52.5% eFG 18.2% TOV 33.5% oREB 23.0% FTr
Barcelona Opponent Four Factors
53.1% eFG 17.9% TOV 27.8% oREB 21.0% FTr
61.9% eFG 17.2% TOV 29.7% oREB 22.5% FTr
Fenerbahce Opponent Four Factors
54.0% eFG 18.4% TOV 29.6% 21.8% FTr
The first time that Barcelona saw Fenerbahce, they lost 84-65 in a game that was never realy that close. This was the start of a 4 game losing streak that dropped their record below .500 to 6-7. Since they ended that streak with a road win against Baskonia, Barcelona has been a very respectable 9-3. As they near playoff qualification and even flirt with home-court advantage in the playoffs, Barça is trying to establish themselves in that top tier of Euroleague. To do this you have to hang with the powerhouses. Between the Spanish Cup and Euroleague, they have won twice against 3rd place Real Madrid in the last month which they followed up with a 22 point loss on the road against Anadolu Efes. Friday night’s game against 1st place Fenerbahce gives them a shot at redemption in Istanbul. Fenerbahce’s is looking to hold on to their spot in first place, and also protect their perfect home record this season of 23-0 between Euroleague and the Turkish BSL.
Barcelona’s pair of point guards, Thomas Heurtel and Kevin Pangos, typically play complimentary minutes. There is rarely a time when the two share the court and it’s even more rare to see Barcelona without either point guard. With Pangos, the defense drastically improves and with Heurtel the team’s offensive numbers jump. This has been the case all season but since Barcelona ended their losing streak in Round 14, lineups with both Pangos and Heurtel have drastically improved on their respective end. When Pangos was off the court in Rounds 1-13, Barça allowed 1.02 PPP. This is the same number they have allowed with Pangos since Round 14 but with Pangos on the floor they have allowed just 0.89 PPP since Round 14, compared to 0.99 in the first 13 rounds. Without Pangos on the floor in Rounds 1-13 and Rounds 14-25, opponents had effective field goal percentages of 53.1% and 55.2%, respectively. With Pangos on the floor, that number dropped from 54.0% to 49.6% in the latest 12 rounds. While Pangos is doing his job on the defensive end, his counterpart Thomas Heurtel has definitely stepped up the team’s scoring. In the first 13 rounds the team scored 0.96 PPP without Heurtel, and that number has actually dropped to 0.93 in Rounds 14-25. However, the points per possession with the Frenchman on the court have jumped from 0.99 to 1.12. With Heurtel on the court, Barcelona has had an effective field goal percentage of 60% since Round 14, compared to 48% without him. This jump is primarily driven by a jump in 3-point percentage of 15% (28.6 to 43.6%) with Heurtel on the floor in that time. While Heurtel is averaging a solid 11.1 ppg and 12.3 since the season’s turning point his biggest jump has been in the 4th quarter. During the 6-7 start, he was scoring a respectable 0.51 points per minute in the last period with a 50% eFG and 23.5% turnover percentage. Since Round 14, Heurtel’s numbers in the 4th quarter are far more impressive: 0.85 points per minute, 56.5% eFG, and a turnover percentage of just 5.5%. The 4th quarter performances by the whole team have been a factor in their recent 9-3 run as they went from averaging 17.2 points as a team in the 4th to 21.6. It all started in a 77-70 Round 14 win against Baskonia, in which Barcelona entered the 4th quarter down 49-55. They followed up this comeback by turning a 37-50 halftime deficit into a 80-65 win with a 20-7 3rd quarter and 21-8 4th quarter. Heurtel and Pangos will have to keep up their strong play Friday night against Fener’s star at the position, Kostas Sloukas, to get the win but win or lose this one, both players are vital to the team’s success going forward.