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The DraftExpress Daily
       
  Monday, March 27, 2006

Euro Roundup: Goran Dragic’s Stock on the Rise
By Luis Fernández

An href=/profile//> impressive href=/profile//> performance href=/profile//> by href=/profile//> Goran href=/profile//> Dragic href=/profile//> in href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> Adriatic href=/profile//> League href=/profile//> this href=/profile//> past href=/profile//> weekend. href=/profile//> Leading href=/profile//> Geoplin href=/profile//> Slovan href=/profile//> to href=/profile//> an href=/profile//> overtime href=/profile//> victory href=/profile//> over href=/profile//> a href=/profile//> Euroleague href=/profile//> Top-16 href=/profile//> team href=/profile//> in href=/profile//> Cibona href=/profile//> Zagreb, href=/profile//> he href=/profile//> amassed href=/profile//> 26 href=/profile//> points, href=/profile//> 10 href=/profile//> rebounds, href=/profile//> 5 href=/profile//> assists href=/profile//> and href=/profile//> 4 href=/profile//> steals. href=/profile//> Watch href=/profile//> out href=/profile//> for href=/profile//> this href=/profile//> kid; href=/profile//> his href=/profile//> stock href=/profile//> might href=/profile//> rise href=/profile//> quickly href=/profile//> in href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> following href=/profile//> weeks. href=/profile//> Indeed, href=/profile//> it href=/profile//> has href=/profile//> already href=/profile//> rumored href=/profile//> that href=/profile//> Real href=/profile//> Madrid href=/profile//> is href=/profile//> interested href=/profile//> in href=/profile//> signing href=/profile//> him.

Yotam href=/profile//> Halperin href=/profile//> filled href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> stat href=/profile//> sheet href=/profile//> again href=/profile//> with href=/profile//> 18 href=/profile//> points, href=/profile//> 3 href=/profile//> rebounds href=/profile//> and href=/profile//> 3 href=/profile//> assists href=/profile//> in href=/profile//> Olimpija’s href=/profile//> loss href=/profile//> against href=/profile//> Partizan. href=/profile//> However, href=/profile//> his href=/profile//> numbers href=/profile//> are href=/profile//> usually href=/profile//> better href=/profile//> than href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> impression href=/profile//> he href=/profile//> leaves. href=/profile//> Our href=/profile//> Balkan href=/profile//> scout href=/profile//> Kristian href=/profile//> Hohnjec href=/profile//> shares href=/profile//> his href=/profile//> point href=/profile//> of href=/profile//> view href=/profile//> on href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> Israeli href=/profile//> guard: href=/profile//> I’m href=/profile//> more href=/profile//> and href=/profile//> more href=/profile//> concerned href=/profile//> with href=/profile//> his href=/profile//> speed, href=/profile//> is href=/profile//> he href=/profile//> fast href=/profile//> enough href=/profile//> for href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> NBA? href=/profile//> He href=/profile//> can’t href=/profile//> run href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> team href=/profile//> effectively href=/profile//> (with href=/profile//> these href=/profile//> kind href=/profile//> of href=/profile//> players href=/profile//> around href=/profile//> him, href=/profile//> I’m href=/profile//> not href=/profile//> sure href=/profile//> if href=/profile//> even href=/profile//> Steve href=/profile//> Nash href=/profile//> could, href=/profile//> but href=/profile//> still), href=/profile//> and href=/profile//> he href=/profile//> lacks href=/profile//> intensity href=/profile//> on href=/profile//> defense href=/profile//> and href=/profile//> leadership href=/profile//> ability href=/profile//> (he href=/profile//> should href=/profile//> have href=/profile//> really href=/profile//> stepped href=/profile//> up href=/profile//> with href=/profile//> Rannikko href=/profile//> and href=/profile//> Johnson href=/profile//> out href=/profile//> of href=/profile//> game). href=/profile//> When href=/profile//> guarded href=/profile//> by href=/profile//> Vonteego href=/profile//> Cummings href=/profile//> he href=/profile//> couldn’t href=/profile//> get href=/profile//> into href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> lane href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> way href=/profile//> he href=/profile//> usually href=/profile//> does.

