Welcome back to the Expert Roundtable, where we ask a series of Turkish Airlines EuroLeague followers more experienced across the continent for their opinions on the topics of the day. This week’s panel includes three-time EuroLeague champion Matjaz Smodis; Gur Shelef, two-time EuroLeague champion, now basketball commentator for Sport5 in Israel; Manuel Moreno, former longtime writer of EuroLeague for the newspaper Sport in Spain; Semih Tuna, publisher of the Turkish edition of Eurohoops; and Igor Petrinovic, director of Euroleague.net. Check out their views on three key questions before Round 18 of the regular season!
1. Who do you think is the signature of the most important mid-season players made by a EuroLeague team?
“I consider both Fenerbahce’s purchases James Nunnally is Malcolm Thomas – be of vital importance for the relaunch of their underperforming season. Both are experienced EuroLeague veterans and should be up to the challenge. Nunnally’s three-point shot is of the variety that changes the game and Thomas brings the versatility that coach Obradovic wants from his great men to be able to play with the rest of the front line of Fenerbahce. I expect Fenerbahce to adapt to the shape with these newcomers who play leading roles. “
“In some cases, it remains to be seen, while others have already had an immediate impact on their teams. But if I had to choose a recent signature that I would do again if that was my team, it is Howard Sant-Roos by CSKA. The defensive Champs was missing something without Will Clyburn to the little forward, and replacing him with an elite defender should prove fruitful as the season heads for the more definitive games. “
“It is not a good thing to sign players after the start of the season. It means recognizing that your planning has not been good and rarely guarantees immediate improvement. Sometimes, however, the teams are forced to do it. Injuries (as in the case of Baskonia) or a change of manager invites you to do it conceptually as a new philosophy: Taylor Rochestie has joined Olympiacos, coach Dragan Sakota has brought two new players and so has Maccabi despite his good results. me, the most decisive signature should be James Nunnally because he is responsible for changing the dynamics of Fenerbahce with the team very far from the best teams in the standings. At the age of 30, coming from the Chinese League and with experience in both the NBA and in EuroLeague, included with Fenerbahce, he must be the player who shares the leadership with Nando De Colo in Zeljko Obradovic’s team “.
“Howard Sant Roos. CSKA Moscow is one of the less fortunate teams in the current campaign. They lost Will Clyburn because of the injury right at the beginning of the season and the following injuries didn’t help them either. They took their time to make a move while winning and made the perfect move on paper. Howard Sant-Roos has shown his skills in several competitions and is directly facing what CSKA is missing today. That’s why I think his signature is the most important mid-season move so far. “
“Crvena Zvezda is coming Vladimir Stimac it goes well beyond his 13.3 points and 5.0 rebounds. He immediately became the heart and soul of that team, quite similar to what he was in each of his two previous experiences with his beloved team. It brings energy and passion, on the field and in the changing rooms, and as a fan favorite, it also involves fans in the game even more. Stimac was just what Zvezda needed, and more. “
