Top 16 Groups breakdown, Group E

Dec 18, 2012 by Euroleague.net Print
Real Madrid
Zalgiris Kaunas
CSKA Moscow
Unicaja
Panathinaikos Athens
Anadolu Efes
Brose Baskets
Alba Berlin
won Group A with a 7-3 record. Is undefeated at home.
THE STAR
Nikola Mirotic - Real Madrid - EB12
NIKOLA MIROTIC
Two-time Euroleague Rising Star Award winner Nikola Mirotic has blossomed from promising talent to important contributor to bona fide star in a matter of seasons. Now the do-it-all forward is a go-to guy for Los Blancos. Statistics are not enough to fully see what Mirotic means to Madrid, since the attention opponents must pay to him often opens up opportunities for fellow stars. Nevertheless, Mirotic is the only player Coach Laso has started in every game and ranks among the team’s leaders in scoring, rebounding, blocks and fouls drawn. And as age 21, the best is yet to come.
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Jaycee Carroll - Real Madrid - EB12
JAYCEE CARROLL
When they talk about instant offense, there is no one better than Jaycee Carroll. He is not only Madrid’s No. 2 scorer despite coming off the bench, Carroll leads all Euroleague guards in scoring on a per-minute basis (25.04 points per 40 minutes) and his career three-point accuracy (47.0%) is third in competition history. As the games get tougher in the Top 16 and points become harder and harder to come by, having the instant offense of Jaycee Carroll around will be a true blessing for Madrid.
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Pablo Laso - Real Madrid

Since Pablo Laso took over as head coach prior to the 2011-12 season, Real Madrid has been the most dynamic team in the Turkish Airlines Euroleague. In that span, Madrid is the competition’s top-scoring team by a whopping 3 points (84.9 ppg.) and also tops the charts in offensive rebounding (12.3 rpg.) and rebounding (37.1 rpg.). Interestingly, not since the 2004-05 season has the team that led the league in scoring also won the title; Maccabi Tel Aviv did it that season with a record 92.0 points per game.
won Group C with an 8-2 record. Is 4-1 on the road.
THE STAR
Marko Popovic - Zalgiris Kaunas - EB12
MARKO POPOVIC
Marko Popovic is more than just a great scorer. Now in his second stint and fourth season with Zalgiris, Popovic has emerged as a team leader on top of his status as a fan favorite and a winner. He owns the greatest scoring effort of any active Euroleague player – a 39-point explosion for Cibona in November 2004 – and as he showed in Istanbul with 7 threes in a road win over Anadolu Efes in Game 5, Popovic can still get hot in a hurry and change any game in an instant.
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Ibrahim Jaaber - Zalgiris Kaunas - EB12
IBBY JAABER
He missed all of last season through injury, only signed for Zalgiris on the eve of the season opener and didn’t debut until the second game. So all things considered, the contributions that Ibby Jaaber made to Zalgiris’s tremendous regular season were gravy. As the season progresses, Jaaber will have even more opportunities to flaunt the ball-handling and penetration skills that have made him such an exciting point guard in all of his previous Euroleague stops as he looks to reach the playoffs for the first time.
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Players Zalgiris Kaunas celebrates - EB12

Zalgiris has already re-written its history books with a fantastic regular season. The 5-0 start to the season was the best in club history and by finishing 8-2, it won a Euroleague regular season group for the first time since the turn of the century. One of the keys has been tremendous defense: an 82-45 victory over Caja Laboral Vitoria in Game 7 marked the fewest points Zalgiris ever allowed in a Euroleague game and the 53 scored by Anadolu Efes in Game 10 are third best.
was second in Group D with a 9-1 record. Is on a five-game winning streak.
THE STAR
Sonny Weems - CSKA Moscow - EB12
SONNY WEEMS
He is only in his first season with the Russian champs, but Sonny Weems made it clear from the start that he was ready, willing and able to be its go-to guy. Weems is not just CSKA’s top scorer (16.4 ppg; fourth in the league), but so many of his baskets have come at the most important times – late in close games. After a blistering start to the season, Weems was name the Euroleague’s bwin MVP for October and more awards could be in store if he and CSKA keep winning at their current pace.
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Dionte Christmas - CSKA Moscow - EB12
DIONTE CHRISTMAS
CSKA’s big midseason signing, Dionte Christmas, needed a few weeks to find common ground with his new mates, but then quickly established himself as a serious weapon and earned a spot in the starting five. After a breakout performance in his fourth game with 21 points on 6-of-8 three-point shooting against Brose Baskets, Christmas is ranked second in the league with a 57.9% success rate from downtown. Looking ahead, all signs point to plenty of offense coming to CSKA from Christmas as it looks to challenge for another title.
DID YOU KNOW?
Sonny Weems - CSKA Moscow celebrates - EB12

