Credit: Imago Images/Eibner, ZumaPress - Scanpix, Alfonso Canavacciuolo/Euroleague Basketball via Getty Images | BasketNews illustration
Credit Imago Images/Eibner, ZumaPress - Scanpix, Alfonso Canavacciuolo/Euroleague Basketball via Getty Images | BasketNews illustration

BasketNews continues the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague beat edition. Here, you’ll be able to find all the info you need about what happened in the latest EuroLeague round.

Fenerbahce’s defense, the first defeat taste for ASVEL, stellar Brandon Davies performance, champagne in the press conference, Ataman’s disappointment, and Messina’s jokes – all of that and many things more – in EuroLeague’s Round 4 beat.

EuroLeague’s beat Round 4

(ALMOST) RECORD-BREAKING DEFENSE. Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul had to bounce back after a disappointing 70-84 loss to ALBA Berlin and an almost suicidal last week’s defeat at the hands of Panathinaikos. In front of their fans, Djordjevic’s men decimated UNICS Kazan by 80-41 and recovered for good. 

The Russian’s output (41 points) is the fourth-lowest tally in EuroLeague’s history. Krka Novo Mesto had 35 in 2003, Brose Bamberg 37 in 2008, Cibona Zagreb (2009) and London Towers (2001) both stopped at 40, Arka Gdynia (2011), Siena Montepaschi (2011), and now UNICS were held down to 41.

STILL WINLESS. FC Bayern Munich got off on the wrong foot in the current campaign. The German side stands at 0-4, an indication that their 2020-21 season will be hard to replicate.

Andrea Trinchieri’s squad entered into the final quarter of the away game against Zenit Saint Petersburg (79-71) with a 6-point lead (54-60). However, the Russian club did an impressive job defensively and put together a 10-2 partial score to get back on top and secure another win.

20 MINUTES DID THE JOB. Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz (2-2) were down 0-2 until this week’s home game against Panathinaikos. Rokas Giedraitis, Jayson Granger, and Tadas Sedekerskis powered the Basque team past the Greens (81-79), but another win was on its way for Dusko Ivanovic and his players.

A dominant first half put Baskonia up by no less than 23 points (52-29) against hosts ALBA Berlin (1-3), and everything took care of itself from that point on (80-76), even though the Germans attempted an impressive comeback down the stretch.

Against Fenerbahce, the effort was concluded successfully. Not this time, though.

FIRST TASTE OF DEFEAT. LDCL ASVEL Villeurbanne were one of the few unbeaten teams left in the EuroLeague, along with FC Barcelona and Armani Milan.

Zalgiris Kaunas, ALBA Berlin, and Anadolu Efes had succumbed to the French champions, but Maccabi Tel Aviv were a different story. The Israeli powerhouse saw James Nunnally explode for 25 points (6/6 2PT, 4/7 3PT, 1/3 FT) and lead them to an invaluable away win. 

MAN UP. “We played a man’s game. We manned up, we bounced back. And we won’t give up. We will wait for the players we are missing to come back, and I’m sure we’re gonna get better because we played like a team tonight.”

Those are Andrea Trincheri’s words in the post-game presser following the Zenit-Bayern duel.

Just two nights prior to that, in a flash interview after the Germans’ loss to UNICS Kazan, the Italian specialist had expressed his concern about his team’s mentality.

“I need to do something fast. Because if you’re not ready to fight, you’re wearing the wrong jersey.”

Obviously, something changed for the Bavarians, but as Trinchieri stressed, it wasn’t enough.

WADE’S LIMIT DOWN. Wade Baldwin was one of the revelations of the 2020-21 season, as he had a breakout year with FC Bayern Munich.

However, under coach Dusko Ivanovic at Baskonia, things are different. The former NBA guard usually comes off the bench and enjoys considerably less playing time compared to his time in Munich.

A FAMILIAR FACE IN A NEW ROLE. Bobby Dixon was an active player on Fenerbahce’s roster up until last summer.

The 2017 EuroLeague champion ended his playing career but has returned to the club in a different role as an Individual Development Coach and Infrastructure Ambassador.

Before the Fenerbahce-Unics Kazan game, Dixon was offered a farewell present and was greeted warmly by the fans.

SUFFERING RIMS. UNICS Kazan made only 16 of their 65 field-goal attempts (24.6%) against Fenerbahce. Isaiah Canaan was the only one in double digits (10) but went 2/16 from the field.

John Brown, Jarrell Brantley, and Mario Hezonja combined for 2/24. Things could have gotten even worse if Perasovic’s players didn’t manage to grab 16 offensive rebounds. 

TURNOVER MACHINE. So far, EuroLeague rookie Elie Okobo has averaged 16.5 points on 53% three-point shooting, plus 4.8 rebounds and 4.5 assists. Not bad at all for the former Phoenix Suns and current ASVEL guard.

However, one element constantly gets in the way, raining on his parade: turnovers. The French international has turned the ball over a total of 20 times (5 per game) and 6 in each one of his last three appearances.

BERLIN IS THE PLACE. Following an unimpressive three-year stint with AX Armani Exchange Milan, Simone Fontecchio turned heads as a player of ALBA Berlin.

In his 2020-21 run with the German champs, the Italian international averaged 10.6 points and 3.4 rebounds on 39% three-point shooting.

On his return to Berlin with Baskonia, Fontecchio managed to be a real difference-maker, amassing 17 points, 4 rebounds, and 3 steals.

HEART. Despite having rotation problems, CSKA Moscow overcame the issues to reach a narrow W over Crvena Zvezda.

Dimitris Itoudis expressed sincere congratulations to his squad.

