A look at the game of the round from Euroleague Week 7.
By Robert White (@RobertWhitebrrr)
Round 7 of the Euroleague regular season featured a number of competitive games and some fantastic individual performances, but the game of the round featured the two powerhouse clubs from Russia and Germany squaring off in a tightly contested fight.
Undefeated CSKA Moscow took on the somewhat struggling Bamberg side, Brose Baskets, in what was a thrilling contest. Even with the loss of Andrei Kirilenko, CSKA is a deep and supremely talented team that were still expected to win the game with relative ease. However, their six straight wins almost came to end as Brose, led by Marcus Slaughter, relentlessly attacked the CSKA defense. Almost stealing the win, the Russian side was saved on a last second heave by Milos Teodosic.
Relatively close throughout, CSKA’s lead dwindled as foul trouble allowed Brose to cut the lead from the free throw line. Slaughter was able to keep Bamberg within a couple of points throughout the second half and some clever contributions from Casey Jacobsen and former BBL MVP Julius Jenkins didn’t hurt either. A CSKA steal with six seconds remaining allowed Teodosic to let off a ridiculous deep fade away three that grazed only the net as time expired, winning the game as time expired.
Slaughter clearly got the better of former Celtic big man Nenad Krstic and although Krstic didn’t play a poor game by any means, Slaughter was absolutely dominant. His form in the German BBL has been documentedhereand it continued on as he poured in 21 points on 9-for-13 shooting from the floor. Krstic had a few inches on the 6 ft 9 forward/center, once a member of the Miami Heat, but Slaughter used his strength to create shots around the ring, showed some great touch on hooks and reverses, and used a nice mid-ranged jumper to occasionally lure Krstic out of the paint. Slaughter's athletic ability allowed him to finish alley-oops with authority and block shots from tight angles.
In the end, Moscow’s much larger frontline proved too much for the one man Marcus Slaughter show as Krstic, Viktor Khryapa and Alexey Shved combined for 53 points. Krstic had a quiet 20 but found space for himself and converted around the ring and at the line. Top 15 in Euroleague scoring, Krstic is having a great season with over 15 points a game. Khryapa, a four year NBA vet, has only been able to average seven points an outing through the first six games but caught fire in this one, scoring 19 on 5-5 from three point land.
Teodosic was another standout for CSKA and is a young guy, already one of Europe’s best point guards, that has legitimate NBA game. At 6-foot-5, he has the ability to play the shooting guard position but predominately runs the offence, using his penetrating abilities to get to the ring and his Jason Kidd-like court vision to create easy dunks and layups (Krstic was a frequent recipient of opens looks under the ring courtesy of Teodosic). His shot selection requires the patient observer to occasionally turn their head the other way, but his overall game and leadership skills are very impressive for a 24-year-old.
Kirilenko, currently out with a broken nose and a mild shoulder injury, could be a major subtraction if he opts to return to the NBA. The Euroleague’s number one ranked player has averaged 13 points and nine rebounds per, providing CSKA with some staunch defense and scoring.
Round 7 Top Performers
- Sonny Weems, Zalgiris Kaunas
Answering whether or not Sonny Weems will eventually return to the NBA is about as easy as scribing the article,The 29 teams Dirk Nowitzki will never suit up for. I have a feeling Sonny is learning a lot, and although his team isn’t too crash hot, we’re going to see a few more performances like this one (18 points on 7-14 shooting, 11 rebounds ) before he heads home.
- Mirza Teletovic, Caja Laboral
Caja went down by two points to Bennet Cantu but not before Teletovic put up 27 points (five three pointers) on 15 shots. The power forward is leading the Euroleague in points per game with 22 an outing, as well as averaging six rebounds per.
- Sergio Rodriquez, Real Madrid
19 points with three triples for Sergio, who eclipsed his six point per game average in this one. I won’t say he played an amazing game, he had four turnovers to two assists, but you get a thumbs up from me when you score a quarter of your team’s points off the bench.
Read more at Rob White's Real GM column.
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