Paul Nilsen is a freelance basketball journalist writing for various websites and publications across Europe.
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|Good Angels Kosice got the monkey of their back on Wednesday night, defeating a Russian club for the first time since 2005|
This week witnessed the end of a long-standing losing streak which stretched back to 2004 and also some quite staggering statistical numbers.
GOOD ANGELS BREAK JINX
Yes, eight years ago, Kosice was beaten 90-57 by Dynamo Moscow, and it started an incredible seventeen game losing sequence against Russian teams which they finally snapped this week with success against Nadezhda. The 77-67 victory was their first win against a Russian club in seven seasons.
With a sizeable monkey now off their backs, Kosice no longer need worry about an imagined or not curse or jinx. Their win against Nadezhda was also so typical of an upbeat and attractive style of play for which head coach Maros Kovacik deserves utmost praise.
Particularly interesting is that whilst other clubs so often rely on one or two marquee players - a trait also previously seen in Kosice when they had Angel McCoughtry and Candice Dupree - the Good Angels now have an impressive balance. Not only in terms of talent levels right down the roster, but also between the back and frontcourt
DUPREE A DELIGHT IN MY MVP RACE
I have been asked by a few people recently about my choice of player of the season so far. I guess eight weeks of the regular season is an acceptable point at which to at least begin this consideration.
|Candice Dupree is Paulball's early choice for MVP honours|
Yes, Charles has been phenomenal since her belated arrival, and is an outstanding player of the highest quality - as being crowned MVP of the 2012 WNBA season would suggest. But, for Dupree to shine in such an evidently more stacked team like Sparta&K, is for me at least, equally impressive.
She started the season with the Week One MVP accolade but what has also impressed me is that even when used only sparingly in a couple of games when Sparta&K were rotating in a big way, she still played smart, managed her shot selection well and has maintained the second best field goal percentage in the tournament with 60%.
She is averaging 16 points and 7.3 rebounds per game which at face value, may not be in the same ball park as Charles, but without her efficient contributions in some tight games, Sparta&K wouldn't have the same excellent 6-1 record.
There are of course many other contenders but until we get into 2013, it's probably still too early for a full assessment. But, like I said, despite plumping for Dupree, you would get no argument from me over Charles also being seen as number one thus far
BY THE NUMBERS
|Tina Charles and another statistically pleasing week for Wisla|
This was definitely a week for numbers, many of which were due to the name on the lips of everybody right now - yes you've guessed it, Ms Charles.
Averaging an almost incomprehensibly stellar and monstrous double-double of 29.8 points and 13.8 rebounds per-game she scored the highest number of points so far this season when she poured in 33 during the narrow win against Bourges Basket.
It was the third time she has scored more than 30 points so far, meaning she takes the top three slots in the game-high scoring chart, with Jelena Milovanovic the only other player to have surpassed 30 points.
BITTER SWEET FOR BOJOVIC
Individual players who really caught the eye in terms of numbers this week were both point-guards.
Miljana Bojovic equaled her own record for assists in a game this season, when she dished up 12 for a second time. I had to smile a little when, still zero-for-seven from the floor, she finally made a shot during the closing stages which probably gave her more pleasure than the 12 assists! She did a great job once again for her team and I was left drooling over one particular assist to Petra Kulichova under the hoop.
CONTRASTING FORTUNES FOR SKEROVIC
Lastly, what a difference a week makes! Jelena Skerovic grabbed the unwanted label of having the most turnovers in a game this season against USO Mondeville, but made up for this in the best possible way with an outstanding display against Perfumerias Avenida.
She came within a whisker (one rebound) of what would have been a sensational and very rare triple-double in points, assists and rebounds. Most importantly, she helped her team get back on track with a great road win.