What We’ve Learned with Professor Slam

By: Slam

Welcome to Euroleague Academy courses taught by the distinguished Professor Slam.  With a Bachelors degree in Hoopology and a Masters in Long Range Shooting, these season long courses will give you incite on what we’ve been learning in the Euroleague during the season.  Our first few subjects include mathematics, psychology, and history.

MAT 101- Darjus Lavrinovic + Real Madrid = A lot of Scoring

Darjus Lavrinovic hasn’t been in the Euroleague since 2006, just making him hungrier and hungrier to show his worth once he has got back.  He hasn’t disappointed this season as he is averaging 21 points on 71.4% shooting from the field and adding in 5.3 rebounds a game.  This has fueled a Real Madrid team that averaged only 74 points a game in the regular season last year, to a whopping 89.8 a game this season.  Darjus has basically been filling in for two key players in Real’s playoff run last year (Tomas Van Dan Spiegel and Felipe Reyes) while helping to elevate the games of youngsters Sergio Llull and Novica Velickovic.  What we’ve learned here is that a wise, efficient veteran added to a young talented team can bring you a lot of offense and possibly to the next level (Final Four?).  Real is 3-1 and sitting atop of Group D after taking down last year’s champs Panathinaikos.

PSY 151- American guards have an inherent brain mechanism that allows them to shoot 3’s and score at will

Yes, in past years some American guards have been among the top scorers in the Euroleague, but we have never seen a takeover of these proportions: 7 of the top 10 scorers and 9 of the top 10 three points shooters are American guards.  The transition of players such as Matt Walsh, Taquan Dean, Jekel Foster, and others in the Euroleague has led to a scoring bonanza, especially from behind the arc.  If any of these players have been practicing their NBA 3 ball trying to make that other league, then the shorter Euro line is like candy to them.  With the advent of some more wide-open offenses this season, this trend may be one that stays. More research will be conducted in the future to decide if this skill is something you’re born with or if it is obtained during life.

HST 175- The new arrival of parity in the Euroleague

Over the past 6 years we have seen only 3 different teams hoist the championship trophy and only 9 different teams make the Final Four.  Some traditional powers like Maccabi Electra, Real Madrid, FC Barcelona, Montepaschi, and Panathainikos are doing well, but new teams have emerged.  The likes of Unicaja, Lietuvos Rytas, Lottomatica Roma, and BC Khimki are making names for themselves as they all are either undefeated or have just 1 loss.  This means there are a legitimate 12 teams that could vie for Final Four berths this year.  This isn’t your grandpa’s Euroleague and it looks like a new, crazier competition might emerge.

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