Sinan Guler: Worthy of minutes. Worthy of respect.

12/2/09 - Worthy of minutes. Worthy of respect.

Freaknick: 18 minutes, 8 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists and a steal. All season highs. How does it feel to get a game like this under your belt? What do you need to do to build on that game and take the next step?

Our boy Sinan Guler had a big week. Now, it's about taking the next step.Sinan Guler: I sure needed a game like this. Although it was much an easier Euroleague game than the usual ones, for gaining some personal confidence, it was an important game for me. I think I did my best during the time I was on the court, and now it’s time to add more on this success. It doesn’t necessarily have to be in terms of minutes, or scoring, but I need to improve my input on the game when I am on the court so we can reach those most needed victories.

FN: When you’re out there, is it more about proving to the coaching staff that you’re capable of big things with big minutes? Or is it more about proving to yourself that you can make an impact on such a high level?

SG: This is a tough one, but I have to be honest. I think the more important Continue Reading…

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Posted 1 week, 6 days ago at 3:16 pm.

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And the week 4 winner(s) is(are)…

So after last week’s picks, here’s how we stand on the season (remember, our picks started in Week 2): SLAM: 17-7; FREAKNICK: 17-7. It’s a dead tie between the Euroleague Adventures boys, let’s see if someone can pull ahead in Week 4.

Wednesday's Euroleague games.

Expect more of the same from last week's MVP.Zalgiris @ Cibona

Slam: The time has finally come and Jamont Gordon says, “GIVE ME A WIN!” Cibona

Freaknick: Martynas Pocius gets back on track and proves he can be wekk in, week out stud. Oh, and Travis Watson’s a beast. Zalgiris.

Montepaschi @ FB Ulker

Slam: The boys from Turkey just can’t put it together right now and did anyone else see Romain Sato last week? Montepaschi

Freaknick: Fenerbahce-Willie Solomon=better, but Montepaschi-Lavrinovic=Mega Romain Sato, so Fenerbahce<Montepaschi. It’s basic math. Montepaschi.

Asvel @ Barcelona

Slam: Yeah the first quarter might be interesting but after that let the fireworks begin. Barcelona

Freaknick: Welcome back, JC. Barcelona.

Unicaja @ Orleans

Slam: Omar Cook and Taquan Dean are playing like basketball identical twins tight now, and you just can’t beat chemistry like that. Unicaja

Freaknick: Unicaja will win and Shammond Williams will make zero impact. Unicaja.

Caja Laboral @ Maroussi

Slam: Does Caja Laboral have their groove back?  Hopefully Pau Ribas can keep it going with Huertas out. Caja Laboral

Freaknick: Will this be the week Mirza Teletovic looks in the mirror and realizes Continue Reading…

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Posted 1 month ago at 1:30 pm.


An Interview with Efes Pilsen’s Sinan Guler

Meet Efes Pilsen swingman Sinan Guler. Along with playing for the reigning Turkish League Champs, Guler suited up for Turkey in Eurobasket 2009, and if that weren’t enough, he maintains a blog here…oh, and another here written in English. Full plate, right? Wrong. Sinan Guler is a beast, which is exactly why he’s agreed to do a series of interviews with our very own Freaknick. Watch and learn.

Freaknick: The question everybody wants to ask: when you play for Efes Pilsen, do they give you a little card that gets you free Efes Pilseners in any Turkish (or European) bar?  If so, can you ask them if they’ll sponsor us?

Sinan Guler: Wish that could happen man, and I am sad that you are on the other side of the ocean, you are missing out on a great tasting beer.  We don’t get cards or anything, but we can get a case of beer pretty much whenever we want.

FN: You’re in a backcourt with two Alphonso Ford Trophy winners in Charles Smith and Igor Rakocevic. For your money, who wins in a game of H-O-R-S-E?

SG: This is really a tough question, Continue Reading…

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Posted 1 month, 2 weeks ago at 2:11 am.

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A long time ago, in a Group B far, far away…


…Olympiacos got the easiest draw.  I’ll listen to arguments for this group’s depth, but Olympiacos is basically an exclamation point among question marks.  I’m getting ahead of myself.  So tuck yourself in and turn on the overhead lamp.  Freaknick’s about to read you a story or three…

Papaloukas needs to keep his troops focused.

