Tip off (Top16 3 g.) – Hot winter nights

2015-01-14T22:40:55+00:00 2015-05-23T16:13:33+00:00.

Aris Barkas

14/Jan/15 22:40

Eurohoops.net

Despite the low temperatures in Europe, inside the Euroleague gyms things are going to be hot. There’s not even one game that isn’t significant, there’s no team that can hope for an easy night, there’s no one which will not be ready for a fight, even against dear friends

By Nikos Varlas/ varlas@eurohoops.net

Despite the low temperatures in Europe, inside the Euroleague gyms things are going to be hot. There’s not even one game that isn’t significant, there’s no team that can hope for an easy night, there’s no one which will not be ready for a fight, even against dear friends.

Euroleague game of the week: Anadolu EfesCSKA Moscow

Two unbeaten teams in Top16 with CSKA being perfect so far in the season. The Russians are also the team which has more quality, talent and better numbers so fear. The hosts will face a great challenge, they will have to control the tempo of the game, play great individual defense, get the rebounds and shoot better than the “army team” in order to be the first that beat them.

It will be more than an interesting game, CSKA is the favorite, but in Istanbul Dusan Ivkovic back in 2012 has managed to prevailed against all odds over the Russians as the coach of Olympiacos.

Honorable mention: Fenerbahce/ Ulker – Olympiacos

It’s a big game and the choice of Euroleague for the game of the week. Fenerbahce (1-1) hosts Olympiacos in a game hard to predict. We expect a game of runs, since the Turkish team has better numbers in offense, but Olympiacos is a much more solid unit, something that has to do with defense.

The number of possessions, how many of them will be played in transition or in a set game, shooting efficiency and who is going to be in a better night from the stars of the two teams will decide the outcome. It’s also a duel of two best friends, Vasilis Spanoulis and Nikos Zisis, who has chosen Spanoulis to be the best man in his wedding.

The question mark: Maccabi T.A. – Barcelona

One more game between two big opponents! Barcelona (1-1) in recent years has always the antidote to the one on one storm of Maccabi‘s (1-1) game, gets the ball in the paint and dominates the court. Can they do the same this time in Tel Aviv. That’s a big question this time since two of the best shooters of the Catalans, Navarro and Oleson, will be absent and that gives more than a fighting chance to Maccabi.

Under the microscope: Laboral Kutxa – Nizhny

Two very different teams will face each other. Laboral (0-2) is alwaysunpredictable and some times this is not that good. However after changing a bunch of players is still a work in progress. On the contrary Nizhny (1-1) always has the same principals in its game, it’s more than resilient and a solid unit that will put up a fight against anyone. They will play defense, they will try not to let Laboral run, they will run their offense via Rochestie – who has played in the past in Laboral – and the end result seems to be on their hand.

Under pressure: Unicaja – EA7 Milano

Both teams have started with a 0-2 record the Top16 and both of them need the win. Unicaja is a much more streamlined team, having always clear targets on the floor. EA7 Milano has a tone of talent, but lacks defensive stability and teamwork in offense. That makes Unicaja the favorite, but never underestimate the power of a good offensive team, even on the road.

The return: PanathinaikosZalgiris Kaunas

It’s probably the only game with a clear favorite. Panathinaikos (1-1) is a much better team at home, shoots better at OAKA and if the players of coach Ivanovic can stop James Anderson, then things will be easy. Those three keys can make the game really easy for the Greeks. Still Zalgiris (1-1) has an experienced front line with many big bodies which can create issues to Panathinaikos in rebounding and defending the paint. Still all eyes will be fixed on the bench of Zalgiris, as Sarunas Jasikevicius will return to a gym in which he was adored as a star and compete against the team which was the first to offer him the chance to be a coach.

A dangerous trip: Alba Berlin – Real Madrid

There’s no doubt that Real Madrid‘s (2-0) quality can’t be denied. Still with bad defense during the last two months and a very predictable offensive game the Spaniards can’t relax against Alba (1-1) which has already beaten Barcelona on the same gym. So even a win of the Germans can be considered a real surprise in a game which will be mainly a duel of the back courts, between Redding, Renfroe, Hammonds and Llull, Rodriguez and Rudy.

Only basketball: Crvena ZvezdaGalatasaray

This couple gave us the best game so far in the season. Crvena Zvezda (0-2) needs the first win in Top16 and can do it with defense, Marjanovic and the help of the local crowd. Galatasaray (1-1) has added some new players, but on the road has its issues, after losing nine games on the road. And yes, we hope that this time it will be only about basketball.

Euroleague 2014-2015 – 13th Day

Unicaja Malaga

EA7 Milano

Fenerbahce

Olympiacos

Crvena Zvezda T.

Galatasaray MP

Panathinaikos

Zalgiris

Laboral Kutxa

Nizhny Novgorod

Maccabi Tel Aviv

F.C. Barcelona

Anadolu Efes

CSKA Moscow

Alba Berlin

Real Madrid