In href=/profile//> Greece, href=/profile//> Dusan href=/profile//> Sakota href=/profile//> had href=/profile//> a href=/profile//> monster href=/profile//> scoring href=/profile//> performance href=/profile//> in href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> 19 href=/profile//> minutes href=/profile//> he href=/profile//> spent href=/profile//> on href=/profile//> court. href=/profile//> He href=/profile//> netted href=/profile//> 28 href=/profile//> points href=/profile//> (11/13 href=/profile//> FG; href=/profile//> 5/7 href=/profile//> 3P) href=/profile//> and href=/profile//> added href=/profile//> 4 href=/profile//> rebounds href=/profile//> in href=/profile//> a href=/profile//> very href=/profile//> comfortable href=/profile//> victory href=/profile//> for href=/profile//> Panathinaikos href=/profile//> against href=/profile//> Kolossos href=/profile//> Rhodes. href=/profile//> Meanwhile, href=/profile//> Loukas href=/profile//> Mavrokefalidis href=/profile//> contributed href=/profile//> to href=/profile//> PAOK’s href=/profile//> victory href=/profile//> over href=/profile//> Olympia href=/profile//> Hal.Kalari href=/profile//> with href=/profile//> 20 href=/profile//> points href=/profile//> and href=/profile//> 8 href=/profile//> rebounds.

Marco href=/profile//> Belinelli href=/profile//> is href=/profile//> everyday href=/profile//> more href=/profile//> of href=/profile//> a href=/profile//> reality href=/profile//> in href=/profile//> Europe. href=/profile//> This href=/profile//> week, href=/profile//> he href=/profile//> scored href=/profile//> 16 href=/profile//> points href=/profile//> over href=/profile//> Maccabi href=/profile//> Tel href=/profile//> Aviv, href=/profile//> although href=/profile//> Climamio href=/profile//> Bologna href=/profile//> couldn’t href=/profile//> beat href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> current href=/profile//> Euroleague href=/profile//> champions. href=/profile//> His href=/profile//> team href=/profile//> had href=/profile//> better href=/profile//> luck href=/profile//> in href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> domestic href=/profile//> competition href=/profile//> against href=/profile//> Lottomatica href=/profile//> Roma. href=/profile//> Carlo href=/profile//> Sandrinelli href=/profile//> brings href=/profile//> us href=/profile//> a href=/profile//> look href=/profile//> at href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> Italian href=/profile//> league, href=/profile//> starting href=/profile//> precisely href=/profile//> with href=/profile//> Belinelli.

Marco href=/profile//> was href=/profile//> once href=/profile//> again href=/profile//> decisive href=/profile//> in href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> crucial href=/profile//> moments href=/profile//> of href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> game, href=/profile//> hitting href=/profile//> 3-pointers href=/profile//> at href=/profile//> perfect href=/profile//> moments href=/profile//> with href=/profile//> a href=/profile//> good href=/profile//> sense href=/profile//> of href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> drama. href=/profile//> His href=/profile//> ability href=/profile//> to href=/profile//> hit href=/profile//> off href=/profile//> screens href=/profile//> and/or href=/profile//> off href=/profile//> balance href=/profile//> shots href=/profile//> seems href=/profile//> to href=/profile//> be href=/profile//> getting href=/profile//> better href=/profile//> and href=/profile//> better. href=/profile//> His href=/profile//> duel href=/profile//> against href=/profile//> David href=/profile//> Hawkins href=/profile//> was href=/profile//> entertaining href=/profile//> on href=/profile//> both href=/profile//> ends href=/profile//> of href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> floor, href=/profile//> and href=/profile//> even href=/profile//> though href=/profile//> Rome's href=/profile//> SG href=/profile//> scored href=/profile//> 27, href=/profile//> Belinelli's href=/profile//> defense href=/profile//> on href=/profile//> him href=/profile//> was href=/profile//> pretty href=/profile//> good.

