Barca beat Panithinaikos today in Athens in Euroleague action, 70-67. Barca's win eliminated Pani from the competition, as they can no longer mathematically advance out of the group of 16 round. This game featured the Wolves 2 European prospects, Ricky Rubio and Nikola Pekovic.
It was a fairly crappy game, actually. Rubio started off making a couple of nice plays, dishing to Pete Mickeal for a layup and driving a drawing a shooting foul. (One thing he does well is drive and draw contact. Whether he's still able to do that against more agile bigs in the NBA, and whether he will get the same calls, remains to be seen).
However, he quickly committed 2 fouls in the first 4 minutes and was out for the half. (The 2nd foul was really dumb; wrapping his arms around Pekovic who was setting a screen 30 feet from the basket).
Meanwhile, Pani was building a big first quarter lead, which eventually reached 19-4, almost entirely on the back of Pekovic. Barca simply could not stop him; he was getting deep position and finishing with ease around the basket. Barca made a run, and actually led briefly, at halftime, Pani was up 4 behind Pekovic's 18 points. He is big and strong, and not completely immobile, but it's hard to see him doing all that much in the NBA, frankly. He isn't really agile or nimble, doesn't really have any game outside the paint, and doesn't really rebound. He can really score in the paint, though.
Rubio got a 3rd foul fairly early in the 3rd quarter, and the coach had enough, and yanked him until the last 2 minutes of the game. Meanwhile, Pani pushed the lead, but Pekovic got in foul trouble himself, eventually fouling out in the 4th, and couldn't get going. He wound up with 20.
Eventually, Barca, being better, made a run behind a few threes, and made their final push with Rubio running the offense in the last couple of minutes. He came in down 4, and they won by 3.
That's your Euro report. I'm Eric in Madison. Good night.