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Thanasis Antetokounmpo and Deni Avdija explain why some European players never adapt to the NBA – Basketball Insiders

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This Wednesday, Thanasis Antetokounmpo invited Wizards forward Deni Avdija on his “Thanalysis” podcast, and mostly used their own examples talk about the reasons why many European talents find it hard to adapt to the NBA’s basketball culture. 

The Bucks’ foward began by asking the Israeli star is they had ever encountered each other outside of the United States, and Avdija remembered one clash back when he played for Maccabi.

“I played with you, you played in Panathinaikos,” Avdija recalled. “I remember that. You also had a crazy dunk versus us. I remember that because I was on the bench, I was not playing.”

To watch the whole conversation, check out the full episode of the Milwaukee player’s podcast:

Naturally, the conversation switched to talk about the contrasts between each continent’s basketball game.

“That’s crazy,” Antetokounmpo said. “I tell people there is so much talent in Europe. For example, here [in the NBA], if you are out of the rotation, they have a plan for you or because it is what it is, like playoffs or whatever. But back home, it’s a hierarchy, you are just not playing because you are young a lot of times. Most of the time.”

To what the Washington player responded: “If you are on the team, you are probably going to play. But I agree with you.”

The 30-year-old Greek athlete then shared a more analytic take on why so many talents from abroad struggle to showcase their abilities once they step on NBA courts. He considers physicality to be one of the main factors.

“That’s a whole package,” he said. “The number one is the body type, the physicality. For example, here in the NBA, you don’t have the same bodies as in Europe. Let’s say you have a guy like [Walter] Tavares from Real Madrid. In Europe, you have one guy like Tavares. In the NBA, you have like six or seven guys like him.”

Another reason is the different playing styles in Europe, as Antetokounmpo assures that he’s only witnessed a limited amount of athletes who are versatile and play many positions at once. He believes the Euroleague still depende on role players, unlike stars in the United States who have a broader skill set.

“In Europe, you have maybe two or three guys who play like point forwards — [Will] Clyburn, Sasha Vezenkov, Chris Singleton. You have specific guys who play the four and can dribble and create. In the U.S., everybody. There are no positions,” he said.

Both players agreed that the mental aspect is crucial to adapt to another sport culture

The podcast host couldn’t stress enough how important the mental aspect of it all is to a player’s adaptation to a new country and style of play. “But it’s hard. The mental part matters so much,” Antetokounmpo expressed.

“It matters the most,” Avdija added. “People don’t understand that. In the NBA, everybody is talented to an extent. Some guys are more talented, some guys are less. Everybody got talent, right? What’s the other layer you have? That’s what separates the good from the average. Extra stuff like mentality, work ethic, and all that stuff.”

The Israeli star admits that professional basketball in the United States is a filter that separates the great from the good.

“Everybody who comes to the NBA is talented, they are good players, everybody can score,” he mentioned. “It is that next step, that small details that we talked about. I think this stuff separates the great from the good and the average. And, of course, consistency.”



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WATCH Stephen Curry Hit Consecutive 3-Pointers For 5+ Minutes

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Watch Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry knock down 3-pointers for over five straight minutes without missing. Our team here at Basketball Insiders counted 102 consecutive 3s. For those wondering, the video is not edited or being played on a loop. This is real.

However, how come Curry can drain at least 100 3-pointers without missing while shooting only 42.7% from beyond the arc in the 2022-23 season? Well, there are no defenders, the pressure is nonexistent, and he’s not playing through any injuries here. Watch the video below.

According to a few NBA betting sites, the Golden State Warriors hold seventh-shortest odds to win next season’s championship in 2024. Check out which sportsbooks are showing better odds for the Denver Nuggets, Phoenix Suns, and Los Angeles Lakers.

Stephen Curry, 35, makes this look so easy. The nine-time All-Star made 56 starts in the 2022-23 season, averaging 29.4 points, a career-high 6.1 rebounds, and 6.3 assists per game. The Davidson College product also shot 49.3% from the floor and 42.7% outside the arc.

On Nov. 16, in the Warriors’ 130-119 loss to Phoenix, the 14-year veteran recorded a season-high 50 points in 37 minutes of action. Plus, he shot 17-of-28 (60.7%) from the field and knocked down seven 3-pointers. Curry tied Michael Jordan for the second-most 50-point games after turning 30 years old, with six.

Watch Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry swish consecutive 3-pointers for over five minutes without missing

In Golden State’s 106-101 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Nov. 11, Curry extended his NBA record to 200 consecutive regular-season games with at least one made 3-pointer. His 3-point streak dates back to Dec. 1, 2018, against the Detroit Pistons.

Furthermore, Curry became the oldest NBA player (34 years, 322 days old) to record back-to-back 30-point, 10-assist games in league history last season. The two-time MVP broke Wilt Chamberlain’s franchise record for career field goals made (7,216) with 7,222.

Curry is already Golden State’s franchise leader in points (21,712), assists (5,740), steals (1,419), field goal attempts (15,222), games played (882), 3-pointers made (3,390), 3-point attempts (7,929), turnovers (2,777), and free throw percentage (90.9%).

While the guard finished just third in 3-pointers (273) last season, he also suffered a left shoulder subluxation a couple of months into the season. The injury caused him to miss 11 games from mid-December through early January.

Stephen Curry went on to miss another 11 games in February and March because of partial tears to his left superior tibiofibular ligaments and interosseous membrane, as well as a contusion.

In addition to the eight-time All-NBA member winning two 3-point shooting contests in 2015 and 2021, Curry has led the NBA in 3-pointers seven times throughout his career: 2012-13 (272), 2013-14 (261), 2014-15 (286), 2015-16 (402), 2016-17 (324), 2020-21 (337), and 2021-22 (285).

