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JWalk126
10-19-2009, 02:20 PM
Team Euroleague Preview
Source: Euroleague (http://www.euroleague.net/news/i/58894/180) (Click for team roster and Player Focus on Nick Calathes)

Fresh off its fifth crown in just 14 years, Panathinaikos is without doubt the most successful team of the modern Euroleague era. Even so, the Greens enter the 2009-10 season with some unfinished business, as they aim for one of the few accomplishments that has eluded their grasp so far: back-to-back continental titles. There is no reason to doubt that the Greens can claim the distinction of repeat champions. Zeljko Obradovic, the winningest head coach in European basketball history, has all his stars back and a couple talented newcomers to complement them. Starting with current and former Final Four MVPs Vassilis Spanoulis, Dimitris Diamantidis and Sarunas Jasikevicius, Panathinaikos has as much talent, know-how and experience in the backcourt as a team could possibly want. They are joined on the perimeter by returning starters Drew Nicholas and Stelios Perperoglou. In the frontcourt, the same wealth of experience continues with All-Euroleague center Nikola Pekovic teaming up with two-time champs Antonis Fotsis, Mike Batiste and Kostas Tsartsaris. Although the latter two begin the season injured, as does Jasikevicius, any way you look at it, Panathinaikos is loaded for another run at the title. That's especially true considering the backcourt additions of proven Euroleague contributor Milenko Tepic and promising rookie Nick Calathes, not to mention a second season with the Greens for big man Giorgi Shermandini, all three looking to fight their way into the rotation. All that depth of skill doesn't speak enough to what makes the Greens contenders in each and every season, a desire instilled by Obradovic to be the best, and this season, to re-double their efforts so they hold onto the Euroleague trophy.

A five-time winner of the Euroleague Best Defender award and former All-Euroleague First Team guard, Diamantidis stands out as a defensive anchor, guarding up to three positions, whenever he takes the floor. But if he's better known for his defense, his ever-improving offensive game and ball control have made Diamantidis a threat at both ends of the court. Spanoulis is the epitome of the modern combo-guard, a player who creates shots for himself and others. With his great first step and solid jumper, he became the go-to guy for Panathinaikos in the Final Four and shows no signs of stopping that role anytime soon. Jasikevicius is the winningest active player in the Euroleague, with four crowns, a tribute to his leadership and desire, not to mention his passing and shooting. His health will determine how much of that he brings to the Panathinaikos repeat try this season. Nicholas is a former Alphonso Ford Top Scorer Trophy winner who fit in to the Panathinaikos system perfectly in his first season last year. Though his scoring dipped in a new role, his effectiveness did not. What made that foursome so special was how they came together to fill their separate roles to perfection in leading the Greens to the title. Tepic and Calathes hope to fit in just as well this season. Tepic has the size of a small forward, the shooting range of a scoring guard and the court vision of a point guard, skills that could see him thrive at Panathinaikos. Calathes, a rookie, already debuted with the Greek national team, showing himself to be a natural floor general who knows how to get to the basket.

Perperoglou was the starting small forward last season and took advantage by improving in nearly every statistical category. A good floor runner, post-up player and defender, he can also hit open shots from deep. Fotsis is a classic mismatch with the height of a center and the shooting range of a guard, and tends to play his best when the games matter most late in the season. Batiste and Pekovic form an incredible one-two punch in the pivot. As two of the strongest low-post players in the game, they are nearly automatic with the ball in the paint and both tend to favor rim-rattling dunks that rev up the home crowd. Kostas Tsartsaris will miss the start of the season with a hand injury, but when he returns, the veteran big man will bring with him experience, a long-range shot and rebounding. Young Giorgi Shermadini - all 2.16 meters of him - hopes to get his chance to prove himself this season, while teenage power forward Giorgos Bogris will gain experience. Panathinaikos knows from experience how difficult it can be to repeat as Euroleague champion, but armed with that knowledge and Obradovic's genius for motivating players and managing games, the Greens will certainly knock at the door of European basketball history again this season.

bigsams50
10-23-2009, 03:48 AM
I see there not any Panathinaikos fans here lol. Oh well im one, LETS GET THE SEASON STARTED!!!! GO PAO!!!

JWalk126
10-23-2009, 06:52 AM
we have one, but he stopped posting

BLooDShoT_GrK
11-04-2009, 03:44 PM
Panathinaikara file

JWalk126
11-04-2009, 03:46 PM
I'm not 100% sure what that means, but my 1st guess is that it's not good