Week #8 is in the books and it won’t be forgotten soon: Dimitris Diamantidis provided us with one of the more worthwhile crunch time performances in recent years, while Fenerbahce and Barcelona went head-to-head in front of a sold-out Sinan Erdem Dome in Istanbul. Caja Laboral kept Top16 hopes alive with victory over Prokom, while CSKA is clinging to that last tiny bit of hope after dealing Svetislav Pesic his first loss of the season.
The Fenerbahce vs. Barcelona matchup deserves game of the week honors. It had the audience – a packed Sinan Erdem Dome, pushing Fenerbahce to even greater heights in the Euroleague attendance ranking – as well as a fantastic matchup between two of the league’s top teams so far this season. Barca pick and rolled the hosts to death that evening. It was a clinical display for long stretches except for a short 4th quarter span when Ricky Rubio and Victor Sada suddenly started taking long two pointers off the dribble.
Notice the amount of close range shot opportunities they generate via pick and roll. It is no fluke, as a look at the stats indicates: Barca is 4th in the league in close range attempts per field goal attempts ratio (CR/FG%) at 45,8 as well as 1st in the league in close range shooting percentage (CR%) at 67,9 – a highly effective combination, pushing them to 3rd in the league in points per possession (P/POS) despite an incredibly poor performance from beyond the arc (27,5% shooting from 3pt range).