By Simon Dresden11/9/07
Studs / Rising
Nikola Pekovic deserves a category of his own. This young stud couldn’t prevent his team from losing a close one to defending champs Panathinaikos, but he again proved that right now he is a beast. Once again he went 8/10 from the field and perfect from the line for 28 points and 10 boards against one of the deepest frontcourts around. He cant be contained inside by anyone in Euroleague right now and after finally getting a well deserved start, his stock is blasting through the roof and one quickly runs out of superlatives for this young stud’s performances. He is leading the Euroleague in Efficiency Ranking (by a ridiculous 8 points), Points (4 off the next), FG% (80%), is top 10 in Rebounds, top 5 in FT%…. You can go on and on. Sky is the limit it seems.
Danilo Gallinari finally arrived on the big stage and proved why he is such a high praised talent. He started and in 35 minutes of action had 18 points and 7 boards before fouling out. He flashed his whole arsenal taking threes and driving the lane, he didn’t hit too precisely on his shots but went to the line often, where he was near automatic. This is what every scout is coming for, great skill level and potential.
Donatas Montiejunas made his long awaited debut on the big stage and was impressive. He earned his 8 minutes of playing time regardless of the big Zalgiris loss with 4 points and 2 boards. Considering his young age (born 1990) and the position he plays, it was a splash performance.
Marc-Antoine Pellin had another start and another stud performance to his record. Matched up against a very good backcourt of Barcelona, he more than held his ground. In 30 minutes he delivered a solid 8 points while doing his usual production in all other categories. He is bustling with confidence and his speed makes him a terror in open court defense. For a guy that under-sized he has amazing consistency.
Semih Erden is cracking the stud ranking for the first time since he earned himself a start and was productive in his 24 minutes. He got 4 boards and consistency is what described him best. The same can be said his frontcourt mate Oguz Savas he also is a picture of consistency producing in every game in points and rebounds, while earning himself solid playing time.
Nicolas Batum fell off the stud category since he managing only 4 points in 25 minutes. He still had some good production in other categories as he grabbed 2 boards, dished 3 dimes and had 3 steals but from a player with his physical attributes he at least should be getting to the line some.
Milenko Tepic left the top category this week because he only managed 2 points in 30 minutes. He still had his 4 rebounds and 4 assists and maybe we expect to much from him but considering what he’s done recently it is a downward trend.
Uros Tripkovic had 8 points in 20 minutes to go along with some spare rebounds, keeping his trend up towards the stud categories but he is not quite there yet.
Omri Casspi finally showed some life. In a Maccabi win he got 6.5 minutes of quality playing experience and used them to produce 4 points and 2 boards. If he continues to produce he is destined to rise not only in his coaches rotation but also in our rankings.
Tim Ohlbrecht for the third time upped his minutes played and again scored on an impressive dunk in heavy traffic in the game against Real. You can see he is feeling more and more comfortable out there and is fast learning. His defense is stellar already be it on pick and rolls, challenging shots or banging. He could use some more touches offensively and a little more experience.
Jan Mocnik came back to earth with just 2 points, 2 assists and a rebound in just 8 minutes, but considering his team beat powerhouse CSKA in a very close game it is more than reasonable to consider it an okay performance to crack some stats at all.
Antoine Diot this time only got sparse playing time, but he managed 2 points which alone is okay.
Martynas Gecevicius didn’t get much of a chance to show his shooting ability as he didn’t get a shot in 7 minutes of play this week. It is a down swing from the last 2 weeks but still in the okay territory.
Mantas Kalnietis cant seem to find any rhythm so far. Very disappointing performance from this seasoned pro. 2 points and just 1 rebound and assist in 12 minutes, from a guy who has top level experience?
Sergio Llull was somehow disappointing since he managed only a miss, a TO and a foul in 8 minutes against inferior competition.
Milos Teodosic only saw 2 minutes with no production in a blowout runaway victory of Olympiacos. This is very disappointing for Teodosic who seems to be in for a rough year.
Albert Moncasi again drew a DNP. Considering his first week performance, his stock is falling every time he doesn’t get to see the floor.
Michal Chlynski got just a few garbage seconds, as did Pietro Aradori, Karsten Tadda.