Allen and Nadjfeji in the 5,000 point club / Beko BBL ready for ALLSTAR Day / Bamberg bash Bayern
— David Hein
In this section, we break out our English language skills and inform you about the latest news from the German Beko Basketball Bundesliga. If you’re short on time but still want your fill of Germany’s top basketball league then you are in the right place. Every week David Hein (www.heinnews.com) brings you up-to-date in German basketball – the Beko BBL short and sweet:
Bamberg blast by Bayern
Brose Baskets backed up their powerful 29-point home victory over ALBA BERLIN a day after Christmas by fighting off Franconian neighbors medi bayreuth 69-50 in their trap game and then blasting past Bayern Munich 80-63. Josh Duncan collected 22 points, nine rebounds and six assists while Brad Wanamaker had 18 points, five rebounds, seven assists and two steals as Bamberg shot 50 percent from the field for the game. More importantly, Bamberg held Bayern to just 34 percent from the field, including 4-of-19 three-pointers (21 percent). With the impressive win, Brose Baskets extended their winning streak to seven games and took over sole possession of second place behind Berlin at 14-3 while Bayern dropped to 13-4. Little went wrong for Bamberg, even their buzzer three-point attempts from half-court:
Three wins - including victory over Barcelona - in six days for Berlin
Talk about a tough week for ALBA BERLIN, but the Beko BBL leaders passed a major test by winning three games in six days, including a huge victory over Spanish giants Barcelona in the Turkish Airlines Euroleague. After taking a 98-69 beating at Brose Baskets on December 26, Berlin dusted aside reeling Mitteldeutscher BC 82-56 to get back on the winning track. Berlin then shocked Barcelona with an 80-70 victory in the o2 World as Jamel McLean, Reggie Redding and Leon Radosevic all scored 16 points in the first game of the Top 16 on January 2. Sasa Obradovic's team remained focused and took part of business in the Beko BBL with a 95-75 win at Eisbären Bremerhaven, including a strong 34-17 fourth quarter on January 4. Here are the highlights of Berlin's win over Barcelona.
Stats Corner - 37-20, 12-1, 22-0
Basketball is a game of runs and a number of teams showed that this past week. Bayern Munich trailed at home to ratiopharm ulm 73-63 after three quarters, and while their 8-0 run to start the fourth quarter didn’t decide the game, it did start a strong 37-20 fourth quarter for Munich, who won 100-93. EWE Baskets Oldenburg and Telekom Baskets Bonn were deadlocked at 75-75 after regulation but Oldenburg out-scored Bonn 12-1 in overtime to run away with the 87-76 win. BG Göttingen were down at home 79-62 late in the third quarter but Jamal Boykin scored 11 points and Andrew Onwuegbuzie added seven points in Göttingen’s 22-0 run en route to an 88-85 victory over medi bayreuth. The Munich-Ulm game featured eight ALLSTARs - here are the highlights:
Bell puts dagger into Dragons' heart
Phoenix Hagen had a 2-3 record in games decided by four points or less but they were able to even that record to 3-3 with an 85-81 victory at Artland Dragons - thanks in large part to David Bell, who scored 23 points including the absolute dagger three-pointer with 3.6 seconds to decide the game. Check out Bell's game-winner
Beko BBL teams go streaking into ALLSTAR break
For some teams the ALLSTAR Day break comes at a perfect time and others might like to keep playing through the weekend as there are a number of streaks for teams entering the break. The hottest team in the league is Brose Baskets and Bamberg would probably love to continue playing with a seven-game winning streak, which includes convincing wins over ALBA BERLIN and Bayern Munich. Brose will have three players in the ALLSTAR Game and they will be playing mid-week in the Eurocup. While Phoenix Hagen could use the break to get some of their players healthy, Hagen have won three in a row and want to keep up that strong play. But the break comes at a great time for Artland Dragons and Mitteldeutscher BC, who are mired in six and seven-game losing streaks respectively. Artland are still in a playoff spot at 8-9 but things looked quite different when they were 8-3. And MBC have dropped to 7-9 after looking like a playoff contender at 7-2. MHP RIESEN Ludwigsburg won their last three games before the break while Eisbären Bremerhaven dropped their last four games to fall into a relegation spot at the half-way point of the regular season.
