Ibrahim Kutluay praises Fenerbahce, names Barcelona's weakest link

2022-11-15 17:48

Ibrahim Kutluay, Turkish basketball analyst and former player, weighed in on Fenerbahce's excellent EuroLeague track and FC Barcelona's weaknesses. 

Credit: David Grau/Euroleague Basketball via Getty Images
Credit David Grau/Euroleague Basketball via Getty Images

Former players Ibrahim Kutluay, Alain Digbeu and journalist Ugur Ozan Sulak commented on the away matches of Fenerbahce Beko and Anadolu Efes Istanbul in the new section of the EUROSTEP podcast. 

"Fenerbahce had a very good start in the Euroleague, and they've dominated all the games they played no matter who the opponent was," Kutluay, 48, said about one of his ex-teams.  

"Fenerbahce have played with an extreme shooting percentage in their 5 games so far. [Marko] Guduric, [Scottie] Wilbekin, [Nick] Calathes have performed above their season average. And as a result, the team that has an identity, fights in every position, makes defense their priority, shoots a lot, and naturally ends up winning all the games," the 2002 EuroLeague champion continued. 

Ibrahim Kutluay

Ibrahim  Kutluay
Position: SG, SF
Age: 48
Height: 198 cm
Weight: 89 kg
Birth place: Turkey

Kutluay also expressed his view on FC Barcelona, Anadolu Efes' next opponent in the game scheduled for next Thursday. 

"Barcelona are a very tough team. They have been playing this style of basketball since Saras arrived," he pointed out.

However, there's one thing that makes the Turkish former shooting guard wary about the Spanish powerhouse's future. 

"When we look at the last two seasons, they have always had problems with their point guards. This year, they got Satoransky, Laprovittola, Jokubaitis.

Yes, they're great in size, they contribute a lot on defense, you can play with different lineups on both ends. But again you are left with only Laprovittola," Kutluay argued.

Alain Digbeu, 47, who played for FC Barcelona between 1999 and 2002, addressed Anadolu Efes' problems.  

"There is no magical formula here, or if there is, there has to be a 360-degree mental change in Anadolu Efes," the retired athlete said.

"Of course, there is a problem on offense, but it doesn't start there. I insist, if this team doesn't play defense, it has no chance. In order to use that potential, that offensive arsenal, you need to play defense.

There is no leader there, but for example, if we say Dogus Balbay is the leader, his time is very limited. Who can come after Balbay and bring that energy?" Digbeu asked.

The French former player, who was drafted by the Atlanta Hawks with the 49th pick in the 1997 NBA Draft, thinks Efes will face a lot of adversity if they keep not sharing the ball. 

"I don't see the future this way," he warned. Isaiah Taylor joined the team and a complete redesign is needed. I think in the current period Bugrahan Tuncer needs an upgrade, while Clyburn needs to be moved to the power forward position," he concluded.


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