Credit: Alfonso Canavacciuolo, Mikhail Serbin, Seffi Magriso - Getty Images | BasketNews illustration
Credit Alfonso Canavacciuolo, Mikhail Serbin, Seffi Magriso - 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.

Nail-biting matches, EuroLeague player debuts, Efes' bounce back, misery in Kaunas, Barcelona's dominance, Milan's comeback, Dorsey's outburst – all of that and many things more – in EuroLeague’s Round 5 beat.

EuroLeague’s beat Round 5

CLOSE CALLS. Almost every Thursday game was decided in the last minute, and all of them went down to one or two possessions/shots.

AX Armani Exchange Milan and Real Madrid survived literally at the buzzer, Maccabi Playtika Tel Aviv saw a comfortable 20-point lead (64-44) turn to ashes (75-73) seven seconds to the end, Bayern Munich and Anadolu Efes Istanbul needed some tough shots to down Zalgiris Kaunas and UNICS Kazan.

MACCABI ON THE RISE. Maccabi Tel Aviv got off to a bad start (1-2) in the 2021-22 season, but lately, things have started to straighten up for them.

A promising second half vs. Armani Milan was followed by two consecutive wins. The first one broke ASVEL's perfect record, the second one was a convincing performance for 33 minutes against struggling Panathinaikos at home.

The Israelis will be staying on home soil for the games against Zalgiris Kaunas and FC Barcelona, and if they manage to deliver, they will enter the playoff run for good.

PERFECT MILAN. So far, Armani Milan have managed to keep their perfect record intact through thick and thin. ASVEL Villeurbanne proved to be a worthy opponent, but Messina's squad captured their fifth win of the season thanks to a Devon Hall dagger and a David Lighty misfire on the other end.

Milan came in second in the latest BasketNews power rankings, but soon they could be sitting on the top if they continue like that.

FIRST WINS. It has been a harsh period for Anadolu Efes Istanbul. Not only did the reigning champs suffer four losses in as many EuroLeague games, but they also saw Turkish rivals Fenerbahce run them over in the local derby.

The home game vs. UNICS Kazan provided a good chance for a bounce-back win, and that's what Efes did, despite the absence of Micic and the Russian side enjoying the lead for the most part.

Bayern Munich was going through a similar phase. Their schedule was tough, the competitive spirit was there, but the German side couldn't avoid the 0-4 start.

Zalgiris Kaunas, being in the same position, wanted the game badly. But Deshaun Thomas and Vladimir Lucic came up big in the closing minutes and gave Trinchieri his money's worth.

STILL WINLESS. Zalgiris Kaunas brought in Jure Zdovc to replace Martin Schiller, but the Lithuanian squad seems unable to get some wins either way. In theory, Bayern Munich would be a good game to start with, but the Bavarians stayed calm in the end, and the hosts blew their chances of breaking their losing streak.

Despite taking a 39-23 lead in the second period, the hosts couldn't capitalize on their home court advantage and are now at 0-5. Next week, they will be visiting Maccabi and Anadolu Efes.

WORDS OF CONSOLATION OR PLAIN REALISM? Andrea Trinchieri is a coach who doesn't mince words. Whether he's referring to his own team or his rivals, the Italian tactician usually gives vivid and colorful depictions of what happened on the court. This is what he said on Zalgiris's second coach in the season, Jure Zdovc.

"I don't have to be a lawyer of any coach here. But expect a change when you play the double week? When you have injuries? How can you expect the change? Just snapping fingers? In basketball, it doesn't work. Every coach need needs time to put together something new', Trinchieri told the media at the press conference following the game in Kaunas, before adding:

"So, Zalgiris could not have changes. And they played a super hard game. They played hard in Olympiacos, which is really difficult to beat. They played hard with Zvezda. And they played hard tonight. This is a fact, not an opinion. But Zalgiris doesn't need me to cheer for them."

BEGINNERS' UNLUCK. O.J. Mayo of UNICS Kazan went scoreless after 10 minutes of action vs. Anadolu Efes. Troy Daniels logged only one minute for Armani Milan against ASVEL.

Andreas Obst had a similar contribution for Bayern in the game in Kaunas. And Panathinaikos's Yogi Ferrell was the only EuroLeague rookie who scored in their team's contests. The former Maverick tallied 3 points and as many assists vs. Maccabi.

Three out of the four mentioned players came straight from the NBA to Europe, while Obst has had significant EuroCup and international experience.

WELCOME BACK: Deshaun Thomas and Elijah Bryant used to be EuroLeague regulars. However, the last year saw them play in Japan and in the NBA, respectively.

Bryant even won a championship ring with the Milwaukee Bucks. Now that they are both back in Europe, it has taken them no time to adjust to their new teams.

Thomas scored two consecutive baskets that gave Bayern Munich a three-point lead vs. Zalgiris, on top of his 15 overall points. Bryant logged 14 points in Efes's win over UNICS Kazan.

WILBEKIN MISSES A FREE THROW. With the score between Maccabi and Panathinaikos at 75-71 and only 16 seconds remaining, Scottie Wilbekin went to the line. The American guard had converted 30 straight free throws up to that point.

He went on to make the first one and then missed the latter. Wilbekin's streak stopped at 31. He managed to stay perfect from the charity stripe for almost nine months. His last miss was dated back to January 21, when Maccabi beat Real Madrid 86-84.

THE FRENCH DISPATCH. Fabien Causeur paved the way, and Vincent Poirier finished what his countryman had started in Real Madrid's narrow win over Fenerbahce Istanbul.

