How they got to the Final 8: ERA Nymburk
NYMBURK (Czech Republic) - ERA Nymburk will do battle with Pinar Karsiyaka in the second Quarter-Final of the Basketball Champions League Final 8, on May 5. Here's a look at what helped the Czech champions reach the season-ending tournament in Nizhny Novgorod,
What is special about Nymburk?
- Let's start with the obvious areas where Nymburk shined bright this season: The Czech champions are leading the league in scoring, averaging 89.8 points per game, albeit they are the third-best team in terms of offensive rating, averaging 115.6 points per 100 possessions.
- Nymburk also lead the league in rebounds, averaging an eye-popping 44 boards per game (30.4 defensive, 13.6 offensive). If you deduct from these numbers that Nymburk's rebounding strength stems from a balanced showing on the glass on both ends of the floor, you are right: Nymburk are second in the league in defensive rebound rate (70.9 percent) and second in offensive rebound rate (33.8 percent).
- Nymburk's offensive prowess was more than evident on April 8, in the last game of the Play-Offs against Casademont Zaragoza, when they became only the second team in BCL history to score 90 or more points in 10 different games in the same BCL season. Which is the only other team to have achieved this feat? Well, none other than Hereda San Pablo Burgos in 2019-20, when they conquered the title.
- Interestingly however, and despite leading the league in scoring, Nymburk are only seventh among Final 8 contenders in assist rate, with 17.7, although they rise to fourth place if we take into account the absolute figures, as they average 19.8 assists per game.
- Nymburk have the fifth-highest effective field goal percentage among Final 8 contenders, with an eFG% of 53.8 percent. In terms of absolute stats, among Final 8-bound teams they have the third-highest three-point field percentage, shooting 36.8 percent from downtown, and the seventh-best two-point field goal percentage, averaging 52.8 percent from within the arc.
- Speaking of the three-point arc, the Czech team have paid special attention to perimeter defense and made it extremely difficult to score against them from long range. Nymburk held opponents to just 31.4 percent three-point shooting this season and have by far the best defense in this aspect among the eight teams that travel to Nizhny Novgorod.
- It's not that scoring on Nymburk from inside the arc has been a much easier task, as the Czech team's defense is second (after Burgos) in that respect, holding opponents to 49.1 percent shooting from two-point range.
- A direct consequence of the above stats is that Nymburk have the second-best defensive rating in the league this season, allowing only 103.4 points per 100 possessions.
The 2020-21 Nymburk highlights
Nymburk finished tied with Tofas Bursa at 4-2 in Group B but took second place because the Turkish team had the head-to-head advantage. The Czechs seemed out of sorts on gameday 2 when they suffered a 24-point loss at (85-61) JDA Dijon, but managed to not only right the ship but also avenge that defeat in spectacular fashion, by enjoying a 94-54 rout of the French team at home two months later.
Nymburk topped Group L on 5-1. They delivered their most efficient offensive display since January 2019 on the final day, shooting 55 from the floor, to defeat Casademont Zaragoza 98-78 in the game that decided first place in the group. Their most memorable display of the Play-Offs though, and arguably of the entire season so far, came on March 30: The Czech side trailed Brose Bamberg by as many as 18 points but Lukas Palyza poured in 26 points to inspire an epic comeback and Nymburk clinched a 91-80 win.
The last shot
Nymburk have offered ample proof of two important things through the course of this season: First, they love running in the open floor and excel when they impose an upbeat tempo. They average 17.8 fast-break points per game, compared to 6.7 of their Quarter-Final opponents, Pinar Karsiyaka.
Second, you can never write off Nymburk, even if it seems they are out of players and you have them on the ropes! They have a 'next man up' mentality which became evident when they struggled with injuries in the crucial stretch of the Play-Offs: The Czech team's bench contributes an impressive 40.3 points per game (Karsiyaka's second unit, by comparison, averages 23.2 points per game) and they won five of the last eight games in which they were trailing at the end of the third quarter.