Way you should watch EuroLeague: 4. The style of play
We touched on this a bit in the opening. EuroLeague basketball is more team-focused and is reliant on team structure and execution to deliver victory. The main reason for this is talent. As we said at the beginning, Kevin Durant and LeBron James aren’t out there. Teams still have their go-to bucket-getters but they’re not at the level of the best in the world. This draws out the need for the entire team to contribute. There will be a lot of pick-and-roll, a lot of cuts, a lot of screens for shooters, even post-ups, and at times perfect ball movement that looks like poetry in motion.
It’s not that you don’t see this in the NBA, you absolutely do, but in EuroLeague, this is often the best way for teams to create offensive opportunities while in the NBA sometimes getting a bad defender switched onto your best player at the top of the arc is enough. The game is also slower. There are fewer transition opportunities and half-court offense is a much bigger part of every game.
Again, this is created by a gap in talent and athleticism. While EuroLeague players are freak athletes like NBA players, they are still a level below. Rule differences are also helpful to this more tactical approach such as the differences in goaltending, and the fact that there are no defensive three-seconds. Also, the court is smaller. All of these together make a more rigid game that can be more aesthetically pleasing for some.