ImageAgain I am summarising league action from all around Europe for you, referring to the most important games and just about everything else I take notice of. The last significant domestic basketball league to tip off its regular season was Greek A1, where the first gameday was highlighted by the appearance of a 16-year-old in Aris’ clash with Olympiacos. Elsewhere, Real Madrid continues to grind out results while Unicaja keeps its losing streak alive. Montepaschi marches on top of Serie A, and Union Olimpija keeps improving game by game in Adriatic League.
Spain: In Pala Blaugrana, Joventut kept it close for six minutes before Barca ran away with the lead behind a show-stopping performance by Ricky Rubio, in the game against his former club. A lot has been written about Ricky and how his jumpshot still isn’t improving, but if he is passing at this level on a consistent basis, it is easy to forget about his shooting woes. The 19-year-old threw alley oop lob passes, found his teammates in transition, and – his most spectacular play of the night – had a beautiful around the back [not to be confused with the behind the back] pass in pick and roll to Fran Vazquez. Apart from doing an outstanding job running the omnipotent Barcelona offense, Ricky seems to have hit the weight room a bit, not improving his frame dramatically – which cannot be his goal in such a short time anyway – , but his shoulers look a little broader than at the end of last season. In Barcelona, with such a versatile roster that has strong shooters everywhere as well as a key lowpost presence in Lorbek and several mobile pick and roll big men, there are multiple options for Ricky to distribute the ball to. Against Joventut, Ricky had 6 points, 10 assists, 4 rebounds and 5 steals in 21:24 minutes of playing time.

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