Beko BBL readies for ALLSTAR Day
The best of the best in the Beko BBL gather on January 10 in ratiopharm arena in Ulm for the Beko BBL ALLSTAR Day. The spectacle starts with the NBBL ALLSTAR Game - the showcase of the best players 19 years and younger in Germany - with tip-off at 5 p.m. The three-point contest and Original Source Dunking Contest follow starting at 6:30 p.m. And the main event – Team National looking to finally beat Team International in the Beko BBL ALLSTAR Game – starts at 8:30 p.m. Even if you can’t make to Ulm for the event, you can watch the ALLSTAR Game live and for free at www.Beko-BBL.TV. Here a couple images from the Dunk Contest from the last ALLSTAR Day:
Fleming will draw Cup qualifiers at ALLSTAR Day
The teams are set for the qualification round of the Beko BBL TOP FOUR 2015 as ALBA BERLIN, Brose Baskets, Bayern Munich, ratiopharm ulm, Telekom Baskets Bonn and promoted side BG Göttingen will battle for the three remaining spots at the cup competition along with hosts EWE Baskets Oldenburg. As part of the festivities of the Beko BBL ALLSTAR Day in Ulm on January 10, German national team coach Chris Fleming will draw the match-ups for the three TOP FOUR qualifiers, which have been scheduled for February 18. The TOP FOUR will take place in Oldenburg on April 11-12.
Welcome to the 5,000 point club
Derrick Allen and Aleksandar Nadjfeji go together with the Beko BBL like peanut butter and jelly - or maybe I should get away from my Americanisms and say Weißwurst and a pretzel on a Sunday morning. So it only seems fitting that the two veterans joined the exclusive 5,000 point club in the Beko BBL during the same week. The 34-year-old Allen, who is playing in his 10th season in the Beko BBL, scored a team-high 16 points in Basketball Löwen Braunschweig’s win over Eisbären Bremerhaven to move him into the 5,000 point club - where was the only active member for a couple days. Then he was joined by WALTER Tigers Tübingen’s 38-year-old veteran Nadjfeji, who tallied six points against Phoenix Hagen to move into the club with Allen - with whom he has never played in his 13 seasons in the Beko BBL. Congrats to Derrick Allen and Aleksandar Nadjfeji on the great achievement - keep it up!
Freese jumps from last (Crailsheim) to first (Berlin)
It's not easy to go from last place to first place, but Jannik Freese did it overnight as first placed ALBA BERLIN signed the German big man from last placed Crailsheim Merlins. The 28-year-old center signed a deal with Berlin for eight weeks until the end of February, making him the replacement for Jonas Wohlfarth-Bottermann, who is out with a broken hand. The 2.11m Freese is eligible to play in the Beko BBL but not in the Euroleague. While the sudden move gives Berlin depth in the low post, Freese had become a real leader for the promoted Merlins, having averaged 12.0 points, 6.8 rebounds and 1.2 assists. He had scored in double digits in 14 of his 16 games with two double-doubles.
TMG leaves Ulm
A great story came to an end during the week as Tommy Mason-Griffin asked to be released from his contract with ratiopharm ulm, who obliged and thereby ended a nearly four-year relationship filled with highs and lows. TMG helped Ulm reach the Beko BBL finals in 2012 but then saw his career derailed by ravage injuries. He didn’t play a single game for two full seasons because of season-ending injuries shortly before the beginning of both the 2012-13 (knee cartilage) and 2013-14 (Achilles tendon) seasons. Ulm remained committed to Mason-Griffin and continued to extend his contract and he finally made his comeback to the court this season. He averaged 3.3 points and 1.8 assists in 15 minutes per game over 10 Beko BBL games this season. Good luck in the future TMG!
Bremerhaven extend deal with Hesson
Eisbären Bremerhaven have decided that Myles Hesson can help them win games the rest of the season as they agreed to extend their deal with the English international until the end of this season. Hesson, who has averaged 9 points and 4.4 rebounds per game, was originally signed only until December 31. He showed against ALBA BERLIN why Bremerhaven liked what they saw:
Player(s) of the Week
This past week had two rounds of games so there are two honors to hand out. DJ Kennedy was the top man of the 16th round as the MHP RIESEN Ludwigsburg wing torched FRAPORT SKYLINERS with 24 points on 9-of-17 shooting and 4-of-4 free throws as well as eight rebounds and four assists for an efficiency of 26 – including this big time dunk:
Basketball Löwen Braunschweig’s Tim Abromaitis took top honors for round 17 with a masterful performance against Artland Dragons with 24 points on 10-of-14 shooting, 1-of-1 free throws, 14 rebounds, three assists, three steals and zero turnovers for an efficiency of 40.
Two games for FRAPORT SKYLINERS means two games to update about Johannes Voigtmann. Against Ludwigsburg, JoVo scored 14 points on 7-of-13 shooting to go with three rebounds, one assist, one block, two turnovers and one foul. The numbers were not too bad considering he was going against former NBA center Jon Brockman. Against Crailsheim Merlins, Voigtmann tallied 16 points on 7-of-13 shots, 2-of-2 free throws along with 12 rebounds, one assist, two steals, one block, four turnovers and two fouls. His performance against Ludwigsburg included this big throw down:
German Top Five of the (Double) Week
Here are the top five German players of the past two rounds of games, including another outstanding week of pre-Berlin Freese!
