The Euro Step: Williams-Goss Breaks Out, & Other EuroLeague Round 9 Notes

Create a free account to unlock this article!

Get Started

Already a subscriber?  Log In

I loved Olympiacos’ signing of Nigel Williams-Goss this summer.

The former Gonzaga star was probably the best rookie in Europe last season, averaging 17 points and 6.7 assists in the EuroCup with Partizan Belgrade. He shot 50 percent from three in the competition, and as the kid is still only 24 years old, David Blatt’s Olympiacos made a smart move by signing him for multiple seasons.

NWG was solid in his first eight EuroLeague games with Olympiacos, but he hadn’t quite popped the way I thought he would.

On Thursday, he exploded.

Williams-Goss had season-highs in points (23) and rebounds (6) as Olympiacos beat defending champions and previously undefeated Real Madrid.

He showed the full arsenal offensively. He posted up smaller players. He attacked the rim and hit floaters. He made a couple catch-and-shoot threes, and he got to the free-throw line, where he made nine of 10 attempts. When the time was right, he made smart passes, finishing with four assists.



With the legendary Vassilis Spanoulis now 36 years old, Olympiacos needed another dangerous guard to get back to the Final Four. NWG still has a ways to go, but his performance against Real Madrid has to be encouraging for Olympiacos fans.

Let’s take a look at some of the other big storylines from an exciting Round 9.

Alexey Shved: The Basketball Gods Giveth & Taketh Away

Shved can pretty much do whatever he wants.

The Giveth: Alexey Shved was cooking during Thanksgiving week. His appetizer was a 22-7-7 performance in a win over Buducnost on Wednesday. Then for the main course he served up 25 points, 10 assists, and four steals in a one-point road win at Zalgiris. He won MVP for both rounds and Khimki won consecutive games for the first time this season.

The Taketh: Shved fractured his pinky in the Zalgiris game and will miss one month of action.

What this means for Khimki: Shrug?

Like last season, Khimki’s offense has been, “Give Alexey the ball and get the hell out of the way.” He has the greenest of green lights. He leads EuroLeague by a mile in points per game (25.3) and he’s third in assists (7.4), but he’s also first in field goal attempts, free throw attempts, and turnovers, and he’s second in minutes per game.

It’s really hard to predict what the Shvedettes will look like without their frontman hogging the spotlight, but here’s a hot take for you: This injury will actually be good for 3-6 Khimki.

I’m a huge fan of Anthony Gill. The former Virginia star is one of the best power forwards in Europe, and I think he should 1) Be in the NBA, and 2) Get a lot more touches in this Khimki offense.

These are NBA-level skills right here.

He’s a versatile scorer who can school guys in the paint, beat defenders off the dribble, and hit threes (43.5 percent in two EuroLeague seasons). I want to see what he looks like in more of a featured role. My guess is he’ll be really good.

Tony Crocker can also get buckets to help make up for the loss of Shved’s perimeter scoring, and Khimki’s defense should be better without him.

Their schedule over the next month isn’t too bad, either. They host Panathinaikos (5-4) this week, then they’re at Bayern Munich (4-5) and CSKA (8-1) before facing the two worst teams in Maccabi and Darussafaka (both 1-8).

I wouldn’t be surprised if Khimki go 3-2 without Shved and become a more well-rounded unit ready for a playoff run in the second half of the season.

Jordan Mickey Using His Head

Before we move on from Khimki, we’ve got to talk about the Bucket of the Year — and not just in EuroLeague, but the entire basketball world.

You know how when a rapper freestyles they say they’re going off the top of the dome? Jordan Mickey would be a pretty good battle rapper.



And while we’re talking about heady plays, I’ve got to mention Thomas Heurtel. The Barcelona point guard is fourth in assists per game this season (5.6) and he drops some of the most beautiful dimes you’ll ever see.

But this one, off the large head of Milano center Arturas Gudaitis, is one he wishes he could have back.



The Mighty Have Fallen

Well, that was kind of crazy.

I mentioned that Olympiacos ended Real Madrid’s undefeated season, but Los Blancos weren’t the only unbeaten team to fall.

In the upset of the season, 2-7 Buducnost beat CSKA Moscow 93-92 on a late putback by Danilo Nikolic. It was pandemonium after the game in Montenegro, as Buducnost, their fans, and head coach Aleksandar “Comic Book Guy” Dzikic celebrated accordingly. 



With Madrid and CSKA going down, every team now has at least one loss this season.

