With the holiday season hitting all of us, it’s been a few weeks since we checked in on the three stashes the Spurs have in Euroleague.
For those who caught the last column, the man to watch above all others is Adam Hanga but the Hungarian, who plays for Baskonia in Spain, has been pretty much holding water since that outburst. There haven’t been any jaw dropping moments, just consistent and effective play with one of the most exciting and intelligent teams to watch in Europe (even if the Spurs didn’t have an interest due to Hanga, Baskonia would be worth watching on a regular basis). When needed however he is plugging gaps and was particularly versatile in Thursday’s win over Maccabi Tel Aviv, finishing with 9 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists, and 1 block in 31 minutes.
Of far more interest lately has been young Nemanja Dangubic who is part of a Crvena Zvezda side that continues to wildly exceed all expectations. BallinEurope had listed them to finish 14th of 16 this season, and that was on the higher end of predictions. Instead, at the halfway stage in the regular season, the Belgrade club is holding onto the 8th and final playoff spot with a 7-8 record and bullied league leaders CSKA Moscow in their 78-67 win on Thursday. Dangubic had one of his best outings so far this year in that win with 7 points, 1 rebound, 2 assists, and a block. He continues to not be a key player for Zvezda but is getting his minutes as part of the rotation and there is hardly a better place in the league for him to hone his talents.
It was against Dangubic and his Zvezda colleagues that Nikola Milutinov had his brightest outing of the year just over a week back, with 11 points, 7 rebounds, 2 blocks, and 1 assist in 22 points. It was a rare moment of real action for the Serbia who continues to struggle to impose himself on the Olympiacos line-up. He was a healthy scratch in a victory over Fenerbahce on Thursday and barely saw the floor in the previous week’s loss at Brose Bamberg. In short, it’s not a great season for him in terms of involvement and he’s not showing he can do much in limited use either.
Two players not on the Spurs radar but worthy of note for topical reasons are Milos Teodosic and Bogdan Bogdanovic. The Serbian duo have both been touted by superagent Misko Raznatovic (arguably the most powerful man in European basketball) in recent days as two who should move to the NBA at the end of the season. Teodosic, currently with CSKA Moscow, is enjoying one of his best seasons and Spurs fans saw plenty of him at point guard for Serbia in the Rio Olympics. Crucially for Teodosic, his rights aren’t held by anyone in the NBA as he was undrafted. At 29 he looks more than ready for the jump next season.
With Bogdanovic, the jump is more expected than deserved. The young guard is a far more natural 2 but can play the point if asked. Having won the Rising Star award (young player of the year in Euroleague) two years in a row, Bogdanovic is rather at a stage where he really needs to test the waters sooner than later. He’s good enough to give it a shot but nowhere near as safe a bet as Teodosic. His rights currently belong to the Kings, so that would be fun…right?
A Happy New Year to all Spurs fans and please follow me on Twitter (@bie_basketball) and visit the site (ballineurope.com).