoudis’s team represents in recent years. We shouldn’t forget that the Russian team was the one with the highest pace and highest number of possessions in the EuroLeague last season and this alone seems like it sets up an ideal environment for the Spaniard and the way he plays.
He’s better than Teodosic at penetrating the defense with the ball in his hands and more aggressive in his effort to approach the key. Both are amazing passers, but Teodosic was just a bit more unpredictable.
In transition, Sergio likes to run and create coast-to-coast situations, something that Teodosic tried to do more through passing and making use of his teammates.
The Serb is a somewhat better shooter, while he could take on many shots with great ease, even if the conditions were not the best. The Spaniard plays in a more rational manner, he will not take on wild shots but will try to look for the right option. This makes him a player who will be less likely to get carried away in the final minutes and will function with a clearer head in high-pressure situations. We also shouldn’t forget that Teodosic was often accused of having clouded judgment and making rash decisions in the final minutes of games.
In any case we just have to be glad that we’ll get to watch at least one of them in the EuroLeague next season. The big winners are clearly CSKA, who covered a very big loss with a player of almost the same level.