Phillin' The Lane: Loughton returning home

Phillin' The Lane: Loughton returning home

Basketball Australia's US correspondent Phil Moskowitz wraps another week of Aussie Boomers in action in Europe and the United States.

After spending a season over in Europe playing for Ourense Baloncesto in the Liga Espanola de Baloncesto in Spain, Boomer Alexander Loughton will be heading back to Australia for the 2010/11 NBL season.

The 206 cm centre has signed a three year contract with the Cairns Taipans.

“He’ll bring that extra scoring punch we need along with some high-level international experience,” Taipans coach Aaron Fearne told The Cairns Post.

As part of Ourense Baloncesto Loughton has averaged 7.0 points, 3.1 rebounds, 1.1 steals, and .8 assists over the course of 31 games.

Loughton is no stranger to the NBL competition as he was a part of the Perth Wildcats in both the 2007/08 and 2008/09 seasons.

In 2007/08 he averaged 15 points and 7 rebounds per game. In 2008/09 he had a slight decrease in production when he scored 13 points and snagged 4 rebounds per game.

This past week in Ourense Baloncesto’s 73-91 trouncing at the hands of La Laguna Loughton had three points, three rebounds, and one steal in only nine minutes of playing time.

The Taipans finished with an 11-17 record which landed them in 6th place in the eight-team NBL competition.

With the level of competition in Europe, Loughton will no doubt be an integral part of the Taipans success next season.

When asked of the possibility of luring another Boomer and ex-Taipan Nathan Jawai back to Cairns Fearne said the chances were “very slim”.

Jawai is a current member of the Minnesota Timberwolves in the NBA, however his contract expires this offseason.

Fearne added, "Would we love to have him back here? Absolutely. But it’s not the league for him right now.

"Nothing against the Australian league but Nate’s an NBA talent and needs to play at that level.”

Jawai finished this season in the NBA D-League as part of the Sioux Falls Skyforce.

In seven games (four regular season and three post-season) Jawai averaged 8.0 points and 3.7 rebounds in his 17.4 minutes per game.

In other NBA news, Patty Mills recorded his first playoff minutes, points, and assists in Game 2 and 3 of the Portland Trailblazers’ first round best-of-seven series against the Phoenix Suns.

Mills had six points on 2-for-4 shooting in seven total minutes in the 119-90 Game 2 loss. He also got into Game 3 of the series recording two assists in two minutes in the 108-89 loss.

While earlier today Phoenix won Game 5 to lead the series 3-2, the Bogut-less Bucks are down 2-1 in the series to the Atlanta Hawks.

The Bucks lost Game 2 86-96 in Atlanta, but when the series shifted back to the Bradley Center in Milwaukee won comfortably in Game 3, 107-89.

Game 4 is Tuesday at 11:30am AEDT with Game 5 at Atlanta Thursday TBA, Game 6 (if needed) Saturday TBA, and Game 7 (if needed) Monday TBA.

In playoff news in Europe, Aleks Maric and BC Partizan Belgrade won the Adriatic League Championship for the fourth consecutive year beating Cibona in one of the most exciting finishes in league history.

With .6 seconds to go in over-time and down 74-72 Partizan sunk a half-court 3-pointer at the buzzer to win by a final score of 75-74 and take the Title.

In the Final, Maric played 27 minutes and score 14 points on 6-for-8 shooting while also adding 4 rebounds, two assists, and one steal.

Partizan also had a Serbia League game this past week and won by a score of 79-67 over FMP. Maric scored 16 points (5-5 FG), grabbed four rebounds, had two assist, and two blocks in that contest.

Maric was also nomined for the All-Euroleague team. Players are voted on by both fans and media members for the honour.

Brad Newley also had a hot hand this past week going 6-for-7 from the field for 16 points in Besiktas’ 77-71 victory over Tofas. Newley also added four rebounds and one block in his 34 minutes.

The Aussie hot hand found its way to Spain as David Barlow scored 18 points going 3-for-4 from behind the arc and 7-for-10 overall from the field. He also grabbed six rebounds and had an assist in CAI Zaragoza’s 84-102 defeat by Melilla.

Also in Spain, fresh off their Eurocup championship, Valencia BC and Eurocup Finals MVP Matt Nielsen easily defeated Xacobeo BS 81-64. The MVP played 18 minutes and had only 4 points; however, added five rebounds, two assists, and two blocks in the win.

Rounding out the coverage in Spain, Joe Ingles and Granada lost to MMC Real Madrid 66-71. Ingles had an off day tallying only two points, two rebounds, and two assists in his 26 minutes.

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED

  • Portland v Phoenix Game 2, 1:44 left in the 3rd Quarter: Mills steps on court for first playoff minutes.

  • Portland v Phoenix Game 2, 2:47 left in the 4th Quarter: Mills hits 3-pointer for first playoff points.

  • Aleks Maric and BC Partizan wins 4th consecutive Adriatic League Championship on a half-court buzzer-beater.

  • Maric voted to All-Euroleague Team

WHAT TO LOOK FOR THIS WEEK

  • Can Patty Mills record more NBA Playoff court-time?

  • Can the Bucks come back and compete with Atlanta without Bogut in the lineup?