Last 32, Group O analysis

Jan 03, 2014 by Print
Last 32, Group O analysis
Stelmet Zielona Gora
Unics Kazan
Telenet Ostend
Valencia Basket Club
Former champion and Eurocup MVP Chuck Eidson, along with the former Euroleague champion Nikos Zisis, lead the 2011 titlist Unics Kazan, the only undefeated team in the regular season. Last year’s Rising Star Trophy winner Bojan Dubljevic, and All-Eurocup selection Justin Doellman, headline the former two-time Eurocup champ Valencia Basket, which won its last title in 2010. Valencia also features a former Euroleague champion Romain Sato, as well as former Eurocup champions Serhiy Lishchuk and Rafa Martinez. A Eurocup regular Telenet Ostend, champion of Belgium, is red-hot on a four game winning streak, while Polish champion Stelmet Zielona Gora, led by a productive big man Vladimir Dragicevic, comes from a successful Euroleague debut season ready to battle for Eurocup glory.
Vladimir Dragicevic - Stelmet Zielona Gora - EB13_52533
Vladimir Dragicevic
Ostend, Valencia and Unics are among the best Eurocup teams in number of assists per game, which certainly explains some of the success they had so far. Great ball movement also helped make Unics and Valencia rank second and third, respectively, in true shooting percentage, with each being efficient on more than 52% of their possessions. While both Valencia (46.5%) and Unics (44.8%) are deadly from behind the arc, Zielona Gora is dominant inside with Vladimir Dragicevic and Adam Hrycaniuk. In a tough Euroleague competition, the Polish champ ranked fourth best in two-point shots made, executing inside the arc at a high rate of 53.8%. On the other hand, Ostend has a more balanced offense that scored on averaged 82.4 points in team’s eight regular season wins.
Dusan Djordjevic - Telenet Ostend
Dusan Djordjevic
Chuck Eidson - Unics Kazan - EC13 (photo
Chuck Eidson
Former Eurocup MVP Chuck Eidson mostly comes off the bench for Unics, but is the glue guy for the team. The 33-year old forward serves as the sixth man this season, among the best on the team in assists, steals and rebounds. Starting point guard for Ostend Dusan Djordjevic is far from being a one-dimensional point guard. A leader of the team who controls the tempo with ball in his hands, Djordjevic is also absolutely clutch from the free throw line. Lukasz Koszarek holds the reins at Zielona Gora, playing more than 31 minutes per game, while scoring and finding others with 5.8 assists per game. Shooting guard Rafa Martinez is Valencia’s x-factor. He is an all-round player, and besides his tough defense and deadly three-point shooting, Martinez contributes across the board every night.
Rafa Martinez - Valencia Basket - EC13 (photo Valencia Basket)_52961
Rafa Martinez
All four teams have the ability to score in bunches, especially on the home floor. So much so that Valencia and Ostend score on average more than 10 points at home than away. While stealing a win on the road tends to be a precious achievement in group phases, Unics and Zielona Gora are proven road warriors, teams that don’t fret away from home. Unics with its perfect record and Eurocup’s best defense allowing only 62.5 ppg has huge confidence, while Zielona Gora has won almost 40 percent of its away games in Eurocup and Euroleague in the past two seasons. With Valencia’s offense that can score over 90 points on any night, and Ostend’s balanced attack that has won every close game so far this season, expect the unexpected in Group O.