Just two teams, Partizan NIS Belgrade and Tofas Bursa, remain unbeaten through Round 2 of the Top 16. Here's a review of the current 7DAYS EuroCup landscape through the lens of statistics.
Every team that has started 2-0 in the EuroCup Top 16 since the current competition format was adopted has ultimately qualified for the postseason, making the matchups for every team that won in Round 1 especially high stakes if that trend is to be trusted. Partizan NIS Belgrade and Tofas Bursa are the only teams to pick up their second wins in Round 2. Each scored a victory on the road, with Partizan's 25-point win over Dolomiti Energia Trento standing out. With all 12 of their players in uniform contributing at least 2 points and none scoring more than 11, this was a true team effort for the historic Serbian club. Shooting an eFG% of 72% from the perimeter – up from 47% prior to Round 2 – Partizan kept the pressure on Trento all game, making 10 of 18 above-the-break three-point attempts to earn the type of resounding road win that tends to be difficult to come by in the EuroCup.
Partizan's shooting helped it jump out to an early lead, but the visitors also had an impressive showing defensively, conceding just 12 points around the rim in half-court situations, which is well below the league average of 21.3 per game. Contesting and preventing shots inside has been a key part of Partizan's formula all season. It's one of six teams to allow fewer than 20 points on average in finishing situations in half-court situations. The numbers below exclude transition opportunities as it's hard to fault a defense for failing to force a miss on an uncontested fastbreak layup.
Partizan's interior defense burns the candle at both ends. Not only do they allow the fourth-fewest interior shots, but they lead the EuroCup in blocks and allow the second-lowest field goal percentage. Having given up just 16 dunks over 12 games, Partizan does not surrender many easy looks inside. William Mosley's presence has a lot to do with that, but he's had plenty of help as his teammates give up few second-chance opportunities when he goes to pursue blocks.
Darussafaka Tekfen Istanbul's profile has many similarities with Partizan's. The Turks rank first alongside Segafredo Virtus Bologna in allowing opponents just 51% shooting around the rim in half-court situations. Johnathan Hamilton anchors Darussafaka's interior defense, which is one of the main reasons that he plays a team-high 28 minutes per game and leads all EuroCup centers in playing time this season. Keeping him on the court has been a boon for Darussafaka's fortunes around the rim.
After AS Monaco, there's a fairly rapid drop-off in performance protecting the rim by other teams. Blocking very few shots and allowing an average number of put-back opportunities, Monaco does its best work by preventing teams from venturing inside altogether. Despite regularly pressing full court, Monaco does a nice job of preventing drivers from getting all the way to the rim by rallying to the ball from the weakside.
Looking Ahead to Round 3
Aside from the intrigue inside in the matchup between the top two teams in the graphic above, Partizan and Darussafaka, there's plenty to watch in Round 3 due to how little separation the teams in Group F and G have achieved from one another to this point.