Cologne quartets: Final Four stat standouts

May 22, 2021 by Print
Cologne quartets: Final Four stat standouts

Every Turkish Airlines EuroLeague season there are players who score, rebound, assist, steal or block more than the others. There are also players who do a combination of things well, even better than anyone else.

Some of those players stand out on their own and others fly under the radar because things they do well happen at a lesser volume or without the ball.

Each of the Final Four teams has such performers on its roster.

As FC Barcelona, CSKA Moscow, Anadolu Efes Istanbul and AX Armani Exchange Milan head to Cologne to battle it out for the EuroLeague crown, let's take a look at some of their statistical standouts.

FC Barcelona's shooting star

One will not find a more accurate player this season, and a more accurate campaign by a guard this century, than what Barcelona sharpshooter Kyle Kuric has showcased on EuroLeague floors this season.

Apart from leading the season-long charts in three-point (59.5%) and free throw (94.9%) accuracy, Kuric is the EuroLeague's runaway leader this season with 1.419 points per possession. According to Synergy Sports, that is the best such rate for a player with a minimum of 3 possessions for the season and at least seven appearances since Kostas Tsartsaris had 1.426 over 10 games back in the 2007-08 season.

In the same manner, Kuric leads all guards this season by scoring at least 1 point on 55.3% of his possessions used. While doing so, Kuric has also become the first guard ever – and the fourth player since 2007 with the same minimum possessions and appearances – to have an adjusted field goal percentage (aFG%) of 75.8%.

CSKA's captain courageous

On a team full of big names, captain Nikita Kurbanov has provided CSKA Moscow with the type of under-the-radar performances that are the foundation of what makes the team so successful.

In this, his 12th season with the club, Kurbanov started all 37 games for CSKA this season. The three-time EuroLeague champ is one of just six players in the competition, and the only one headed to the Final Four, who has started every game his team played. Indeed, he's played the second-most minutes this season among CSKA's players.

Despite a modest 4.0 points and 2.6 rebounds per game, Kurbanov has been super-effective around the basket, scoring 1.6 points per possession in non-post-up situations, which is the best on CSKA and among the top 10 in the whole league. Kurbanov has also been stellar on defense, where his toughness and versatility come to the fore. That's true especially in isolation situations after defensive switches, where Kurbanov has held the players he guards to 27.3% field goal shooting. He's the only forward in the EuroLeague this season to record such strong numbers in those two categories on different ends of the floor.

Efes's ace marksman

Veteran guard Rodrigue Beaubois was one of the most accurate shooters in the EuroLeague this season. The Anadolu Efes Istanbul guard has been lighting up the nets from every distance and angle. Beaubois enters the Final Four ranked seventh in three-point efficiency, knocking down 48.9% of his 139 shots behind the arc. He also has hit 53.0% of his 134 two-point attempts and ranks ninth in free throw accuracy at 92.5%.

With his field goals almost evenly split between twos and threes, Beaubois is one of just two players this season – along with Marius Grigonis of Zalgiris Kaunas – to average double-digit scoring while shooting at least 50% inside the arc, 45% from long distance and 90% at the free throw line. And Beaubois had better percentages than Grigonis for both two- and three-pointers.

Beaubois even managed to step it up a notch in the playoffs, where he averaged 15.2 points per game, shooting 51.7% on two-pointers and 54.2% on triples. Beaubois and his teammate Vasilije Micic were the only player performers to average more than 11.0 points while making more than half of their shot attempts from both inside and outside the arc.

Milan's Mr. Efficiency

From his stacked AX Armani Exchange Milan backcourt, veteran head coach Ettore Messina gave a newcomer to the team, Kevin Punter, the largest load this season, and the 27-year-old shooter delivered in a big way. Starting in all but one of his 34 appearances, Punter arrives to the Final Four as Milan's leading scorer (14.4 ppg.) after playing the second-most average minutes (25:04) on the team. In his time on the floor, Punter has been one of the busiest players in all of competition.

Punter is one of only two players this season – the other is Micic of Efes – to have scored at least 100 two-point shots, 60 three-pointers and 100 free throws. But where Punter really stands out is in the way he does not waste his scoring opportunities. For someone who handles the ball as much as Punter does, he takes care of it extremely well, averaging just 1.1 turnovers per game. As such, Punter commits a turnover on just 8.8% of his possessions, by far the lowest mark in the competition for players who have been on the finishing end of possessions with such a high volume.