EuroLeague Round 5: Nikola Mirotic illustrious start, the “Reds” are still alive

Nikola Mirotic Barcelona 3
Photo: Barcelona

The great performances of Nikola Mirotic and the surprising win of Olympiacos stood out from EuroLeague Round 5.

The “plug and play” game of Nicola Mirotic

Barcelona is the only undefeated team of the first 5 rounds of the EuroLeague, being one of the most offensively-gifted squads of the competition. Nikola Mirotic has been the best scorer of the squad so far, making an evidently nice transition from the NBA game, back to the European basketball “context”. According to Euroleague.net, the Montenegrian is averaging 19.4 points on a 61% in FG% and 33% clip from the three-point line, while grabbing 6 rebounds per game.

Mirotic is the biggest addition to this season’s squad, with the Catalans being on +48, when he is on the floor, according to overbasket.com, while the ex-Real player averages the biggest Usg% on the team (32.5% on a 56% Efg%). Mirotic finished the match against Valencia with 17 points, 7 rebounds and 3 assist on a +17 in player impact rating.

The Mateuzs Ponitka “show”

Mateuzs Ponitka talked to Talkbasket.net a couple of week ago, after the win against Olympiacos. The Polish forward claimed that it was a historic win for his team, but they need to fight for another one in the next few games. Last week, against Panathinaikos, they could not make it to their first win in front of their home crowd, but yesterday they fought hard in order to take the second road win in the competition, with Ponitka being impressive in the closing minutes against Zalgiris Kaunas.

The Polish forward was incredible on both ends on the floor for his team, especially in overtime. After a 62-62 in regulation, Ponitka scored the first 9 points of Zenit in the overtime, resulting in the second defeat for Zalgiris Kaunas in front of its home fans. The Polish forward started the extra session with a three point-play and soon added a basket-plus-foul. The Lithuanians had no answer for Ponitka, whose tip-in made it 64-71 and eventually ended the game with 19 points and 7 rebounds against Sarunas Jasikevicius team.

Efes and Milan on 4-1

The up and coming Anadolu Efes didn’t have a problem against Red Star, with Vasilje Micic being the star of the Turkish club in the offensive end. The guard from Serbia had an incredible performance, scoring 26 points on +29 in player impact rating system against his ex-team.

The most promising aspect of the game for Efes was their incredible shooting percentage throughout the game (53% on FG%, 43% on 3P% and about 95% from the FT line). That was the fourth straight win for Ataman’s squad, after the defeat against Barcelona in the opening night of the competition.

Lastly, in Berlin, Milan made out from a difficult situation and reached also to the fourth consecutive win in the Euroleague against ALBA, who was so close to an upset. The experienced duo of Sergio Rodriguez(17 p. 4 as. 4 reb.) and Luis Scola (14p. 6reb. 3as.) took control in the crucial moments of the game and guided their team to a victorious end in Euroleague’s round 5.

The “Reds” are alive

Olympiacos was victorious after 11 years in Moscow against CSKA Basketball and took a vital road win in order to remain relevant in this year’s competition. Olympiacos showed the incredible character that led them to four finals in the last 7 years.

Brandon Paul had his best performance so far, with the “Reds” scoring 20 points and grabbing 6 rebounds, while Spanoulis made the crucial three-pointer that gave a seven-point lead, one minute before the end of the game. The small-ball lineups of Cherry, Punter and Paul created many mismatches in the perimeter, with Olympiacos taking advantage of them in every opportunity.

Fener still in “crisis” mode

Fenerbahce are still trying to find their “mojo”, after the new additions and the injury issues in the start of the season. The Turkish club scored only 55 points in the contest against Maccabi and lost by 12 points, while they scored only 21 in the first half. The 21 points in the first half is tied for the second-worst 20 minutes of the club in the history of the EuroLeague. Now, Zeljiko Obradovic team has one of the worst starts in the last couple of season with 1-4 record.

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