It’s crunch time all over the basketball world, with domestic league seasons ending and tournaments in full swing, Euroleague a week away from punching all tickets to the Final Four and the NBA’s short season just tipping off – all in all, ample opportunities across the planet for players to step up in the clutch and earn nomination on the Sportando European Team of the Week. As we see it, those players earning notice with last week’s top performances were the following.
Rashaun Broadus, PG, BC Neptūnas. Neptūnas draws Žalgiris Kaunas in the Lithuanian league’s semifinal round beginning on Tuesday, so Sportando gives props to the team while their season is still alive. Starring for the Sea Gods in LKL quarterfinal play against no. 3 seed Pieno žvaigždės was Broadus, who started the series on Tuesday with a nifty 15-point, five-assist, seven-steal effort on Tuesday and followed with a 19/5/2 line plus six rebounds while going 56 minutes in a triple overtime thriller.
Video: Seven quarters of Neptūnas-Pieno žvaigždės in under six minutes
Jamon Lucas, G, Anadolu Efes. To the surprise of many a European basketball devotee, Anadolu Efes defended home court in the Euroleague quarterfinals to send the series to game five. Lucas got it done both overall and in clutch time in last week’s pair of games against defending champions Olympiacos. Lucas chased his triple-double threatening night of 13 points, nine rebounds and 7 assists in game three of the quarterfinals versus Olympiacos with the game-winning tip in to take game four.
Video: Putback of the season?
Alando Tucker, F, Inter Bratislava. Tucker helped Inter get one step closer to the Slovakian league finals in a pair of nail-biting wins over no. 3 seed Nitra, displaying nice all-around skills for a 22 performance index rating in game two of the best-of-five set before taking over game three for 29 points and a 29 PIR.
Video: Simply put, Tucker and the “Inter Bratislava Basketbalový TEAM”
Adam Chubb, PF/C EWE Baskets Oldenburg. Meanwhile, current German Bundesliga no. 2 EWE Baskets is still fighting for playoff position with a 1½-game advantage over no. 3 Ratiopharm Ulm. Chubb showed himself to be key to Oldenburg’s chances closing out the regular season and beyond last week. If he doesn’t grab double-figure rebounds (as in the 11 at Bayreuth), he can dominate the painted area (as in his 10-of-12 “shooting” for 22 points against Telekom Baskets Bonn).
Video: A great way to open a new stadium
Semih Erden, C, Anadolu Efes. If we believe that defense wins championships, can we say that rebounding wins playoff series? In a series pitting two of the top board-grabbers in Europe (statistically, they’re no. 2 and 3 among remaining Euroleague teams behind only Real Madrid), the one stat column that deserves a look is total rebounds. And it says here that in last week’s two Euroleague quarterfinal series wins, Efes outdid Olympics by 21 in the category – exactly Erden’s total over those two games. Also worthy of consideration: The man’s amazing job in the two matches with clogging up the paint enough to disallow much of Vassilis Spanoulis’ drive-and-dish game.
Video: Erden, Efes ain’t going home yet
Raimo Tamm, PG, Tarvas, the homegrown player who helped top-of-table Tarvas to two series-closing quarterfinal wins in Estonia with a combined line of 36 points, 16 rebounds and nine assists;
Kevin Hamilton, G, Bayreuth, who picked a good time to contribute to his team attempting to avoid relegation and provided a season-high 29 points in a win over Mitteldeutscher BC, including 6-of-8 three-point shooting and 9-of-10 for the line – altogether, a whopping 94.2% true shooting percentage for the game;
Pau Gasol, PF/C, Los Angeles Lakers, as much for him playing some of his best basketball since L.A.’s far ago-seeming championship days (i.e. a second triple-double of the season to close out the season against the Houston Rockets, a solid 16/16 contribution against the San Antonio Spurs) as for all the s*** and rumor-mongering unfairly placed on the guy all season;
Ante Tomic, C, FC Barcelona, again a pillar of stability in any offense Barca runs – and any defense the Euroleague can throw at him; and
Nenad Krstic, C, CSKA Moscow, a model of efficiency in bouncing Baskonia after a relatively disappointing showing against Caja Laboral in game three (much like the rest of his team) who totaled 19 points on 7-of-9 shooting and 5-of-5 from the line to go with five rebounds and six PFs taken against one committed; it all added up to a 27 performance index rating. Solid. Much like the rest of his team. (Except for that third game.)
Honorable mentions: After this weekend’s impressive showing by the World Select Team in the Nike Hoop Summit game, Sportando must congratulate Livio Jean-Charles and Dennis Schröder, right? Both increased the achievement list on their burgeoning CVs, gained in international reputation and most likely climbed on draft boards in stealing away attention from their World Select teammate Andrew Wiggins.
Video: BallinLife’s slick Hoop Summit highlight clip
– compiled by Os Davis
Os Davis writes/posts/tweets for the ESPN TrueHoop Network site BallinEurope.com. He also co-produces the mostly European basketball-centered weekly podcast Taking the Charge with heinnews.com, and watches way too much basketball through online subscription packages and dodgy live streams.
TAKING THE CHARGE PODCAST
Sportando European Team of the Week: Week of April 1
Sportando European Team of the Week: Week of April 8
Sportando European Team of the Week: Week of April 15