For your convenience, BallinEurope brings you a quick collection of highlight clips from Euroleague Playoffs games one last night. Below the break, relive (or don’t, if you’re a Montepaschi Siena fan) the posterable moments from four games’ worth of home-team victories. Enjoy!
Most noteworthy was the way Caja Laboral Baskonia executed its game plan to perfection against Maccabi Tel Aviv for the win. As pundits and online chatters made much note of, Baskonia controlled the tempo of the game while well outshooting Maccabi – to the tune of a sliver under 50% overall against the Israeli side’s woeful 39.7% on 31-of-79 (!)
heaving chucking shooting.
David Blatt was clever/gutsy/crazy to mess with Dusko Ivanovic’s ostensibly Sofoklis-centric offensive plans, but first-time EL starter Milan Macvan was outclassed by Stanko Barac early. And the reportedly much-feared Schortsanitis himself was essentially a non-factor in the match. Nice win for Caja Laboral.
You’ll have to go to the league’s official website for the highlight clip on this game – BiE will post when available – but for now, um, here’s a strange promotional for the Spanish team.
What can BiE say about Olympiacos’ record-breaking immolation of Montepaschi Siena? Except that BiE was convinced, while concentrating on the Barça-PAO game, that the scores reported from Greece by Euroleague TV were somehow wrong. This game was, in fact, a robbery.
As for FC Barcelona vs. Panathinaikos, well, wow. This is some Euroleague playoff basketball at its best. The Greek side indeed tried to play physical ball with Barcelona, but the defending champions employed Erazem Lorbek and Alan Anderson to do blue-collar stuff to nice effect.
And check out the box score to witness the insane depth Xavi Pascual has at his disposal: Eleven Blaugrana saw playing time in the game; all took at least two shots, none put up more than seven (not even Juan Carlos Navarro) *and* the side shot 25-of-51 overall. Scary.
Oh yeah, and Dimitris Diamantidis had a career night. So much for the Rubio/Diamantidis matchup, eh?
Finally, BiE was sad to see the most outrageous of Fearless Predictions™ look very sinkable early. As expected by nearly everyone (ahem), Real Madrid dominated the boards (42 to 26), key to a Madrid victory over ACB rivals Power Electronics Valencia, and were able to overcome nice games by Nando de Colo and Rafa Martinez. Victor Claver was, in the end, sorely missed.
Might we see three Spanish teams in the Turkish Airlines Euroleague Final Four in Barcelona? It’s starting to look that way, but no further such Fearless Predictions™ will be made about these playoffs. Today.