EuroLeague Basketball
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Introducing the teams that will participate in the upcoming Euroleague 2019/2020 season. Original text written by Dusan Ozegovic, a fan of basketball, and the formerly great hope of Belgrade basketball. Text slightly edit by Vlada Todorovic TalkBasket contributor. Enjoy.

Alba Berlin

Peyton SIVA / Stefan PENO / Makai MASON
Marcus ERIKSSON / Martin HERMANNSSON
Rokas GIEDRAITIS / Niels GIFFEY / Tim SCHNEIDER
Luke SIKMA / Tyler CAVANAUGH
Landry NNOKO / Johannes THIEMANN
Coach – Aito Garcia Reneses

In EuroLeague 2019/2020 Alba on paper has one of the weaker rosters of this year’s EL, but it retained the entire skeleton of the team with which it reached the Euro Cup final this spring. Notable reinforcements include Cavanaugh and another good shooter, Eriksson, who will first be required to jump into the sneakers of Grigonis who went to Kaunas. Gray, Sikma and Giedraitis are the leaders of the team, with the always solid Hermannsson. The rest of the team are complementary players to the task. Aito has created a compact whole that may not have some true stars but any understatement they will know to punish. We can be sure that Alba will play serious basketball, this is a character team, not a set of mercenaries. This will probably not be enough for the PO, since the qualitative limits in this kind of competition are obvious.

Anadolu Efes Istanbul

Shane LARKIN / Dogus BALBAY
Vasilije MICIC / Rodrigue BEAUBOIS
Krunoslav SIMON / James ANDERSON
Chris SINGLETON / Alec PETERS / Adrien MOERMAN
Bryant DUNSTON / Tibor PLEISS / Sertac SANLI
Coach – Ergin Ataman

Last season I really liked Efes before the start of the season, but I never dreamed that they would play the EL final. Hero of the last year success was coach Ergin Ataman, who gave the ball into the hands of his two playmakers and often used them together on the floor. Micic and Larkin have done a great job, and no less are expected this year. The rest of the backcourt has clear roles, Beaubois brings points, Balbay pitbull defense, Simon a definition of all-round play, and Anderson is the one doing a lot of “invisible things” at this stage of his career.

Happiness fro Efes is spoiled by injury to Moerman, who has played a season of his life, but until he recovers, holes will be patched by proven EL veteran Singleton and unconvincing but potentially very good fit Peters, who will imitate Moerman’s stretch play. The team hasn’t changed much, but the surprise factor is no longer on their side. However, the team that played the most beautiful basketball in Europe with Real last season, should not expect a dramatic drop. In EuroLeague 2019/2020 we see Efess on edge of Top 8.

AX ARMANI EXCHANGE MILAN

Sergio RODRIGUEZ / Shelvin MACK
Nemanja NEDOVIC / Amadeo DELLA VALLE
Vladimir MICOV / Michael ROLL
Aaron WHITE / Jeff BROOKS / Luis SCOLA
Arturas GUDAITIS / Kaleb TARCZEWSKI / Paul BILIGHA
Coach – Ettore Messina

Armani didn’t regret the money to get involved in the title fight this year. Last season they fall apart Gudaitis get injured, who is not quite ready yet for upcoming season. Italy’s most trophy coach who does not need to be particularly represented is back on bench. Also important is the replacement of Mick James, for guys who are, at least on paper, more willing to share the ball with teammates then he. The team is packed with EL players, spiced up by the arrival of the legendary Scola. From whom we shouldn’t expect miracles in such a strenuous competition. As well as a longtime NBA player in the character of Shelvin Mack.

This team, will have first and foremost defensive challenges. But it could be one of the most potent in the EL competition offensively. Alongside Milan is always a sign of a question that usually weighs in on disappointment. Until we see some of the constant and synergy of the team at work, they are once again a paper tiger. Admittedly, it’s also a tiger, which means we might finally be pleasantly surprised.