While href=/profile//> he href=/profile//> mostly href=/profile//> settled href=/profile//> for href=/profile//> perimeter href=/profile//> looks, href=/profile//> it's href=/profile//> interesting href=/profile//> to href=/profile//> note href=/profile//> that, href=/profile//> this href=/profile//> time, href=/profile//> he href=/profile//> played href=/profile//> some href=/profile//> minutes href=/profile//> as href=/profile//> a href=/profile//> pure href=/profile//> PG, href=/profile//> and href=/profile//> - href=/profile//> especially href=/profile//> in href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> 3rd href=/profile//> quarter href=/profile//> - href=/profile//> he href=/profile//> showed href=/profile//> very href=/profile//> nice href=/profile//> court href=/profile//> vision href=/profile//> and href=/profile//> passing href=/profile//> skills href=/profile//> when href=/profile//> driving href=/profile//> and href=/profile//> dishing. href=/profile//> Most href=/profile//> of href=/profile//> his href=/profile//> 5 href=/profile//> assists href=/profile//> came href=/profile//> this href=/profile//> way. href=/profile//> He href=/profile//> didn't href=/profile//> have href=/profile//> any href=/profile//> problem href=/profile//> even href=/profile//> against href=/profile//> pressure, href=/profile//> and href=/profile//> proved href=/profile//> that, href=/profile//> offensively, href=/profile//> he href=/profile//> can href=/profile//> play href=/profile//> that href=/profile//> position href=/profile//> at href=/profile//> this href=/profile//> level.

Finally, href=/profile//> week href=/profile//> after href=/profile//> week href=/profile//> he's href=/profile//> showing href=/profile//> more href=/profile//> and href=/profile//> more href=/profile//> leadership href=/profile//> attitude, href=/profile//> talking href=/profile//> with href=/profile//> teammates href=/profile//> and href=/profile//> referees, href=/profile//> and href=/profile//> his href=/profile//> status href=/profile//> in href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> Italian href=/profile//> League href=/profile//> has href=/profile//> changed. href=/profile//> Now, href=/profile//> opponents' href=/profile//> coaches href=/profile//> and href=/profile//> players href=/profile//> consider href=/profile//> him href=/profile//> a href=/profile//> star, href=/profile//> and href=/profile//> not href=/profile//> just href=/profile//> as href=/profile//> a href=/profile//> promising href=/profile//> kid href=/profile//> anymore. href=/profile//> Even href=/profile//> on href=/profile//> his href=/profile//> team href=/profile//> lately href=/profile//> he's href=/profile//> having href=/profile//> way href=/profile//> more href=/profile//> offensive href=/profile//> looks href=/profile//> than href=/profile//> in href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> past. href=/profile//> His href=/profile//> statline: href=/profile//> 18 href=/profile//> points href=/profile//> on href=/profile//> a href=/profile//> 6/12 href=/profile//> shooting href=/profile//> (5/10 href=/profile//> on href=/profile//> treys), href=/profile//> just href=/profile//> 1/4 href=/profile//> on href=/profile//> FTs href=/profile//> and href=/profile//> 5 href=/profile//> assists, href=/profile//> playing href=/profile//> 31 href=/profile//> minutes.

In href=/profile//> Biella’s href=/profile//> easy href=/profile//> win href=/profile//> over href=/profile//> Capo href=/profile//> d'Orlando, href=/profile//> Thabo href=/profile//> Sefolosha href=/profile//> had href=/profile//> another href=/profile//> great href=/profile//> game, href=/profile//> as href=/profile//> he href=/profile//> filled href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> whole href=/profile//> statsheet href=/profile//> with href=/profile//> 22 href=/profile//> points, href=/profile//> 6 href=/profile//> rebounds, href=/profile//> 6 href=/profile//> assists, href=/profile//> 3 href=/profile//> blocks href=/profile//> and href=/profile//> 2 href=/profile//> steals. href=/profile//> He href=/profile//> had href=/profile//> an href=/profile//> excellent href=/profile//> 4/6 href=/profile//> from href=/profile//> outside href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> arc, href=/profile//> and href=/profile//> many href=/profile//> people href=/profile//> are href=/profile//> talking href=/profile//> about href=/profile//> this href=/profile//> being href=/profile//> his href=/profile//> last href=/profile//> season href=/profile//> in href=/profile//> Europe.

