Tip off (Top16 6g.)-Fire in Madrid & Piraeus

2015-02-04T12:18:39+00:00 2015-05-23T16:13:30+00:00.

Aris Barkas

04/Feb/15 12:18

Eurohoops.net

We are already at the sixth week of action and we have a clash of Spanish giants, the battle between Olympiacos and CSKA and things are starting to really heat up as we are near the end of the first round

By Nikos Varlas/ varlas@eurohoops.net

We are already at the sixth week of action and we have a clash of Spanish giants, the battle between Olympiacos and CSKA and things are starting to really heat up as we are near the end of the first round.

Eurohoops game of the week: Real Madrid – Barcelona

This is their first game this season in Euroleague, after the triumph of Real in last year’s Final Four. The hosts (4-1) need to defend their home court, while Barcelona (3-2) has a chance to get back in the race for the home court advantae in the play offs. That’s the perfect scenery for “El Clasico” and of course, anything goes! The team which will be on its night, the shooting and defensive efficiency will be the keys. Of course in this game, Real has the home court.

Honorable mention: OlympiacosCSKA Moscow

Unbeaten CSKA (5-0) will be tested in Piraeus, where Olympiacos (4-1) has so far 11 wins in a row. This is also the home coming of Kyle Hines to his old gym, as he will be for the first time the “enemy” of the club in which he won two back to back Euroleague titles. The hosts after their defeat in Istanbul by Efes want to be the first team that beats CSKA in Euroleague this season, a result which will push them on top of their group.

Still CSKA has more players who can be decisive and a bigger depth. Still nothing is easy on the road in Greece. We expect a defensive oriented game and it will be interesting to see how Olympiacos will try and defend against the miss matches that CSKA will create.

The question mark: EA7 MilanoEfes

The hosts (1-4) after a mediocre regular season, they are still dissapointing in Top16. They have their – well documented issues – they don’t share the ball well and they don’t sacrifice for the team. Can this change in a key game against Efes (3-2) which has better chemistry, better defense and plays much more team orented basketball, despite being a “younger” team? Milano has to react, or else play offs will be more than far away.

Under the microscope: GalatasarayMaccabi

The hosts (2-3) just need this win against the defending champions (4-1) who are having a great Top16 start. Aleks Maric will play against his regular season team as a member of Galatasaray which will try to control the game via defense. That will be the key in order to keep in check the offensive talent of Maccabi. And also the game of Arroyo, also a former Maccabi player, will be more than a factor.

In Berlin, Malaga, Istanbul and Belgrade

Both Crvena Zvezda and Zalgiris has the same bad record (1-4) and the winner will get a breather. This is the first game between them since 1999, when Zalgiris won the Euroleague and of course the Serbs who are the hosts, have the advantage.

The improved Fenerbahce (3-2) is hosting the new, better version of Laboral Kutxa (2-3) which has much better chemistry than in regular season and that makes the Spaniards really dangerous. However if Fenerbahce continues to be focused on defense, things should be really simple or else…

In Berlin Alba (2-3) hopes to win, but this a great chance for a “w” on the road for Panathinaikos (3-2), as the Greens have to start getting results away from OAKA. O2 Arena is a good place to start.

Finally, Unicaja Malaga (0-5) needs desperately a win, but Nizhny (2-3) has proven so far that it doesn’t give presents to anyone. The team of Plaza needs to contain the trio of Rochestie, Kinsey and Thompikns and also close the game the right way.