CRVENA ZVEZDA MTS BELGRADE

Lorenzo BROWN / Charles JENKINS
Billy BARON / Branko LAZIC
Stratos PERPEROGLOU / Dejan DAVIDOVAC
Derrick BROWN / Boriša SIMANIC / Mouhammad FAYE
James GIST / Fiery KUZMIC / Michael OJO
Coach – Milan Tomic

The ultimate reach of the Red Star team is unknown, but this time they do not have the status of underdogs, which can be an aggravating circumstance. The Serbian squad is loaded with for foreigners like never before. They have also proven EL names, some players who have not yet show how much they can really do in EL, but also “cats in the sack” whose mistakes will not be tolerated. The Red Star has a burden of unrealistic expectations of its fans for EuroLeague 2019/2020, and now this lineup guarantees some expectations.

It will be difficult to say whether this will be just some new Darushafaka with a larger audience behind it, or potentially the most pleasant surprise of the competition. The position of guard causes the most problems, and therefore discussions among basketball fans. The squad will need to find a team defense, that would provide some time until both Brown get a little used to their big roles. Serious work is ahead of Milan Tomic, but he has got a competent team in his hands. The team must guard the home court, because if some unplanned defeats in come, it is possible for the whole project to go to hell. The reality is below 8th place, but with the good chance for PO.

CSKA MOSCOW

Mike JAMES / Daniel HACKETT
Janis STRELNIEKS / Darrun HILLIARD / Ron BAKER
Will CLYBURN / Nikita KURBANOV
Johannes VOIGTMANN / Andrey VORONTSEVICH / Joel BOLOMBOY
Kosta KOUFOS / Kyle HINES
Coach – Dimitris Itoudis

Many didn’t see CSKA last year as EuroLeague champions, but it turned out to be a machine that is always in tip-top shape, and that De Colo – Higgins – Clyburn proved good enough to go all the way. However, the club management have felt that the maximum had been reached and that the same team would hardly repeat something similar. They decided for complet repair, especially the offensive part of the team. When the player market dry out, CSKA determined that proven source of points is the character of Mike James. However the basic question still remains, who will create for others.

The team has gained strength by hiring Koufos and Baker, but it looks like James and Clyburn will have too much attacking power, since players like Strelnieks, Hilliard and Voigtmann are still side options and, with due respect, downgrades over, for example, Chacho – Nando – Higgins trio. It will be interesting to follow CSKA after a long time, to whom the highest ranking is always imperative. Maybe the idea is to leave the title of favorites to others and then make a rumble. The Top 8 should not be missed for CSKA in EuroLeague 2019/2020 , but many more teams want to grab their spot on the F4. In previous years we could already seen CSKA on F4 at the start of the season, and now its not case.

FC BARCELONA

Malcolm DELANEY / Kevin PANGOS
Cory HIGGINS / Kyle KURIC / Pau RIBAS
Adam HANGA / Alex ABRINES
Victor CLAVER / Pierre ORIOLA
Brandon DAVIES / Ante TOMIC
Coach – Svetislav Pesic

Undoubtedly this summer, Barcelona has invested the most in team. For too long, they have been looking into the back of the competition and, after several disappointing seasons, they reach for the most attractive options on the market. Anything but a placement on F4 would be a disaster as the team is really full in all positions. Delaney and Abrines will be in top of shape in a while, but Davies, Higgins and Mirotic are immediately ready for the supporting roles and serious statistics. This is a team built to win the EuroLeague 2019/2020, but there is nothing overnight, so Real and Fener are still in a slight advantage.

However, if this team finds a right path, they be the first favorite of the competition. Barcelona is too big a brand to allow itself to be covered by the shadow of mediocrity. So for her, the real exam is in the second part of the competition, when the team needs to show stability. However, we are inclined to say that this team has everything it needs to officially confirm its departure for F4.

EuroLeague 2019/2020 official