“It’s not easy to make a turn, but what always matters is who is healthy, and the players that are healthy kept it living, so I congratulate them with my heart.”

OVERTIME KINGS. Barca survived the second overtime thriller in one week. First, they beat Olympiacos Piraeus by 1 point margin (79-78), while yesterday, the Blaugranas took down AS Monaco (85-81).

MVP PERFORMANCE. Brandon Davies was spectacular for FC Barcelona, tying his EuroLeague career-high in scoring with 27 points (10/15 2PT, 1/2 3PT, 4/5 FT), 10 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 steal, 2 turnovers, and 38 PIR.

He missed his career-high in PIR by just one efficiency point. Davies had 39 PIR in the EuroLeague back in 2018.

Davies scored 11 points out of his team’s 25 in the third quarter. Moreover, he transferred the game into overtime in the dying seconds of the last period.

PLAYOFFS CONTENDER. After an overtime thriller, Sarunas Jasikevicius did not spare a good word for the opponents and admitted that he sees Monaco fighting for the playoffs spot.

“Monaco played in their line. They are clearly trying to make the playoffs. They are going to be a team fighting for the playoffs. People coming in, it is going to be difficult.”

MONACO HOSPITALITY. Sarunas Jasikevicius received a champagne glass from Zvezdan Mitrovic in the post-game conference.

The Lithuanian coach reacted with a smile on his face: “This is why we, all coaches, love Zvezdan.”

THIRD QUARTER. Olympiacos Piraeus obliterated Zalgiris Kaunas in the third period. They only allowed the Lithuanian squad to score 10 points, adding 27 of their own to gain a commanding lead before the final period (63-49).

“Our third quarter was outstanding,” said OLY bench boss Georgios Bartzokas.

MUDIAY’S BREAKTHROUGH GAME. Emmanuel Mudiay performed well for Zalgiris, finishing with 19 points (4/7 2PT, 2/7 3PT, 5/7 FT), 3 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 steal, 1 turnover, and 16 PIR.

The 25-year-old had sloppy performances before. For example, in the first double week game against Zvezda, he played 16 minutes, ending with 0 points (0/3 2PT, 0/1 3PT), 3 assists, 1 steal, 1 turnover, and -2 PIR.

BEAST. Walter Tavares was a beast for Real Madrid, finishing the game with 17 points (5/5 2PT, 7/7 FT), 9 rebounds, 2 steals, 2 turnovers, 2 blocks, and 31 PIR.

“We are feeling great,” Tavares said post-game. “I think we have a lot of room to improve. We know from last year and a couple of years ago that the EuroLeague is super hard to play. We have to guarantee wins at home, and that is the key for us to go to the Final Four.”

CHAMPIONSHIP HANGOVER. AX Armani Exchange Milan handed Anadolu Efes Istanbul their fourth straight loss.

Last season Anadolu Efes opened the season with a 1-3 record. Then Shane Larkin said, “talk to us in April.”

The Turkish powerhouse redeemed themselves in the past year but doing that two times in a row - a difficult task, even for EuroLeague champions.

UNACCEPTABLE BASKETBALL. After the loss against Real, Ergin Ataman called his players tourists in Madrid. After blowing up a 19 point lead in Villeurbanne, he told his team reminded him of a mini-basket squad in the second half.

After a loss to Milan, his rhetoric did not change.

“I told them in the locker room that our offensive system, especially with Micic shooting the stepbacks from 8 meters, was unacceptable in the last quarter. Undisciplined basketball is unacceptable.

I talked with him also in the locker room. This is not the correct basketball to try to resolve everything with dribble and stepbacks from 9 meters. It’s a big damage for our team.

I also criticized Singleton, who played 27 minutes and didn’t have a single rebound. These were the main problems we need to resolve,” Ataman commented post-game.

NEVER SEEN THINGS. In a hot yesterday’s atmosphere at Mediolanum Forum, Ettore Messina was boiling during the match. Especially because of the referees’ whistles.

He expressed his opinion regarding the refereeing in the press conference, giving some numbers.

“If you check the index ratio... We had 22 assists versus 15. Only nine turnovers versus 14. We were even in rebounds. And we shot better than them.

From three points, we were 42% vs. 30%. But we have the worst index rating because fouls were 22 to 10. Honestly, I’ve been doing this for 30+ years, but I’ve never seen something like that.

It’s an interesting statistic. And we leave it like this? We’ll see.”

JOKES AROUND. Messina was also asked about his team overcoming all the distractions. The Italian specialist didn’t lose a great sense of humor.

“You mean the nice girls in the stands?” Messina interrupted the question with a smile on his face. “We were probably not the only ones who were looking at the girls during the game.”

TOP Plays of Round 4

Records of Round 4

PIR
Brandon  Davies
Brandon Davies

Brandon Davies (38)

Points
Brandon  Davies
Brandon Davies

Brandon Davies (27)

Rebounds
Nick  Calathes
Nick Calathes

 

 

 

Nick Calathes (11)

 

 

 

Assists
Jordan  Loyd
Jordan Loyd

Jordan Loyd (11)

Steals
Devin   Booker
Devin Booker

 

 

 

Devin Booker (4)

 

 

 

Blocks
Dyshawn  Pierre
Dyshawn Pierre

Joel Bolomboy, Dyshawn Pierre (3 each)

3-pointers made
Nick  Calathes
Nick Calathes
Nick Calathes, Arturas Milaknis, Darrun Hilliard, James Nunnally (4 each)

Results of Round 4

79-71
80-41
76-80
85-93
78-76
81-85
83-68
75-71
88-65

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