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Can Fenerbahce get back into the right track

   Can Fenerbahce get back into the right track

November 28, 2019


The previous year was fairly successful for fans of Fenerbahce. The team finished top of the Euroleague's group table with 25 wins and only 5 losses and had a Point Difference of +267. However, this year it is not going so well for the team. After just 8 games they managed to lose more than for the entire run of the previous seasons' group stage. The current record stands at 3 wins and 7 losses. Let us try to figure out why is it going so horrendously wrong for the Turkish team this year.

First thing first, new signing Nando De Colo has nothing to do with the team results suffering. He is playing on average 30 min per game, converts 63.2% from 2 points range, 60% from beyond the arc and has whooping 96.3% from the free-throw line.

To couple it with 2.6 assists per game and overall 22 PIR it is absolutely clear that Nando is still clutch, even though if he is no longer the athlete who once was a long shot for NBA MVP.

However, the same cannot be said about Luigi Datome who had his numbers declined compared to the previous year. Currently, he has a 39% from mid-range, 36% from beyond the arc, 3.3 PIR. Compared to the previous year 54% 2pt, 41% from 3pt and 8.5 PIR.

Similarly, Kalinic Nikola who had a breakthrough last year season with 53.1% mid-range, 39.8% 3pt, 10.5 PIR while this year he is managing 42.3% 2pt, 33.3% 3pt and 5.4 PIR. Considering that many experts expected him to take a leadership role in the 2019-2020 season we are yet to see him perform well under pressure.

While Kostas Sloukas is still keeping his assists average on par at 5.2 per game his overall shooting percentages and efficiency are down: 34.1% from mid-range, 38.5% from 3pt line and 10.3 PIR during this year, compared to 58% from 2pt, 44.9% from 3pt and 15.4 PIR. And we all know that if shooting guard has trouble converting his shots more attention can be shifted towards players without the ball. Thus, even further hurting overall teams’ shots conversion rate.

It is also can't be left unnoticed that a promising talent of Marko Gudiric, who has left the team to play in NBA for Memphis Grizzlies, is missed greatly.  He had a staggering 62.9% conversion rate from mid-range, solid 47.7% from beyond the arc and 10.4 PIR. A player that can stretch the floor and take ball aggressively to the basket and finish whilst absorbing contact is widely appreciated and it makes no surprise that overseas scouts had an eye on him.

We can go on and on about how the number of players on the roster has suffered percentage and performance drops compared to last year run but the reasons for such poor results cannot be blamed on a single player.
Basketball is a team game and even if someone is struggling to convert open shots it does not mean that he is the one why the team is not doing well. Having said that though, if opposition leaves one or another player open it might be for the reason that he is expected to miss an open shot.
Hence, maybe a pass is a better option in this case but then again in Europe, you are expected to shoot an open mid-range shot and if you are a guard or a forward with good shooting mechanics even an open 3pt shot is expected to be taken too.

Whatever is the case, the Euroleague season is not over yet for Fenerbahce. With 24 games still to play there's still a lot of chance for them to make a comeback and compete for a playoffs spot.
To back those words, their latest win vs LDLC Asvel 88-72 might be a boost that they needed to get their confidence back on. Let us wait and see if they can carry that momentum onto the next games.

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