G: Per Günther, ratiopharm ulm
Günther had a strong game against Bayern but Ulm ended up losing despite his 13 points, two rebounds and nine assists from Günther. The playmaker was limited to just 12:39 minutes against MBC but picked up four points, one rebound, two assists and zero turnovers in his team's win.
G: Anton Gavel, Bayern Munich
Gavel continues to play well as he collected 14 points, one rebound, four assists and one turnover in Munich's win over ratiopharm ulm. Gavel then went back to Bamberg to play against his former team Brose Baskets and tallied 15 points with two rebounds and one steal while committing three turnovers in Bayern's big loss.
F: Danilo Barthel, FRAPORT SKYLINERS
Barthel struggled a bit shooting against MHP RIESEN Ludwigsburg as he scored six points but he also had eight rebounds, four assists, one steal and two blocks in the loss. He stepped up scoring wise in the win over Crailsheim with 21 points while also collecting five rebounds and one assist.
F: Tim Ohlbrecht, ratiopharm ulm
Ohlbrecht remains really hot as he collected 18 points on 9-of-16 shooting with seven rebounds and three blocks in Ulm's loss against Munich. Ulm bounced back against MBC for a win thanks to 12 points, nine rebounds and one block by the big man, who showed against MBC that he can hit from outside as well.
C: Jannik Freese, Crailsheim Merlins
Freese continued his superb season with Crailsheim as he had 12 points, nine rebounds and one steal against Telekom Baskets Bonn. In his last game for the club before moving to ALBA BERLIN, Freese collected 10 points, four rebounds and two assists.
Andrew Onweugbuzie, 19, SG, BG Göttingen
It’s always great to see a new name pop up and Onwuegbuzie had a great week for Göttingen. He got his first career start against Oldenburg – in his eighth Beko BBL game - and collected 15 points on 6-of-8 shots to go with three rebounds, one assist, one steal and four turnovers in 26:32 minutes - he had played 36:46 minutes combined (!!!) in his first eight games. Onwuegbuzie then played a huge role in Göttingen’s come-from-behind win over Bayreuth with seven points in the decisive 22-0 run in the third and fourth quarters. The 19-year-old finished with 10 points on 4-of-6 shots as well as one rebound, one steal, one turnover and one foul in 10:52 minutes.
Niklas Geske, 20, PG, Phoenix Hagen
Hagen's commitment to their youngsters continues to pay off as Geske had two more solid games. He scored seven points on 2-of-5 shots and 3-of-4 free throws as well as two rebounds, two assists and zero fouls in 16:14 minutes against Artland Dragons. The 20-year-old then picked up a career-high eight points on 2-of-8 shooting and 3-of-4 free throws with four rebounds, one block and two turnovers before fouling out after 21:14 minutes against WALTER Tigers Tübingen.
Fabian Bleck, 21, SF, Phoenix Hagen
Bleck has also been playing well for Hagen as the 21-year-old small forward had five points on 2-of-4 shots and 1-of-2 free throws to go with four rebounds, two assists, one steal and one turnover before fouling out after 20:37 minutes against Artland. In Hagen’s win over Tübingen, Bleck scored a season-high 10 points on 3-of-9 shots and 4-of-4 free throws while also adding three rebounds, one assist, one steal and one turnover in 23:36 minutes.
Niklas Kiel, 17, PF, FRAPORT SKYLINERS
A bonus Young Gun this week - Frankfurt's youth movement added another high level talent as 17-year-old Niklas Kiel made his Beko BBL debut in SKYLINERS' win over Crailsheim Merlins, playing 1:52 minutes and committing one foul. Welcome to the Beko BBL!
German Overseas Watch
It was THE Spanish Liga Endesa match-up for Beko BBL fans as Rio Natura Monbus Obradoiro faced off at home against Barcelona on December 30 - Maxi Kleber versus Tibor Pleiß. Kleber led all players with 23 points as well as four rebounds, one assist, one steal and one block in Rio Natura's surprising 79-67 victory. Pleiß had 14 points, three rebounds and one block in the loss. Of course we have moving pictures:
Nowitzki moves past Moses Malone - number seven all-time scorer
And to close, a special congratulation to Dirk Nowitzki, who continued his rise up the all-time NBA scoring chart, passing Moses Malone into seventh place with 27,412 points. The only six players ahead of him all time are Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Karl Malone, Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan, Wilt Chamberlain and Shaquille O'Neal. Watch Dirk pass Moses