The Assist: Aggregated News and Notes – Thursday, Oct. 30, 2014

Because covering 18 teams by myself is really freakin' hard

Graphic by Niklaas Dumroese (@niklaasdumroese)

The Assist will be a regular feature here at LosCrossovers.com for the following reasons:

  1. I can’t possibly provide comprehensive coverage of the entire league by myself, as I so bluntly noted in the subhead.
  2. Other people do good work, and I wouldn’t want to deprive you of an opportunity to see something cool and informative just because I didn’t create it.
  3. Other people like being recognized for their good work.

With that in mind, let’s get to the first edition. Since I’ve been reading and watching some great ACB coverage — but not publishing — I’m going to pull from the past a little more than usual on this one. Enjoy.

Rob Scott of EuroleagueAdventures.com published an excellent piece on October 7 about UCAM Murcia, the ACB’s most pleasant surprise thus far. Despite a below-average budget and a history of mediocrity, Murcia has jumped out to a 3-1 start, including an opening night win over European powerhouse Valencia. Last week, they blew out a talented (but woefully underachieving) Sevilla team 98-68.

“(E)ven if UCAM doesn’t match their coach’s former team in a march to the playoffs, it’s heartening and encouraging to see a team near the bottom of the budget table use their money cleverly, and put out an exciting, watchable team. This depth of talent is why the ACB remains Europe’s number one domestic league, despite all of the economic problems afflicting the sport.” – Rob Scott

One of the main catalysts behind Murcia’s success is newly acquired Brazilian point guard Raul Neto. Here he is throwing a gorgeous one-handed pass on Sunday to fellow Rio native Augusto Lima, courtesy of the ACB’s official Twitter account.

Neto was drafted by the Atlanta Hawks with the 47th overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft, but the Hawks soon traded his rights to the Utah Jazz. If he continues his strong play, he could head overseas soon.

Not to be outdone by the young Brazilian, veteran Barcelona point guard Marcelinho Huertas delivered this beautiful between-the-legs bounce pass to Ante Tomic on Sunday. Video courtesy of the ACB’s official YouTube page.

Former NBA player and Grantland punching bag Sasha Vujacic is the newest member of Laboral Kutxa Baskonia, officially joining the team on Tuesday, Oct. 28. From Euroleague.net:

“Vujacic (2.01 meters, 30 years old) arrives from Reyer Venezia Mestre of the Italian League, where he was averaging 11 points through five games this season. Vujacic played two seasons for Anadolu Efes Istanbul in the Turkish Airlines Euroleague from 2011 to 2013. He averaged 9.1 points, 3 rebounds and 1 assist in 24 games in 2012-13 with Efes. Vujacic also has solid NBA experience as he played with the Los Angeles Lakers that won back-to-back titles in 2009 and 2010.”

You can check out the photo gallery from Vujacic’s introductory press conference on Baskonia’s official flikr account.

To wrap up the first edition of The Assist, I leave you with this video from Piti Hurtado. It features highlights of Barcelona’s 21-year-old star Alex Abrines and his father Gabriel, a prominent ACB player in the ’80s and ’90s.

The younger Abrines, whose rights are owned by the NBA’s Oklahoma City Thunder, is a nightmare for opposing defenders. He is adept at creating space off the ball, and he has been automatic on three-pointers this season.

Through the first four ACB games this year, Abrines has hit 11 of his 14 shots from beyond the arc (78.57%). He’s averaging 11.8 points in just 21 minutes per game for first-place Barcelona.

Austin Green runs LosCrossovers.com from Madrid, Spain with the occasional help of his friends and colleagues.

@LosCrossovers

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