Turkish Airlines Euroleague
May 21, 2013
bwin Euroleague Fantasy Challenge
Tel Aviv 2004
Qualifying Rounds 2012
NIKE International Junior Tournament
A lot of work to do
Hello, Euroleague fans! I am getting in touch with you right before the playoffs, which start next week. Our season has been pretty good until now; we are a good team with a lot of good players and we are playing very good team basketball. We had a great start to the season to get to the playoffs against Gescrap BB with home court advantage. Now, having to face a good team like Gescrap, we hope to continue playing well and get to the Final Four. It is hard to keep winning and winning. We had a great regular season and also started pretty well in the Top 16 until a bad loss against Galatasaray. We managed to bounce back from that, and I think that shows what kind of team we have, and our character.
We have a nice group of talented, experienced players. When you have so many guys, any of us can play great and give the team a big boost. Everybody can step up on any given night. If one of our main players has a bad night, we have so many great players that someone will step in, play great and give something more. As you know, CSKA did not go past the regular season last year and that has helped us to stay focused in every game this season. The guys who came back from last year know how bad we did in the Euroleague last season – and how well we want to do this year. We want to prove that CSKA is still and will be one of the top clubs in Europe, a team that can always compete for the Euroleague title.
I like my role this season, I feel really good coming back from all the injuries that I had last season. I have been able to play and help the team with whatever our coach, Jonas Kazlauskas, needs me to do. There are a lot of good players at my position, but I have a good role on this team and am very happy with that. I have been told that I lead the Euroleague in two-point percentage. Well, I always try to dunk the ball, since that is the safest shot I can take! Actually, it is a lot of fun to play for CSKA. My college teams used to try to score 80-plus points per game, always running and having fun. I love to run and get up and down the court. It is always fun to play uptempo! We definitely have very good athletes on this team – like Alexey Shved and Andrei Kirilenko, just to name two – and that helps us to do what we want to do on offense.
We don't expect Gescrap to be an easy opponent. Once you get to the playoffs, everybody is dangerous and deserves to be here. They managed to survive two really tough stages, and Spanish teams in general are always tough to beat. The Spanish League is great and Gescrap is up there with the best teams in the country. It is a very talented and athletic team and will be a good challenge for us. If you have a look at what they have done, it is impressive; they knocked off Caja Laboral, Real Madrid and Unicaja. No weak team would be able to do that! We will have to prepare well once the series gets closer and figure everything out about them. We have a lot of work to do.
I have been to the Final Four before, in 2009 and 2010. It is one of the greatest events in basketball! Unfortunately I wasn’t able to win the competition either of those years, but I think we have a pretty good chance to go all the way this season. Since I lost both of my previous times there, I like to think that my best Final Four memories are yet to come. It is always fun to be able to play at the highest stages of the Euroleague, against the best teams in Europe at that time. You get to play in a really cool place and everybody is watching.
Our team chemistry is great. Everybody understands what we need to do, so people just assume their roles and have fun. We have very good guys on the team. Nobody is selfish. We just have fun, get along off the court really well, and everybody is joking and laughing, which is very important. It is probably one of the best teams I have been on in terms of chemistry. There is no division between younger and older guys, everybody is pretty much around the same age. Everyone is doing a good job staying together and playing as a team.
I would like to finish this blog entry with a message for all the CSKA fans. I hope that everybody comes to see us! We all had good fun in the Euroleague home games until now and everybody has supported us a lot. So, just come over and have fun. These playoffs are the last chance to see a Euroleague home game this season!
SASHA KAUN - MOSCOW, RUSSIA
Monday, March 12, 2012
Send to a Friend
Next stop, the Final Four!
See you in Istanbul!
A lot of work to do