CSKA Moscow has faced five of its seven Group E opponents since the start of the 2011-12 Euroleague season and has gone a combined 13-0 against Real Madrid, Zalgiris Kaunas, Panathinaikos Athens, Anadolu Efes and Brose Baskets Bamberg in that time frame. Four of those wins have come against Bamberg – two this season and two last season – and three against Panathinaikos, including a semifinal win at last season’s Final Four in Istanbul.
was second in Group B with an 8-2 record. Is 8-1 in its last 9 games.
THE STAR
Marcus Williams - Unicaja Malaga - EB12
MARCUS WILLIAMS
Euroleague rookie Marcus Williams is a pure point guard with incredible range on his three-point shot. In fact, despite coming off the bench and averaging just 22 minutes per game, Williams ranked among the regular season top 10 in both three-pointers made and assists. His fearlessness in big situations has made Williams a staple in the lineup when the game is on the line and Williams figures to shoulder a big load as Unicaja challenges to reach the playoffs.
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Sergi Vidal - Unicaja Malaga - EB12
SERGI VIDAL
He is the most experienced player on the Unicaja roster – with his next game he moves into the career top 10 in games played –and because of injury, Sergi Vidal had hardly any impact on Unicaja’s impressive regular season. Now back at full strength, Vidal, the consummate team player, will help Unicaja on both ends of the floor with his shooting, passing, rebounding, defense, leadership and experience, all of which will make Unicaja an even tougher foe in the weeks and months to come.
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Jasmin Repesa - Unicaja Malaga - EB12

Unicaja’s six-game winning streak in the regular season was the first time the team had won as many as five in a row in three seasons after it had done so in five consecutive seasons between 2005 and 2010 – including a team-record 11-game streak in 2005-06. During those seasons, Unicaja only reached the Euroleague playoffs one, in 2007, when it knocked out FC Barcelona en route to its first – and to date only – appearance in the Euroleague Final Four, in Athens.
was third in Group A with a 6-4 record. Won its last 3 home games.
THE STAR
Dimitris Diamantidis - Panathinaikos Athens
DIMITRIS DIAMANTIDIS
He is more than just the star and leader of this Panathinaikos team, Dimitris Diamantidis is one of the premier players of his generation. His three Euroleague titles, 2011 Euroleague MVP award and six Euroleague Best Defender trophies only highlight a brilliant career with the Greens. Diamantidis was the top assist man in the regular season with a career-high 6.3 per game and still at the top of his game, will be the man pushing Panathinaikos forward as it makes a run at a third straight Final Four.
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Michael Bramos - Panathinaikos Athens - EB12
MICHAEL BRAMOS
He was signed to provide defense and outside shooting from the wings and Michael Bramos has done just that. In only his seventh career Euroleague game, Bramos tied a Panathinaikos record with 7 three-pointers made. His playing time and production grew from the first five games to the next five games and as the Greens – a team virtually rebuilt this season with 11 new players – continues to grow together, all signs point to Bramos playing a big role.
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Argiris Pedoulakis - Panathinaikos Athens

Coach Argiris Pedoulakis is the first man to walk the Panathinaikos sidelines since the legendary Zeljko Obradovic’s 13-year reign came to an end over the summer. Pedoulakis will try to match what Obradovic did in his first year on the Greens’ bench: win the Euroleague title. Panathinaikos defeated three teams it will face in the Top 16 – Zalgiris Kaunas, Alba Berlin and in the semifinals at the Final Four in Thessaloniki, Greece, Anadolu Efes – en route to the first of five Euroleague crowns with Obradovic.
was third in Group C with a 5-5 record. Won just 2 of its last 6 games.
THE STAR
Jordan Farmar - Anadolu Efes Istanbul - EB12
JORDAN FARMAR
Point guard Jordan Farmar arrived to Anadolu Efes over the summer eager to take the club to the next level. His play in the regular season showed just what he and Efes are capable of, particularly when he flirted with double-doubles in back-to-back impressive wins in Games 2 and 3. Farmar’s importance to Efes can be summed up with the following stats: In Efes wins, he has averaged 16.6 points on 12-of-16 three point shooting (75%), 4.6 rebounds and 6 assists for a an average performance index rating of 20.8; in Efes losses: 9.4 points on 4-of-17 three-point shooting (23.5%), 2.4 rebounds and 3 assists for a 6.2 index.
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Stanko Barac - Anadolu Efes - EB12
STANKO BARAC
It’s never easy to overlook a 2.17-meter man, but with Stanko Barac missing a month of the regular season with an elbow injury, few considered him to be among Efes’s pillars. However strong scoring and rebounding numbers in limited minutes – he was the regular season leader in offensive rebounds per minute – after his return could tell the story of what’s to come. A reliable scorer and shot-blocker over his last two Euroleague campaigns, a healthy Barac splitting minutes with Semih Erden would give Coach Oktay Mahmuti as good a one-two center combination as anyone in the Turkish Airlines Euroleague.
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Oktay Mahmuti - Anadolu Efes - EB12

