Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul registered its fourth win in a row on Tuesday night and continued its push to get in the middle of the playoff race. Even though we often hear a win is a win, this one might mean a bit extra because of the offensive display Fenerbahce had in its 96-76 win over TD Systems Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz.
It took 19 games this season, but Fenerbahce finally broke the 90-point barrier. Coach Igor Kokoskov's team had not scored more than 86 points in a game this season and entered the clash against Baskonia ranking dead last in scoring with 73.4 points per game. But Fenerbahce's offense was clicking on all cylinders on this night.
Fenerbahce not only scored 10 points more than its previous season-high, but it also recorded a club-record 29 assists, knocked down 15 triples on 53.6% three-point shooting, and made 71.9% of its two-pointers – all season highs. Four different players knocked down multiple triples, and seven different players had multiple assists.
"Playing unselfishly is contagious," Kokoskov said after the game. "Once your teammates see that you are willing to sacrifice, to make an extra pass, maybe you have a good shot but you make an extra pass for an even a better look, then it is contagious. It is spreading all over the court."
Interestingly, swingmen Marko Guduric and Dyshawn Pierre, and centers Jan Vesely and Ahmet Duverioglu combined for 18 assists. The backcourt of Lorenzo Brown, Alex Perez and Nando De Colo combined for just 6, although De Colo might have been a little too busy scoring.
The former MVP looked like his old self, scoring a season-high 27 points in 30 minutes. He missed just 5 shots, making 7 of 9 two-pointers and hitting 4 for 7 from behind the arc. He looked as comfortable as ever shooting the ball and was unstoppable against Baskonia.
De Colo averaged 14.8 points through the first six rounds before suffering a leg injury that forced him to miss five games. Since returning to action, he had been worth just 8.7 points per game and making 27.8% from long range. But if Tuesday is any indicator, De Colo is back.
And with him in such full mode, and with recent addition Guduric visibly feeling comfortable in the system, opposing teams could be dealing with a much different Fenerbahce offense going forward. For a team already on a four-game winning streak, there is reason for a lot of optimism on the Asian side of Istanbul.