Benetton href=/profile//> won href=/profile//> very href=/profile//> easily href=/profile//> against href=/profile//> Roseto href=/profile//> (which href=/profile//> had href=/profile//> very href=/profile//> few href=/profile//> active href=/profile//> players, href=/profile//> especially href=/profile//> after href=/profile//> Luis href=/profile//> Flores href=/profile//> left href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> team). href=/profile//> Andrea href=/profile//> Bargnani href=/profile//> had href=/profile//> 9 href=/profile//> points href=/profile//> (4/9 href=/profile//> shooting href=/profile//> with href=/profile//> 1/2 href=/profile//> on href=/profile//> 3FG), href=/profile//> 4 href=/profile//> rebounds, href=/profile//> 3 href=/profile//> blocks href=/profile//> and href=/profile//> 3 href=/profile//> steals href=/profile//> in href=/profile//> 23 href=/profile//> minutes. href=/profile//> It's href=/profile//> not href=/profile//> very href=/profile//> impressive, href=/profile//> but href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> game href=/profile//> was href=/profile//> practically href=/profile//> over href=/profile//> after href=/profile//> a href=/profile//> few href=/profile//> minutes href=/profile//> into href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> 2nd href=/profile//> quarter, href=/profile//> and href=/profile//> Bargnani href=/profile//> has href=/profile//> never href=/profile//> been href=/profile//> a href=/profile//> garbage-time href=/profile//> performer.


Even href=/profile//> when href=/profile//> talking href=/profile//> about href=/profile//> some href=/profile//> of href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> most href=/profile//> consistent href=/profile//> international href=/profile//> prospects, href=/profile//> it href=/profile//> wouldn’t href=/profile//> be href=/profile//> logical href=/profile//> to href=/profile//> expect href=/profile//> consistently href=/profile//> excellent href=/profile//> performances href=/profile//> every href=/profile//> single href=/profile//> game href=/profile//> by href=/profile//> guys href=/profile//> who href=/profile//> are href=/profile//> still href=/profile//> young href=/profile//> and href=/profile//> not href=/profile//> completely href=/profile//> mature. href=/profile//> Tiago href=/profile//> Splitter href=/profile//> hit href=/profile//> some href=/profile//> kind href=/profile//> of href=/profile//> a href=/profile//> wall href=/profile//> after href=/profile//> shining href=/profile//> in href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> King’s href=/profile//> Cup. href=/profile//> He href=/profile//> played href=/profile//> poorly href=/profile//> in href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> Top-16, href=/profile//> suffering href=/profile//> tough href=/profile//> matchups href=/profile//> (for href=/profile//> example, href=/profile//> a href=/profile//> NBA href=/profile//> type href=/profile//> of href=/profile//> player href=/profile//> such href=/profile//> as href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> Spurs-draftee href=/profile//> Robertas href=/profile//> Javtokas) href=/profile//> and href=/profile//> a href=/profile//> small href=/profile//> injury href=/profile//> that href=/profile//> forced href=/profile//> him href=/profile//> to href=/profile//> miss href=/profile//> a href=/profile//> game href=/profile//> also href=/profile//> hasn’t href=/profile//> helped. href=/profile//> This href=/profile//> last href=/profile//> weekend href=/profile//> he href=/profile//> had href=/profile//> a href=/profile//> good href=/profile//> chance href=/profile//> to href=/profile//> get href=/profile//> back href=/profile//> to href=/profile//> his href=/profile//> usual href=/profile//> production href=/profile//> playing href=/profile//> against href=/profile//> Breogan, href=/profile//> a href=/profile//> team href=/profile//> that href=/profile//> lacks href=/profile//> size href=/profile//> in href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> paint. href=/profile//> He href=/profile//> didn’t href=/profile//> waste href=/profile//> it, href=/profile//> delivering href=/profile//> 17 href=/profile//> points href=/profile//> and href=/profile//> 7 href=/profile//> rebounds, href=/profile//> helping href=/profile//> Tau href=/profile//> Vitoria href=/profile//> to href=/profile//> get href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> win href=/profile//> while href=/profile//> staying href=/profile//> on href=/profile//> court href=/profile//> for href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> entire href=/profile//> game href=/profile//> except href=/profile//> for href=/profile//> two href=/profile//> minutes.

