Another incredible season came to an end and we tip off our EuroLeague recap with back-to-back champions Anadolu Efes.
This season started pretty bad for Anadolu Efes. The Turkish side lost their first four games in the EuroLeague.
Things did not really improve for Ergin Ataman’s guys until they managed to step up and eventually qualify for the playoffs, finishing in the sixth place in the standings (16-12 record).
They faced Armani Milano and got the job done in Game 4 (3-1). In Belgrade, it was Vasilije Micic’s game-winning shot that made the back-to-back championship celebration possible (77-74 against Olympiacos).
Facing Real Madrid in the Championship Game, they eventually entered a very limited list of teams that have successfully defended their EuroLeague title (58-57).
Anadolu Efes and Fenerbahce split the domestic titles this season. Efes won the Turkish Cup with an easy victory over Fenerbahce in the Final (72-86). However, they came up short in the Turkish League, losing eventually to Fenerbahce 3-1.
It is a fact that Efes underperformed in the first part of the season. Even after they managed to qualify for the Final Four, they averaged pretty low numbers in most statistic categories.
They scored 81 points per game (3rd overall). Other than that, Efes was seventh in assists and 10th in rebounding. Of course, stats can only show part of the game, as the Turkish side managed to find a way to win this year’s EuroLeague.
There is no doubt that Anadolu Efes’ roster combined talent and experience this season. The back-to-back Final Four MVP, Vasilije Micic, completed one of his greatest seasons (averaging 18.2 points and 4.6 assists).
in addition, Shane Larkin performed really well (averaging 14.7 points and 5.3 assists). Furthermore, EuroLeague veterans, such as Bryant Dunston, Chris Singleton and Rodrique Beaubois, helped the team achieve its goals.
Ataman and his team have in mind that a potential third championship in a row will bring them to the European basketball’s pantheon.
To do so, Anadolu Efes has to keep Micic and Larkin in the roster next season. The Serbian guard’s future is currently uncertain, due to possible NBA offers, and an NBA out clause in his contract. Larkin has already re-signed with Efes and will remain with the Turks.
Other than that, the champions have officially signed Will Clyburn and big man Ante Zizic. Their offseason will be pretty interesting, should their big names decide to move to the United States.