Welcome back to Corner Stats! Today let’s continue our journey and, like we already did for the Serie A, let’s analyze the first Euroleague numbers. One word before starting: I consider Stats for Dummies ended. However, this does not exclude that if you have particular requests, I will gladly reopen the column to analyze other topics. Having said that, let’s start!
After the first six rounds, the rating chart shows this distribution:
The distribution of the teams reflects the ranking: we find in the upper right corner Real Madrid and CSKA Moscow, still unbeaten, while moving to the opposite corner we find teams like Buducnost VOLI or Darussafaka. The Montenegrin team is really struggling (it is looking for some reinforcements): an Offensive Rating below 100 points (precisely 95.8) is hard to average. It was known that it would find difficulties due to budget and bench depth differences, but the summer efforts made to assemble a Euroleague team don’t seem to have been sufficient. An Offensive Rating below 100 points is difficult to find in the last competitions (in the past seasons the lowest values were 101 and 110).
Another team with a lot in trouble is Khimki Moscow Region: the team was built around Alexey Shved, but this supporting cast seems to struggle when Shved is on the bench. The addition of a handler like Demarquis Bost seemed aimed to add to the roster a player able to create from the dribble in addition to Stefan Markovic, but also to partially relieve the Russian star from the playmaking duties. The experiment worked for this second situation, but we can not say the same for the first one: the Russian star’s Impact statistics available on Overbasket.com are ruthless.
There is a difference of 26 points (!) in Offensive Rating between when Shved is on the court and when he is on the bench; the good defensive improvement is not enough: 19 points allowed less are not sufficient to guarantee sufficient solidity when there isn’t Shved. In fact, if the Net Rating is negative with Alexey on the court (but still close to zero) when Shved is on the bench it decreases to -10 points. This whole situation does not seem to lead to a fine future for Khimki: currently, Shved is averaging 32.5 minutes per game with an unreal 40% of Usage. I doubt he will be able to maintain this level of efficiency. The fate of Khimki is therefore linked to the improvement of its guards.
Let’s move on to the happy notes: I like FC Bayern very much. Finding it among the best in Offensive Rating is not a coincidence: its offensive game is beautiful. Already last year in EuroCup it was possible to see excellent performances by the Germans (including the two matches with Darussafaka, both lost in the end due to Scott Wilbekin and some trivial errors in the final moments): this year the roster is essentially the same with the additions of Petteri Koponen, Maodo Lo, Leon Radosevic and especially Derrick Williams.
The second pick of the 2011 draft started not so well, but in the latest matches has improved his game. In fact, globally is averaging an Offensive Rating of 102, but if we look only to the last three games the offensive efficiency has risen to 126, a symptom of a progressive adaptation to the Bayern game style and the European Pace. On the defensive side he still has the instinct of the 3 seconds rule: when he will adapt further and put both feet in the area while he is on the weak side, his help will be even more effective and important. In fact, the Defensive Rating has slightly improved in these last three games: from 118 to 115; of course, in general not the best Defensive Rating, but if this slight decrease will continue it would mean a gradual improvement of Derrick’s defensive presence.
Lithuanian powerhouse Zalgiris, on the other hand, is a pleasant surprise; after the departure of Axel Toupane, Vasilije Micic and, most important, Kevin Pangos, I did not think they would be immediately so ready. I expected an adaptation period for new arrivals, especially for Nate Wolters, called to take the lead of the team. Instead, Wolters was able to do what Jasi want since the first game. They are currently 3-3, but they have had remarkable performances. Wolters’individual statistics are very respectable at the moment: a PER of 22.5 (14th) and a BPM of 5.4 (17th), synonymous with solid and positive performances.
Instead, it’s strange to see Fenerbahce Istanbul with a Defensive Rating of 120: for coach Obradovic’s standards, it’s too much. In my opinion, the injury of Tyler Ennis has ruined the plans of the coaching staff: the American guard was to be the substitute of Bradley Wanamaker, but also of James Nunnally (a very precious player for Obradovic). His injury involves to insert Erick Green and ask for some extra effort to Nikola Kalinic and Marko Guduric. A large pool of variables that are not easy to be all solved. To give you a more complete picture, last year Fener was fourth in Defensive Rating with 112 points allowed per 100 possessions. This year it is currently 13rd.
Before concluding, I would underline how currently the League Rating is still on 116 points: we are maintaining the trend that certifies that we are in an era dominated by the attacks. We will check again this value in order to see if this trend has been maintained.