Who href=/profile//> seems href=/profile//> to href=/profile//> have href=/profile//> left href=/profile//> behind href=/profile//> his href=/profile//> particular href=/profile//> season href=/profile//> slump href=/profile//> (a href=/profile//> small href=/profile//> one href=/profile//> anyway) href=/profile//> is href=/profile//> Rudy href=/profile//> Fernández. href=/profile//> He href=/profile//> enjoyed href=/profile//> another href=/profile//> excellent href=/profile//> week href=/profile//> with href=/profile//> a href=/profile//> victory href=/profile//> in href=/profile//> Valladolid href=/profile//> against href=/profile//> Forum, href=/profile//> leading href=/profile//> DKV href=/profile//> Joventut href=/profile//> with href=/profile//> 17 href=/profile//> points, href=/profile//> 7 href=/profile//> rebounds href=/profile//> and href=/profile//> 3 href=/profile//> assists.

For href=/profile//> Sergio href=/profile//> Rodríguez, href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> word href=/profile//> consistency href=/profile//> has href=/profile//> been href=/profile//> meaningless href=/profile//> so href=/profile//> far href=/profile//> this href=/profile//> season. href=/profile//> It’s href=/profile//> been href=/profile//> always href=/profile//> ups href=/profile//> and href=/profile//> downs, href=/profile//> like href=/profile//> a href=/profile//> rollercoaster. href=/profile//> Last href=/profile//> weekend, href=/profile//> it href=/profile//> was href=/profile//> an href=/profile//> ‘up’ href=/profile//> one. href=/profile//> He href=/profile//> had href=/profile//> 12 href=/profile//> points, href=/profile//> 3 href=/profile//> rebounds, href=/profile//> 8 href=/profile//> assists href=/profile//> and href=/profile//> 2 href=/profile//> steals href=/profile//> while href=/profile//> playing href=/profile//> a href=/profile//> season-high href=/profile//> 29 href=/profile//> minutes href=/profile//> in href=/profile//> Adecco href=/profile//> Estudiantes’ href=/profile//> victory href=/profile//> over href=/profile//> Ricoh href=/profile//> Manresa. href=/profile//> Let’s href=/profile//> hope href=/profile//> it href=/profile//> lasts.

In href=/profile//> Russia, href=/profile//> Nikita href=/profile//> Shabalkin href=/profile//> delivered href=/profile//> his href=/profile//> steady href=/profile//> game href=/profile//> twice href=/profile//> last href=/profile//> week. href=/profile//> He href=/profile//> had href=/profile//> 15 href=/profile//> points href=/profile//> and href=/profile//> 8 href=/profile//> rebounds href=/profile//> coming href=/profile//> off href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> bench href=/profile//> in href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> victory href=/profile//> against href=/profile//> Lokomotiv href=/profile//> Rostov, href=/profile//> and href=/profile//> improved href=/profile//> as href=/profile//> a href=/profile//> starter href=/profile//> for href=/profile//> Samara href=/profile//> with href=/profile//> 16 href=/profile//> points, href=/profile//> 9 href=/profile//> rebounds, href=/profile//> 2 href=/profile//> assists href=/profile//> and href=/profile//> 3 href=/profile//> steals, href=/profile//> although href=/profile//> Dynamo href=/profile//> Moscow href=/profile//> was href=/profile//> too href=/profile//> hard href=/profile//> to href=/profile//> beat.