To watch other NBA-related miscellaneous videos, go to the main page.


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Nick Nurse reveals why he signed for Sixers despite having higher offers

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Ever since Nick Nurse became a coach in the NBA, he was always part of the same organization. It all started in 2013 as an assistant, where he remained in this position during 5 years until he finally got a break at the head of the coaching staff. That same season in 2018/19, he took the Raptors to their first-ever NBA title after leading the Eastern Conference with a 58-24 record and then winning 16 out of their 24 playoff games.

After conquering the league’s trophy, Toronto struggled to get past his division’s Semifinals, and eventually decided to drop their coach at the end of this past campaign. Just as Philadelphia also decided to part ways with Doc Rivers this summer, they were tempted with signing Nurse even though he had recieved many offers.

On a recent episode of player Patrick Beverley’s podcast, the guard asked his new trainer if the rumors were true that he “turned down a lot of money” to coach the Sixers. The room burst in laughter when Nurse let out a blunt “maybe” as his answer.

“Just thought that the fit was right with me,” the 56-year-old said about his new club. “Love the ownership. Loved my connection with Daryl Morey. Obviously, he was in Houston when I was coaching Rio Grande. Just heard nothing but good things about Josh (Harris) and David (Blitzer). Obviously, I coached against them a lot. I think it’s a good team. A very good team and some awesome pieces here. So, here we are.”

About his coaching style, Nurse promises to keep his innovative schemes in Philly until he finds the correct formula to transform his roster into a winning team.

“The funny thing about all that stuff is, almost always it comes to me on the spur of the moment as to what’s needed right now… If it doesn’t work, whatever funky thing we try, we crumple it up real quick and throw it in the throat in the waste bin and don’t revisit it, but we got to try a bunch of stuff to see what we can come up with,” he said.

Coach Nurse speaks on what he’ll be expecting out of Paul Reed and Tyrese Maxey this upcoming season

As the new 76ers coach is getting to know his new players, he’s already anticipated what he wants from certain players and the new roles they’ll need to adjust too. In Paul Reed‘s case, for example, he wants him to trust in his offensive attributes.

“I do keep a pretty loose lid on the roles if that makes any sense because I think there is guys—there’s some guys maybe they never shot 3-pointer before and they’re not bad and we may need them to shoot more 3s or, or whatever it is. Paul Reed would be a good example for us for that,” he shared.

As for rising star Tyrese Maxey, Nurse believes he can take advantage of his quickness to help support the Sixers on the defensive side of the floor.

“Yeah, we’ll start on the defensive,” he expressed. “I think he’s been blessed with all that speed and quickness and I think we need to figure out a way for him to use it for a little bit more of disruptive situations. I think he’s so fast that he can go get the ball a little bit more, right?”





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J.J. Redick explains why Mavs’ inking the return of Seth Curry is a ‘perfect fit’

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The Mavericks were probably the biggest disappointment of the 2022/23 season, finishing with a 38-44 record and missing out on the playoffs, despite the fact that they invested in superstar Kyrie Irving to complete a blockbuster partnership with Luka Doncic.

The Dallas administration felt the need to improve their roster this summer, and among those various trades they decided to reunite with Seth Curry, who already had two previous spells wearing the Mavs’ jersey. The 33-year-old just signed a two-year, $8 million contract after playing the last campaign with the Brooklyn Nets.

In the most recent episode of his own “The Old Man & the Three” podcast, J.J. Redick recognized this acquisition as one of the top under-the-radar signings of this current offseason.

“My first one is, I think, really under-the-radar, even though he’s historically the best three point shooter in terms of percentage in NBA history, and that’s Seth Curry,” the ESPN analyst said.

The season after his stint in Brooklyn, he performed one of his most productive years with the Sixers, averaging 15.0 points and 3.4 assists. During that 2022 summer, the veteran underwent ankle surgery and wasn’t able to participate in his team’s training camp before the start of the past campaign.

“Seth had ankle surgery in May of 2022, and that was when he was coming off the best season of his career. He averaged 15.0 points per game for Philly, averaged just under 15 points per game in the 19 games he played in Brooklyn after the trade, has ankle surgery, comes back after the season has already started, which is always difficult to not have the normal routine, the training camp, the early season, the preseason, all that stuff.

“He had a fine season. Minutes were down. I don’t think he was ever really himself,” Redick explained.

In spite of his latest ankle injury, Redick is impressed by the way Curry remained an efficient three-point shooter

The veteran guard has been putting up the best shooting stats of his career in the last couple of years, despite the fact that he had to recover from his ankle injury in 2022. Former player J.J. Redick admitted he was impressed by his consistency, considering most athletes lose confidence after overcoming a health issue.

“Last season, he still shot 40.5 percent from three. The reason I love this, last time he was in Dallas, which was the 2019-20 season, he shot 45.2 percent from three and averaged a little over 12 points per game,” the analyst said. “He was 48.1 percent on catch and shoot threes and when you think about the way this offense is going to function, it will primarily be pick and roll and ISO. That is what Kyrie does, that is what Luka does.”

In the video above, check out one of Curry’s best-ever performances in Dallas, scoring an outstanding 37 points against the Heat three years ago.

“Having him as one of your spot up shooters, having him maybe even some movement sets, the hand back to Luka coming off a flare screen, like they’re going to figure out ways to use him,” Redick explained. “I don’t know that [Curry] starts, but I think he helps this team. And a couple of things on Dallas, when they made that run to the Western Conference finals two seasons ago, it was primarily with switchable defenders and shooting.”





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