In particular, Poirier made a pair of crucial free throws that gave the lead a one-point edge, on which Pablo Laso's men managed to hold on to, despite Shayok's three-point attempt at the buzzer.

NO HEROES. Next to the late-night heroes stand those who didn't make it. This time around, it was ASVEL's most experienced player, David Lighty, and Fenerbahce's newcomer Marial Shayok who missed out on the chance to become heroes.

They both misfired in corner threes that would hand their teams great road victories in Milan and Madrid. Next time, maybe.

DARYL SHINES LATE. Daryl Macon is having a rather impressive rookie season with Panathinaikos. The 26-year-old guard is averaging 14.3 points, 3 assists, and 2 rebounds per 25 minutes while shooting 75% on two-pointers (12/16) and 42.3% on three-pointers (11/26).

However, when he's at his most effective is the 4th quarter of each game. From a total of 74 points scored so far in the EuroLeague, 42 (almost 60%) belong to the last stretch.

Macon scored 10 of his 13 points in the last 10 minutes against Monaco. He had 8 of his 13 points in the most pivotal period vs. Fenerbahce, numbers which were repeated against Baskonia.

In Madrid, he took a break, scoring only two points in the last quarter, while in Tel Aviv, he once again exploded, unloading 14 points out of a total of 17.

WIN THE EUROLEAGUE? Yogi Ferrell announced his goal to win the EuroLeague after joining Panathinaikos last week. However, his debut didn't pan out. Ferrell finished the game with 3 points (0/2 2PT, 1/2 3PT), 3 assists, 1 turnover, and 4 PIR in 10.5 minutes.

Granted, Ferrell just got to Greece and will need time to adjust to the European game. Once he does, he should be one of the leaders for PAO.

EFFICIENCY. The two most efficient players of the week came from the match between CSKA Moscow and Olympiacos Piraeus. Even though Tyler Dorsey had the highest PIR of 34, his team lost to CSKA, led by Will Clyburn's 32 PIR.

Dorsey also scored a week-high 34 points on 7/10 shooting from distance, while Clyburn finished with 29 points.

MANIMAL'S DEBUT. Kenneth Faried made his EuroLeague debut against Olympiacos. He spent just over 2 minutes on the floor, missing both 2-pointers, grabbing 1 rebound, and committing 1 foul. He finished the game with -2 PIR.

TASTE OF THEIR OWN MEDICINE. Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade have been notorious for their lockdown defense so far in this EuroLeague season. However, the tables have turned this week, with ALBA Berlin limiting Zvezda to just 63 points and grabbing a 15-point victory.

BREAKOUT PERFORMANCE. David Blatt's son Tamir Blatt had his best EuroLeague game against Crvena Zvezda last night. Blatt finished the game with 10 points (2/2 2PT, 2/5 3PT), 5 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal, 0 turnovers, and 19 PIR.

"I feel great. It was great to play here, a great atmosphere. Zvezda is a great team. We really played together, shared the ball, played as a team both offensively and defensively. I'm really happy with the win we got," said Blatt post-game.

HOT STREAK. After starting the EuroLeague season with two straight losses, Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz bounced back, winning three straight. Baskonia beat AS Monaco on their home floor by 12 on Friday.

Dusko Ivanovic underlined the positive changes: "We had aggressiveness on defense that we did not have in other games. And generally, we had patience on offense, looking for the better option. Maybe this is our best performance in the EuroLeague this season."

BACK IN THE GROOVE. Just like his team, Simone Fontecchio kicked the season off slowly. However, he gradually got better, playing his best game this season against Monaco. Fontecchio finished with 20 points (6/7 2PT, 2/2 3PT, 2/2 FT), 7 rebounds, 4 assists, and 30 PIR.

PURE DOMINANCE. FC Barcelona were spectacular against Zenit St. Petersburg, crushing the Russian hopes with a 26-point victory. With five straight wins in the EuroLeague and all six victories in the Spanish Liga ACB, Barca remain undefeated this season.

"We have been really well mentally. Everyone has contributed. Energy, defense, individual skills. But we can't celebrate much more. We have another fight in 48 hours," Jasikevicius said.

LACK OF LEADERSHIP. On the opposing side, none of the Zenit players were able to finish the game against Barcelona by scoring in double-digits. Only Mateusz Ponitka accumulated at least 10 PIR, finishing with 11 in that department.

Zenit will need to find leadership, with Shabazz Napier still not close to returning to action. Asked about his injury, coach Xavi Pascual admitted Napier is not ready yet: "He will be out for at least one month more."

TOP Plays of Round 5

 

Records of Round 5

PIR
Tyler  Dorsey
Tyler Dorsey

Tyler Dorsey (34)

Points
Tyler  Dorsey
Tyler Dorsey

Tyler Dorsey (32)

Rebounds
Vincent  Poirier
Vincent Poirier

 

 

 

Vincent Poirier (17)

 

 

 

Assists
Nando De Colo
Nando De Colo

Nando de Colo, Leo Westermann, Jayson Granger, Thomas Walkup, Mantas Kalnietis (6 each)

Steals
Vladimir  Lucic
Vladimir Lucic

 

 

 

Vladimir Lucic, Chris Singleton, Howard Sant-Roos, Jordan Loyd, Chris Jones (3 each)

 

 

 

Blocks
Livio  Jean-Charles
Livio Jean-Charles

Livio Jean-Charles, Louis Olinde, Austin Hollins, Ibrahima Faye, Josh Nebo (2 each)

3-pointers made
Tyler  Dorsey
Tyler Dorsey
Tyler Dorsey (7)

Results of Round 5

71-68
73-75
77-73
73-72
70-69
63-78
 
82-88
78-66
84-58

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