1.  Will this group prepare Olympiacos for elite competition? The four teams with the best regular season record last season: Barcelona, Unicaja, Montepaschi Siena, Tau Ceramica.  Only one of those—Barca—ended up making it to Berlin.  Coincidence?  Perhaps.  But where there’s smoke there’s fire, and Olympiacos may smoke the competition on a weekly basis.  But BE WARNED: history shows that this may NOT  be the best way to stoke a fire that will burn long into the season.  The saving grace may be the tough competition in the Greek league, and vets like Papaloukas and Vujcic have never been the types to settle for cruise control.  What we have here is an irony unbefitting the times: Olympiacos must keep their foot on the gas if they want to have enough fuel for the postseason.

Will Rakocevic lead Efes Pilsen to the promised land?  Well then how about the Top 16?2.  Which team will be better than anyone expected? Now I know there are those of you out there who will pick Lietuvos Rytas or Efes Pilsen for the shock value and the off chance that you can look back in a year and say “I so called that.”  Meanwhile, we realists are busy trying to figure out which three teams will join Olympiacos in the field of 16.  At this point, the “other 5″ seem to be running about even, and past returns really can’t be of any use when staring into the crystal ball. Unicaja lost starters Marcus Haislip and Carlos Cabezas while Partizan lost Rising Star Novica Velickovic and team leader Milenko Tepic. Efes Pilsen had the worst Euroleague showing of the bunch but made the biggest splash by signing the league’s leading scorer, Igor Rakocevic.  The wild card here may be Eurocup champ Lietuvos Rytas, who play as if they have nothing to lose, and last year they rarely did, winning not only the Eurocup, but also the Lithuanian League, the Lithuanian Cup, the Baltic League, and the BBL Presidents Cup.  I’ll call it the Royal Flush.  And I’ll say they have as good a shot as any to lay claim to that second spot.

Robert Archibald can't do it by himself in Malaga.

3.  Who will cough up the cash to sign a difference maker? If I’ve done nothing else well over these previous 397 words, I hope I’ve made it abundantly clear that this group is wide open.  And if I were a betting man, I would wager that these five teams have had a look at the draw, and all five teams have had similar reactions, something along the lines of “Hmmm…not bad.”  Hmmm…not bad, indeed.  What would be bad would be for these teams to sit on their hands and staple their wallets instead of paying the extra coin to snag a potential starter.  Do the right thing, Group B.  B brave.

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Posted 5 months, 1 week ago at 2:59 am.

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Free Agent Frenzy

By: Slam

Let’s take a look at the 5 best NBA Players that could possibly go over and play in the Euroleague next year:

Will an NBA team want him? Or is Europe his only Option?

Will an NBA team want him? Or is Europe his only Option?

1.  Allen Iverson

Yes, the NBA icon Allen Iverson could be looking to play overseas next season.  It sounds like Detroit doesn’t want him back and there are very few teams in the league he could fit into.  He still has  a lot of talent and quickness but he is starting to age pretty fast.  Iverson would still be an instant stud in the Euroleague as his talent would be superior to anyone out there.  Iverson is 34 and his body has taken a beating over the years but I’d still expect a big name team such as Maccabi Tel Aviv or CSKA Moscow to make a run at him.

Artest will have to shape up his behavior if he wants to play abroad

Artest will have to shape up his behavior if he wants to play abroad

2. Ron Artest

Another NBA star could be making his presence felt in Europe.  Artest would be an undersized power forward in Europe who would be stronger than almost any player in the league.  He could dominate with a devastating ability to get to the basket because very few defenders could handle him once he gets in the lane.  Artest still has a good amount of basketball in him, but Euroleague teams might be scared of his behavior in the past.  Look for a team that isn’t quite good enough to be among the elite Euroleague teams but still has money, like Efes Pilsen, AJ Milano, and the always willing to spend Olympiacos, to try and aquire him.

Linas could make a lot of money in Europe

Linas could make a lot of money in Europe

3. Linas Kleiza

Kleiza is a Lithuanian product who has been playing his NBA ball with the Denver Nuggets.  He was a key cog in getting the Nuggets to the Western Conference Finals.  He is a very long small forward with a deadly outside shooting touch.  He can play both forward positions which will make some NBA teams covet him this off season. Kleiza though could be a monster in the Euroleague with his ability to shoot outside and drive to the basket, his offensive talent would be hard to match.  Most all Euroleague teams would be excited about the prospect of adding Kleiza as he is entering his prime.   There always is a chance he wants to go home and play for Zalgiris too. Continue Reading…

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Posted 5 months, 2 weeks ago at 1:31 pm.

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