Sarunas Jasikevicius has finally signed for a team. The legendary point guard made a return to his first professional club – Lietuvos Rytas. He signed a contract till the end of the season. 34-year-old Lithuanian star has been unemployed since his contract with Panathinaikos expired in summer.
Once you’ve come down from your college basketball high, take a moment and peer into those Division I athletes’ possible futures: European basketball. With over 1,000 alums—or at least one-time attendees—getting pay for play, European squads collectively represent one of the most likely employers for college ballers who can’t cut it in the NBA or don’t have the stomach for the D-League. One of those guys is a man named Sarunas Jasikevicius who played for Gary Williams at Maryland before returning to Europe and making himself a legend. Now at age 34, he has an opportunity to return to his original team, Lietuvos Rytas of Vilnius, Lithuania, and turn their season around.
In this week’s edition, a referee – not Bamberg shotmaker Brian Roberts – goes a step too far, we look for the tallest and smallest teams in the league, another young Greek makes an impression but this time he wears green, we look at an amazing road win for Zalgiris and there’s a tiny little diagram that displays Euroleague’s minutes played by continent/country.
Mirza Begic is leading the league in blocks, Paulius Jankunas has pulled down more rebounds than anyone outside of Randal Falker and Martynas Pocius might as well prop up a tent on the free throw line, as he runs through his routine an EL-leading 8 times per game. They spread out the minutes, bring fresh bodies off the bench three and four at a time and grind you down to nothing through physical, attacking basketball. Their early efforts have been rewarded with a 3-1 record and the all important Group A road win over Caja Laboral, who tried to finesse themselves through a brick wall and failed miserably. So where does that leave them in the Hierarchy? See for yourselves
Siauliai couldn’t start their European campaign with a win losing the opening Eurocup group game 76-97 (16-22, 18-21, 21-32, 21-22) to the Montenegrin champions Buducnost Podgorica at home in Lithuania.
Ricky Harris had a team-high 15 points for the hosts, Vytautas Sarakauskas added 14 as David Weaver also finished in double-digits having collected 10 points. Arvydas Cepulis chipped in with 8 points and Edvinas Ruzgas added 7 of his own.
Marko Simonovic drained 4-of-9 from beyond the arc to bring his point tally to 23 points, Marko Scekic added a double-double worth 22 points and 11 boards as the Lithuanian guard Gintaras Kadziulis finished the game with 12 points for Buducnost.
MIAMI — This is a scene that rarely plays out in the NBA. A coach tells a player he’s moving into the starting lineup. The player looks down, in disappointment. The coach has to tell him: “Hey, I’m not really asking your opinion. We need it as a team.”
But that’s what happened between Erik Spoelstra and veteran center Zydrunas Ilgauskas before Saturday’s shootaround.
And what happened that night – Ilgauskas scoring 12 points in a 109-100 win against the outmanned Toronto Raptors – means that Ilgauskas won’t get his way anytime soon.
‘Most impressive? Sonny Weems and his 60% true shooting percentage. Linas Kleiza, while only playing two games this week, still has a dismal 7.9 PER. Yes, Jamario Moon ranks higher. His true shooting percentage is near the bottom on this team and his assist percentage (especially given high usage %) continues to tell us he’s not moving the ball enough. It’s early in the season, but has anyone else noticed we play much stronger as a TEAM with Kleiza out of the lineup? I have no backup for this comment, but I propose a team without an all-star needs rebounding, hustle plays and ball movement in order to be competitive.