How they got to the Final 8: SIG Strasbourg
STRASBOURG (France) - SIG Strasbourg are gearing up for their first Quarter-Finals appearance since 2018 and they are set to face Lenovo Tenerife in the third Final 8 fixture, on May 6. Here's a look at what helped the French team get here.
What is special about SIG Strasbourg?
- The importance of something as fundamental as boxing out cannot be overstated when you play against SIG Strasbourg, because they are the masters of offensive rebounding and they have - literally - turned games around thanks to their prowess on the offensive glass.
- Strasbourg are the best team among the 16 that made it to the Play-Offs in offensive rebounds, averaging 14.5 per game on average. Their offensive rebound rate is a truly impressive 38 percent, a whole 9.7 percentage points more than that of their Quarter-Finals opponent, Lenovo Tenerife.
- What do all these offensive rebounds contribute to Strasbourg in...hard currency? Well, the French team average 12.7 second-chance points per game and that is admittedly fewer than you would expect off so many offensive boards, but if we take into account that they average 81.9 points per game, they represent nearly 16 percent of their scoring, which is a considerable proportion.
- There is one stat category in which Strasbourg are not only the best among Play-Offs teams, but the best in the league this season, and although it's often overlooked, it's a very important one in every coach's book: The French team have a steal-to-turnover ratio of 0.8, as they average 8.4 steals and 10.8 turnovers per game. Fellow quarterfinalists Pinar Karsiyaka have a slightly better turnover rate (Strasbourg's is 11 per 100 possessions, Karsiyaka's is 10.6), but Strasbourg play at a faster pace than the Turkish team and also come up with many more steals.
- One weak aspect of Strasbourg's game is their shooting accuracy. Their effective field goal percentage of 51.5 (eFG%) percent is not only below the average of the Final 8 field, it's by far the lowest among the eight contenders. The culprit here is a rather poor two-point field goal percentage of 49.8 percent, which places Strasbourg in only the 26th place among the 32 teams that competed in this season's BCL. The French are faring much better from downtown, shooting a very decent 36.1 percent from three-point range.
- Despite their struggles from two-point range though, Strasbourg have managed to have a very good offensive rating of 114.1 points per 100 possessions, the sixth highest among Final 8 teams. Their defensive rating meanwhile, of 109.1 points per 100 possessions, is the fifth-best among the eight title contenders.
The 2020-21 SIG Strasbourg highlights
👊 Started from the bottom, now we're here : 𝐅𝐈𝐍𝐀𝐋 𝟖 🔥 #gosig @BasketballCL @djlansdowne8 @coachtuovi @JB_Maille23 @Leo4valiere @Bcolson_35 @bjefferson3 @RomainDsDz @JaromirBohacik @IkeUdanoh @jaytchic00 pic.twitter.com/Y3oIFJN4Rz— SIG Strasbourg (@sigstrasbourg) April 8, 2021
Strasbourg finished tied with VEF Riga at 4-2 but took first place in Group E thanks to their head-to-head advantage over the Latvian team. The way they earned that tiebreaker was memorable, as Bonzie Colson hit a spectacular buzzer-beating triple for Strasbourg to beat VEF 77-75 in their first meeting, in Riga, and two months later the French team prevailed 101-94 in a double-overtime drama.
Strasbourg started off the Play-Offs with three losses in as many games but bounced back in impressive fashion, going on a 3-game win streak to edge out AEK for second place in Group K. The French side clinched qualification to the Final 8 with a 91-81 win over Turk Telekom on the final gameday, behind 23 points from Colson and 21 from Jaromic Bohacik.
The last shot
If overall win-loss records are the criteria, then Strasbourg are one of the two underdogs in the Final 8 (alongside Pinar Karsiyaka), since they are the two teams to have reached the tournament on a 7-5 overall record.
However, Tenerife or any of the other title contenders for that matter, would do themselves a disservice if they underestimate the French team. Strasbourg have proven time and again this season that they have a tremendous ability to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat and, in Bonzie Colson, they have the league's fourth-leading scorer this season and a player who has showed us that he cherishes any chance to take (and make) the big shots.