Like the Nets, Fenerbahce of Istanbul spent a lot of money last summer hoping cash would bring them a championship, but so far, it's been mediocrity punctuated by the occasional what-might-have-been.
Wednesday was another example of how the season has gone for the Turkish club with big ambitions and Europe's most successful coach, Zeljko Obradovic. It had a chance to get back into the playoff picture, facing F.C. Barcelona, the perennial Spanish powerhouse. They lost by 20, even though it had once again gone out and spent big bucks to bolster its scoring, signing Pierre Jackson, the D-League sensation. Fener is now mired in sixth place in its group and basically must win all of its five remaining Euroleague games to advance. It's unlikely.
Part of the problem is Bojan Bogdanovic who scored 11 points in 34 minutes on 3-of-8 shooting and turned the ball over five times. Since the Euroleague turned from regular season competition to the Round of 16, the Nets' Euro-Stash has been decidedly mediocre.
After leading the Euroleague in scoring in the regular season, averaging 18.1 points per game on 55.4 percent shooting from two-point range and 40.9 percent shooting from deep, Bogdanovic is at 12.4 ppg in the Round of 16. After hitting the 20 point mark six times in the 10-game regular season, he hasn't hit it once in the nine games of the Round of 16.
While he's hitting nearly 60 percent from two-point range, he's only shooting 13.3 percent from deep ... and that's up from 5.3 percent three games back. It's not just a shooting slump either. His player efficiency is half what it was and his turnover rate is twice as high in the Round of 16 as it was in the regular season. His dropoff in the Turkish league is similar.
No one is saying that this is making the 6'8" swingman with the Paul Pierce-like game less attractive to the Nets, but it can't help his bargaining power either with Brooklyn or the European clubs expected to compete for him.