Berlin is outside the window, San Francisco is inside: triple-digit basketball is making its way to Europe

The playoffs of the European championships are a time when mistakes can no longer be made. And when every defeat sends them home, fans can expect a persistent, but not spectacular game.

But the battles in Berlin are grinding this stereotype to flour for now.

In three of the ten matches played at the Mercedes-Benz Arena, the winners managed to finish in the three-digit points zone – and in each case, this did not at all guarantee a crushing victory.

90.4 points – this is the average score of the teams in these playoffs of the Old Continent Championship.

And this is even 11 points more than the last time in Istanbul (Turkey) – the average efficiency of the playoffs of the 2017 championship was 79.4 points.

For comparison, in 2015, when the Lithuanian national team was last on the podium, this indicator was only 74.3 points.

Who turned off the efficiency taps in Europe? Is it just superstars returning from the NBA? Luka Doncic, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Nikola Jokic or Lauri Markkanen influence?

Or maybe basketball is fundamentally changing on this side of the Atlantic as well?

Delphi this was asked by the participants of the most productive playoff match so far from the camps of the German and Greek national teams. On Tuesday, both teams together exceeded the 200-point mark – the Germans won the quarterfinal game 107-96.

Defender of the victors Nick Weiler-Babb convinced that the answer lies in the composition of the national teams.

“Look at any team: there are talents here who can do basically everything on the field. I think that it is the amount of talent that determines such numbers”, said the basketball player of the German national team.

“There are many components, but the most important of all is the level of the players. I’m not only talking about the main stars, but also their assistants – a lot of good basketball players came to this championship”, – seconded another German Maodo Lo.

At that time, their compatriot Johannes Voigtmann looked a little deeper into the trends.

“Good question. I think that the individual skill of the players is increasing little by little, but the style of basketball is also changing easily – the game is getting faster. In the championship, there were many teams playing at high speed, emphasizing long shots. I don’t know if the days of slow positional basketball are over, but the fact is that it is on the decline.

Another thing is that we have many NBA players in the European Championship. It is normal that they play the way they are used to at their clubs and that changes the face of the game. Basketball is developing in general, also in Europe. After all, the direction of attacking, productive basketball is also getting stronger in the EuroLeague”, thought the newcomer of the Milan “Olimpia” (Italy) club.

How interrelated aspects of composition and game tactics are explained by the Greek national team captain Dimitris Itoudis.

“I didn’t have the opportunity to watch all the matches of the championship, but of course I followed the results and saw that the performance was very high. As a basketball fan and coach, I love it. I would think that it is determined by both the tactical trends and the stars participating in the championship.

For example, in the Greek national team G. Antetokounmpo – the best player in the world – not only increases the performance himself, but also pushes everyone else forward. If you have such a basketball player in your team, you simply have to take advantage of it – then you choose the appropriate style of play and tactical decisions”, commented the 52-year-old Greek.

If the current race for points is really a regular trend, does this mean that NBA-style basketball will completely dominate the European championships in the future?

That Delphi N. Weiler-Babb shrugged his shoulders when asked.

“I’m not sure. Differences will still remain – just because of different rules. All I can say is that the level of the European Championship is really growing. Whatever that direction is, it is the right one. This is a wonderful tournament, I hope that the talent in it will only increase in the long run”, guessed the representative of Bayern Munich.

So the German pop star Nena, who once sang about 99 red balloons over Berlin, can prepare a new arrangement of her hit – it seems that 99 points in the European Championship is gradually becoming the new norm.

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