Anadolu Efes remains the only Turkish club to have ever played in a Euroleague Final Four. Efes accomplished that feat in 2000 in Thessaloniki, Greece, and a year later returned for the SuproLeague Final Four in Paris, France. The team that eliminated Efes in the semifinals at both of those events was Panathinaikos Athens, which also denied Efes in their Euroleague playoffs series in 2005. Coach Oktay Mahmuti was on the Efes bench for all of those losses – either as an assistant (’00) or head coach (’01, ’05).
was fourth in Group D with a 3-7 record. First Top 16 appearance since 2006.
THE STAR
Bostjan Nachbar - Brose Baskets Bamberg - EB12
BOSTJAN NACHBAR
Beyond being its top scorer and most-experienced player, Bostjan Nachbar has also delivered when needed the most. His season-high 23-points in an epic regular season Game 10 overtime win over Partizan mt:s Belgrade ushered Brose Baskets into the Top 16. Nachbar, who has also played in the Euroleague Final Four before, is among Bamberg’s top three in scoring, three-pointers made, rebounding, steals, block shots and fouls drawn.
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Maik Zirbes celebrates - Brose Baskets - EB12
MAIK ZIRBES
The young center more than held his own in his first 10 Euroleague games. Maik Zirbes shot at a high rate, was third in the league in offensive rebounding (2.8 rpg.) and was strong on defense, with his only major flaw perhaps being overaggressive on defense, which led to him fouling out three times. Now having gained experience and with fellow center A.J. Ogilvy back in tow after missing the start of the season to injury, Zirbes has the chance to take another step forward and showcase himself as an elite young big man.
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Chris Fleming - Brose Baskets - EB12

By reaching the Top 16 with its last game of the regular season, Brose Baskets joined Alba Berlin to give Germany two teams in this stage for the first time. Bamberg last reached the Top 16 in 2006, but failed to win a game after doing so, including a pair of losses by double figures to eventual champion CSKA Moscow. The forthcoming Bamberg vs. Berlin Top 16 clash will mark the first Euroleague game between German clubs in competition history.
was fourth in Group B with a 4-6 record. First Top 16 appearance since 2009.
THE STAR
Deon Thompson - Alba Berlin
DEON THOMPSON
Deon Thompson has risen to the occasion in his first season in Berlin by leading the team in scoring, rebounds and shots blocked. Thompson showed glimpses of his talent with a strong finish to his first Euroleague season with Union Olimpija Ljubljana last year and has taken it to the next level this season. Whether using his strength and speed to finish at the room or his back-to-the-basket moves in the post, Thompson’s production in the paint has given Berlin something to count on all season.
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Yassin Idbihi - Alba Berlin - EB12
YASSIN IDBIHI
Euroleague rookie Yassin Idbihi has quietly emerged as an important factor in the paint for Alba Berlin this season. Over the second half of the regular season, Idbihi boosted his numbers to 10.4 points and 6.2 rebounds per game – practically doubling his output from the first half. His impressive rebounding and efficient scoring have been important factors for Berlin thus far and may continue to grow as Idbihi blossoms against elite competition.
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Sasa Obradovic - Alba Berlin - EB12

Alba has made it to the Top 16 for the first time since 2008-09. Back then, a group featuring Regal FC Barcelona, Real Madrid and Maccabi Electra proved to be too strong for the German powerhouse. In fact, Alba still looks for its first-ever Top 16 win. Since then, Alba reached the Eurocup title game in 2010, losing against Power Electronics Valencia. Only one Alba player has previous Top 16 experience - Nihad Djedovic, who played it with Barcelona and Lottomatica Roma.