2. What has been the most unique team of the most unique victory of the season so far?
“ASVEL beats CSKA at home. The French team impressed at home on a regular basis with wins over numerous playoff contenders, which has it on the cusp of the playoff zone. However, the victory of Round 7 on the Champs has been particularly impressive. Tonye Jekiri was a monster in the paint, Jordan Taylor was fantastic at the point guard and Rihards Lomazs had his best offensive game. It was a special night in Villeurbanne. “
“The victory of Efes in Barcelona two weeks ago it was particularly impressive. It was a game for the first place where Efes was without two protagonists, the center Bryant Dunston and Vasilije Micic. They fought but found ways to stop one of the best teams in the competition on their field. This marked half of a three game losing streak that Barcelona must resume soon, while Efes now looks set to secure a home advantage in the playoffs. That victory made him more likely than ever. “
“In such a balanced and spectacular competition as EuroLeague, it is not difficult to find brilliant matches and spectacular victories. The best teams have lost against teams that were theatrically weaker and weaker teams have shown that they can win anywhere. Personally, I was shocked by the way CSKA Moscow beat FC Barcelona in Palau Blaugrana. It was a lesson on how to play in a team, in attack and defense, showing a mental strength that made the difference even clearer than the final score, 67-96. That day, in Round 11, the Moscow team was able to limit its former player, Cory Higgins, to just 4 points and 4 shooting attempts, when 8 of his players scored at least 8 points. Dimitris Itoudis held an exhibition of coaches, just as his players did on the ball from the first to the last minute. “
“Barcelona Vs. Anadolu Efes. Efes showed what they are capable of and have nothing to prove to anyone. Still, big wins are always a big deal and they have won against one of their biggest opponents on the way to the title away from home. The recent victory against Barcelona was rather a way of showing that nothing achieved so far was a coincidence. Just a reminder: they got the win without Vasilije Micic and when coach Ataman was sent off with his team at a disadvantage. “
“For me it still is CSKA Moscow beat FC Barcelona on 29 points to Round 11. The reigning champion was losing a couple of losses and facing Barcelona, the championship leader and in shape, which was certainly a difficult task. However, it has turned into a one-way street. Whether it’s scoring 96 points on the road against Barcelona, or keeping Barcelona just 67 points at home, or simply winning on the road at Palau Blaugrana – in any case, it was an impressive performance. “
3. Who do you think is the best EuroLeague player this season? (A player who is not the first timer in EuroLeague.)
“There are so many worthy choices. DeShaun Thomas is playing great for Panathinaikos. Jake Cohen has recently taken a step forward for Maccabi and played an important role. But the road Facu Campazzo has become the “man” for Real Madrid this season gets my vote. He’s playing roughly the same amount of minutes as last season, but he’s generating a world of offense with better shots and more assists. Campazzo was also remarkably consistent with a double-digit performance index in all but two games. “
“Scottie Wilbekin Maccabi’s was certainly a solid player in his first three seasons of EuroLeague, having debuted for two of them with Darussafaka and arrived in Tel Aviv last year. But so far this season, he’s the most reliable player on the best Maccabi team we’ve seen in a few years. With almost the same minutes as last season, he averaged 3.4 points more for a total of 16.3 and made almost three points (62) like last season (65). More importantly, given that Maccabi has overcome the problems of injury, it remains a constant, which every team that is satisfied with something big must have. “
“The first half of the regular season has allowed players to consolidate a status beyond doubt, such as De Colo, Larkin, James, Mirotic, Micic, Shved or Calathes. Other established players, such as Llull or Spanoulis, have yet to show their best version, but I think he’s the player who has improved the most Nikola Milutinov from Olympiacos. The Serbian center played more than 25 minutes on average and is the best rebound of the competition at 8.7 per game. He came from Partizan Belgrade’s youth teams and averaged 6.0 rebounds per game with that team in the 2014-15 EuroCup. Milutinov is in his fifth season with the Greek engine and has confirmed the expectations of most coaches. They have seen him as a difference maker for a few years now and he certainly is now. “
“Sertac Sanli. We haven’t seen Bryant Dunston in action since November 7, which means that Anadolu Efes has had to play without one of the best EuroLeague defenders for more than two months. In the meantime, Sertaç Şanlı and Tibor Pleiss had some possibilities that they probably would not have otherwise and the Turkish international has exploited this possibility in an exceptional way. By recording high career numbers in the main statistical categories for three weeks in a row, lanlı’s contribution cannot even be measured by statistics alone. Lanlı has improved a lot and is truly on another level right now. ”
“Janis TimmaThe performances in EuroLeague are finally on par with what he did previously in EuroCup and in the 7DAYS national competitions. The 27-year-old Timma entered this season with a EuroLeague career average of 5.9 points and 1.8 rebounds and this season he scored 13.4 points and has been everywhere for the Khimki Moscow Region with 2.9 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 1.4 steals. He knocks down 3.1 three points per game, which ranks third in the league and all combined is why he is just out of the top 10 in a few minutes played. Great improvement, but it’s not really a surprise. “