Mirza href=/profile//> Teletovic href=/profile//> had href=/profile//> 18 href=/profile//> points href=/profile//> and href=/profile//> 6 href=/profile//> rebounds href=/profile//> in href=/profile//> Telindus href=/profile//> Oostende’s href=/profile//> victory href=/profile//> over href=/profile//> Euphony href=/profile//> Bree href=/profile//> in href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> Belgium href=/profile//> league.

Let’s href=/profile//> finish href=/profile//> with href=/profile//> a href=/profile//> kid href=/profile//> that href=/profile//> has href=/profile//> received href=/profile//> next href=/profile//> to href=/profile//> no href=/profile//> hype href=/profile//> so href=/profile//> far href=/profile//> in href=/profile//> his href=/profile//> career. href=/profile//> His href=/profile//> name href=/profile//> is href=/profile//> Mantas href=/profile//> Kalnietis, href=/profile//> and href=/profile//> he’s href=/profile//> a href=/profile//> 6-5 href=/profile//> Lithuanian href=/profile//> point href=/profile//> guard, href=/profile//> born href=/profile//> in href=/profile//> 1986 href=/profile//> and href=/profile//> playing href=/profile//> for href=/profile//> powerhouse href=/profile//> Zalgiris href=/profile//> Kaunas. href=/profile//> Enjoying href=/profile//> a href=/profile//> nice href=/profile//> development href=/profile//> in href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> last href=/profile//> two href=/profile//> seasons href=/profile//> while href=/profile//> playing href=/profile//> in href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> Lithuanian href=/profile//> second href=/profile//> division, href=/profile//> he’s href=/profile//> now href=/profile//> having href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> chance href=/profile//> to href=/profile//> show href=/profile//> his href=/profile//> game href=/profile//> with href=/profile//> Zalgiris’ href=/profile//> first href=/profile//> team. href=/profile//> This href=/profile//> week’s href=/profile//> Euroleague href=/profile//> game href=/profile//> against href=/profile//> Unicaja href=/profile//> Málaga href=/profile//> was href=/profile//> a href=/profile//> perfect href=/profile//> opportunity href=/profile//> for href=/profile//> him, href=/profile//> since href=/profile//> both href=/profile//> teams href=/profile//> were href=/profile//> already href=/profile//> out href=/profile//> of href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> competition. href=/profile//> Mantas href=/profile//> came href=/profile//> off href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> bench href=/profile//> like href=/profile//> fresh href=/profile//> air href=/profile//> when href=/profile//> Zalgiris href=/profile//> was href=/profile//> suffering href=/profile//> an href=/profile//> overdose href=/profile//> of href=/profile//> apathy, href=/profile//> and href=/profile//> he href=/profile//> sparked href=/profile//> his href=/profile//> team href=/profile//> to href=/profile//> come href=/profile//> back href=/profile//> in href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> score href=/profile//> and href=/profile//> at href=/profile//> least href=/profile//> fight href=/profile//> for href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> victory. href=/profile//> Kalnietis href=/profile//> had href=/profile//> 15 href=/profile//> points, href=/profile//> 3 href=/profile//> rebounds, href=/profile//> 3 href=/profile//> assists href=/profile//> and href=/profile//> 2 href=/profile//> steals, href=/profile//> showing href=/profile//> promise href=/profile//> with href=/profile//> his href=/profile//> athleticism href=/profile//> and href=/profile//> skills. href=/profile//> Stay href=/profile//> tuned href=/profile//> for href=/profile//> an href=/profile//> upcoming href=/profile//> in-depth href=/profile//> report href=/profile//> on href=/profile//> this href=/profile//> intriguing href=/profile//> kid.

 
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