Tag: Turkey

ilkan Karaman, Brandon Bass

Celtics drop NBA’s preseason opener to Turkish team 97-91


Don’t read anything into the final score.

Yes, the Celtics dropped their preseason opener 97-91 to Fenerbahce Ulker in Istanbul, Turkey. No, at times it was not really pretty — stretches of weak rebounding, too many turnovers and an offense that had fits and starts — but what do you expect in your first preseason game?

Fenerbahce Ulker looked like a team that had been playing competitive games already — they were more fit, their passing was more crisp, and they played with a sense of urgency. This was a big game for them at home.

And they had Bo McCalebb, one of the best international point guards (an American by birth) slashing into the Celtics defense almost at will. That had to grate on Doc Rivers. Combine him with Romain Sato (the former Xavier player who seemed to hit everything) and the two combined for 45 points.

For Boston, this wasn’t about a win, it was about learning about young players.

Two stood out — Jeff Green and Jared Sullinger. Each had 16 points (Boston’s high). It was great to see Green out on the floor, running and attacking the glass after he had missed a season due to heart surgery. His athleticism off the bench will be a boost for Boston this season (compared to, say, Marquis Daniels in years past). Sullinger continues to show a nose for rebounds and just an ability to score around the basket.

Of the regulars, Rajon Rondo looked best, looking like a leader. He had 13 points and nine assists.

Fenerbahce Ulker led pretty much the entire game, taking advantage of Celtics misses and pushing the pace before the Celtics could set their defense. In addition, the kind of off-the-ball movement and backdoor cuts European teams do out of habit made this a tough first preseason game for the Celtics. This was not an opponent who fell into Boston’s comfort zone.

So don’t read much into it. It looked like a first preseason game.

Report: Brook Lopez to join Deron Williams in Turkey

New Jersey Nets v Atlanta Hawks

It looks like Turkish side Besiktas has found its NBA big man — and it turns out to be Deron Williams’ teammate.

Brook Lopez is near a deal with the Istanbul-based team to join them for the remainder of the lockout, reports Kartal Basketball )via Sportando). The deal is in place and just needs to be finalized, according to the report.

Brook’s brother Robin — the Suns center — would join him there, but just as a practice player, according to Sportando.

Brook is D-Will’s teammate with the Nets and them developing some on-court chemistry can only be good for the team and help the odds of the Nets re-signing Williams so he can lead the team into Brooklyn.

Besiktas had reached out to a variety of NBA big men — Dwight Howard, Carlos Boozer, Luol Deng, Lamar Odom — before landing Lopez. This is the same side that had Allen Iverson last season and made a run at Kobe Bryant.

Lopez does have an NBA out in his deal, so he will be back with New Jersey when the lockout ends. So with any luck, this will be one of the shortest trips to Istanbul ever.

Cavaliers center Semih Erden has surgery on thumb

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Quick an update on an injury we told you about previously.

Cavaliers center Semih Erden has now had surgery on the thumb he broke in a game this week for Turkish side Besiktas, reports Sportando on twitter. He will be out at least six weeks with the injury.

That means if a settlement to the NBA lockout comes Cleveland may be without its big man for at least part of training camp and maybe into the start of the season.

The injury came in the same Besiktas game where Deron Williams dropped 50 points. With Erden out Besiktas has stepped up efforts to get another big man and reached out to a number of players including Lamar Odom and Marcin Gortat.

Video: Watch Deron Williams drop 50 in Turkey

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I realize now that the headline on this post brings up memories of a legendary WKRP in Cincinnati episode, but that was not the intent. This is really the video of Deron Williams scoring 50 for Besiktas in Turkey.

As expected, no guard in that league can really stay in front of D-Will. Which is true of the NBA as well, but the guards here tend to have better help defense behind them.

Hat tip to SLAM.

Report: Turkish team in talks with Lamar Odom

Portland Trail Blazers v Los Angeles Lakers

Khloe & Lamar in Istanbul?

It might happen. Besiktas, the Turkish side that has Deron Williams at the point guard, is in negotiations with the Lakers Lamar Odom to join him, reports Marc Stein at ESPN.

Besiktas has reportedly made runs recently at Kevin Love, Carlos Boozer and Luol Deng but have not been able to land one of them. Now Besiktas has lost center Semih Erden (of the Cavaliers) for a couple months with a broken thumb the need for another big man on the roster intensifies.

Other players on Besiktas’ radar, according to NTV Spor in Turkey, are Denver Nuggets free agent center Nene and Phoenix Suns center Marcin Gortat.

It’s believed that Gortat — owed just under $22 million over the next three seasons — is highly interested in the job, which is why he has been widely described in Turkey as the most likely newcomer from the NBA to join Williams. Odom’s contract, though, would be the most manageable insurance wise for Besiktas, with just two years left worth slightly more than $17 million, but only a partial guarantee in 2012-13.

Odom has mused that he might want to play overseas after he becomes a free agent again (likely after the next season), but then again Odom muses about a lot of things.

Players are being cautious with Besiktas — except for with Allen Iverson last season, the team had a reputation of being late with payments to players. Recently two WNBA players who play for the Besiktas women’s team left it for lack of payment. What sponsors would pick up the tab for another name NBA player remains to be seen.

That said, the ball is in Odom’s court.