June 24, 2011
Bismack Biyombo - Biyombo exploded onto the scene by leading the ACB in shot blocks, by a long way, at an age when players rarely appear in that league at all. He recorded 2.3 blocks per game last season - tied for second place were crafty veteran D'Or Fisher, currently of Real Madrid, and the man Biyombo backed up, upstart late blooming Argentinian big man Gustavo Ayon (who has had a hell of a year, but we'll save that for another day). Biyombo put up his 2.3 blocks in only 16.6 minutes per game - comparatively, Fischer took 19.6 mpg for his, while Ayon needed a comparatively enormous 22.1. Per 40 minutes, Biyombo led the league at 5.4; Real Madrid's Mirza Begic (who played very limited minues) was second with 4.4; Fran Vazquez was third with 3.3, and Fischer was fourth at 3.2. Ayon was fifth at 2.4. No one else came close.
March 24, 2011
The mainstay of the frontcourt, Felipe Reyes, is still doing his thing. He's scoring around the basket, hitting mid range jumpshots, occasionally venturing out slightly further than that, and still rebounding prolifically. As he's ageing, Reyes is beginning to struggle more defensively, yet he is covered in this regard by the rest of the frontcourt. Real's centre tandem of Ante Tomic and Mirza Begic stand a combined 14 foot 4 inches tall, ensuring that whenever you drive the lane, someone will be there to block the crap out of you. Begic, a midseason pick-up from Zalgiris (where he had averaged 2.3 blocks per game in only 21 Euroleague minutes per game), does not play much for Real. Yet that does not mean any less of a shotblocking onslaught, for ex-Maccabi big D'Or Fischer is also on hand, turning away 1.6 of his own in less than 20 minutes per contest. While Fischer does not have the height of the other two, he has far more athleticism than them both, and uses it to block shots and rebound prolifically, while also making a few midrange jumpers on offense.
January 6, 2010
- Mirza Begic
Mirza Begic went undrafted in 2007. That's kind of amazing, because he's 7'3, and pretty much all 6'11 Eastern European guys who get a few minutes on the benches of Adriatic league teams get picked in the second round somewhere. (It's true. Ask Edin Bavcic.) Maybe Begic should have been drafted, however, as he's now a decent Euroleague centre. Begic's averages are listed below in a different form to usual.
1) 20.9 minutes, 7.6 points, 4.1 rebounds, 2.6 fouls, 1.1 blocks per game = Euroleague (the club competition that sees the best teams from across the whole of Europe competing)
2) 16.3 minutes, 5.3 points, 3.3 rebounds, 2.3 fouls, 0.8 blocks per game = VTB United League (the club competition that sees the best teams from only Eastern Europe competing)
3) 17.3 minutes, 8.9 points, 4.8 rebounds, 1.9 fouls, 1.4 blocks per game = Baltic League (the club competition that sees the best teams from only Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania competing)
4) 14.0 minutes, 5.4 points, 3.7 rebounds, 2.4 fouls, 1.4 blocks per game = Lithuanian League (the Lithuanian league)