Top 3 Games Of Round 10

1. Real Madrid (8-1) vs CSKA Moscow (8-1)

Thursday, Nov. 29 (3 PM ET)

Why you should watch: Two powerhouse clubs with the most championships in EuroLeague history face off in a shootout. Both teams will be hungry as they look to avoid back-to-back defeats. Former Real Madrid star and NBA player Sergio Rodriguez returns to Spain as a member of CSKA, and the game will hopefully feature the top two players in our Flo25 rankings (No.1 Sergio Llull vs. No. 2 Nando de Colo). Llull has missed the last few games with a knee injury and his status is uncertain. Even if he doesn’t play, this one should be super entertaining.

2. Efes (7-2) vs Baskonia (3-6)

Friday, Nov. 30 (12:30 PM ET)

Why you should watch: Efes’ dynamic backcourt of Shane Larkin and Rodrigue Beaubois faces off against their former Baskonia teammates. And for a revenge factor on the opposite side, new Baskonia coach Velimir Perasovic — who was fired last December by Efes — is hoping to lead Baskonia back into the playoff picture. There’s also a great matchup at center between Efes’ Bryant Dunston and Baskonia’s Vincent Poirier.

3. Barcelona (6-3) vs Fenerbahce (8-1)

Friday Nov. 30 (3 PM ET)

Why you should watch: These are two of the hottest teams in EuroLeague, as Barcelona have won six of seven, while Fenerbahce are riding a five-game winning streak. There are great matchups at point guard (Thomas Heurtel and Kevin Pangos vs Kostas Sloukas and Bobby Dixon) and center (Ante Tomic vs Jan Vesely).


Austin Green is an international journalist and scout covering EuroLeague and NBA prospects in Europe and Australia. You can follow him on Twitter @LosCrossovers.

Makur Maker Taking A New Path, Hoping To Set HBCU Trend

Makur Maker became the first five-star recruit to commit to an HBCU.

Create a free account to unlock this article!

Get Started

Already a subscriber?  Log In

Jarrell Brantley, Devontae Cacok Collect NBA G League Honors

Former Colonial Athletic Association standouts Jarrell Brantley (College of Charleston) and Devontae Cacok (UNCW) were each named to the All-NBA G League First-Team and the G League’s All-Rookie Team, the league announced on Friday.

Create a free account to unlock this article!

Get Started

Already a subscriber?  Log In

Euroleague Announces 2020-21 Season

null

Create a free account to unlock this video!

Get Started

Already a subscriber?  Log In

In May, it was announced that the Euroleague and Eurocup seasons would be cancelled. 

Create a free account to unlock this article!

Get Started

Already a subscriber?  Log In

CAA Announces All Teams Will Compete In 2020-21 Conference Tournaments

The Colonial Athletic Association will provide every team in every sport the opportunity to participate in their respective conference tournaments during the 2020‐21 season as the league announced its championships schedule on Tuesday.

We Stand With You

The events of the last week have been tremendously painful to us all.

Create a free account to unlock this article!

Get Started

Already a subscriber?  Log In

2019-20 EuroLeague and EuroCup Seasons Cancelled

The Euroleague Commercial Assets Shareholders Executive Board met remotely on Monday, May 25, for the fourth time since the season was suspended on March 12 due to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) global pandemic.

Create a free account to unlock this article!

Get Started

Already a subscriber?  Log In

Youth Sports Leaders Form PLAY Sports Coalition

400+ youth sports leaders join forces to form the PLAY Sports Coalition to support young athletes through COVID-19.

Create a free account to unlock this article!

Get Started

Already a subscriber?  Log In

PacWest & FloSports Announce 3-Year Partnership

null

Create a free account to unlock this video!

Get Started

Already a subscriber?  Log In

FloSports Acquires Streaming Rights To Complete Basketball and Volleyball Seasons Across The Conference’s 11 Member Institutions In California And Hawaii 

Create a free account to unlock this article!

Get Started

Already a subscriber?  Log In

2020 Cayman Islands Classic Returns To FloHoops For Second Year In A Row

FloSports, the innovator in live sports streaming and original content, and Caymax Sports Ltd. announced that the 2020 Cayman Islands Classic will once again return to FloSports for the second consecutive year and third year overall. The highly regarded preseason tournament will be broadcast on FloHoops November 23-25 and will showcase all 12-games across the three-day event.

Create a free account to unlock this article!

Get Started

Already a subscriber?  Log In

COVID-19 Might End The Age Of Skyrocketing NCAA Expense Sheets

Ten billion, three hundred fifty-seven million, one hundred forty-nine thousand, fifty-one dollars. 

Create a free account to unlock this article!

Get Started

Already a subscriber?  Log In