By Eurohoops team/ firstname.lastname@example.org
This next round of games is going to clear up lots of things, at least concerning who will get the advantage for the qualification to the playoffs, especially in the craziest group that we have ever witnessed in Euroleague.
Yes, of course, we are talking about the Group where two teams are at the top (with a 8-4 record) of the standings and 5 (!) come next with 6-6. In the other Group, things are much easier to decrypt, but there are still some open cases considering the places from 2nd to 4th. The schedule is balanced with half of the games taking place on Thursday and the other four having been programmed for Friday. You can take a look at the standings here.
Do not forget that in the complete Game Center of Eurohoops, you can follow all the matches Live and Play By Play. Also, you have the opportunity to find any statistic you might look for, whether it is about teams or players.
The Games of the Week!
You have to excuse us if we cannot distinguish only one game out of all the battles for survival that take place in the notorious “Group of Death”. So we pay equal attention to: Khimki Moscow – Olympiacos Piraeus, Barcelona – Brose Baskets and Laboral Kutxa – Real Madrid. Every game has the character of a “final”!
In Moscow, Khimki is hosting Olympiacos (31th of March 19:45) in a game where the winner takes all. Almost. At least that team that will be victorious, gains some strong hopes of advancing to the next stage, while the losing side will be most likely eliminated! Olympiacos had won the first game, in Piraeus, with a 12-point difference and now will have to cope without Matt Lojeski and Nikola Milutinov. With Dusko Ivanovic at the helm, Khimki, has changed its playing style, especially when it comes to defense. Controlling the rhythm is a key, but a lot will also be decided by the energy that each team puts will put on court.
Experience and personalities are going to play a huge part in all these “finals”. The same thing applies to the battle between Laboral Kutxa and Real Madrid in Vitoria (1st of April, 20:30). The hosts have already won two more games than their opponents. If they take this match as well, they don’t only secure the home-court advantage for the playoffs, since they reach the magical number of 9 victories, but they also push the reigning Euroleague champion closer to the cliff of elimination. This is a classic Spanish match-up where the rhythm, ball possessions and shooting accuracy are key factors that lead to victory. Velimir Perasovic‘s team had won the first game in Madrid with a difference of 9 points.
Yet another… final takes place in Spain. This one (31th of March 20:45) in Barcelona, where the local team will play against a Brose Baskets that keeps exceeding expectations. Although the Catalans have some known problems with Juan Carlos Navarro and Pau Ribas, they play at their home court, they have experience and a certain weight that helps them get through this kind of games. But if we look at things strictly through a basketball lens, the teams’ differences are small. If coach Andre Trinchieri’s team will prove itself to be mentally prepared for the challenge ahead, every result is open.
The rest of the games:
Lokomotiv Kuban – Unicaja Malaga (31th of March, 18:00)
Crvena Zvezda – Darussafaka Dogus (31th of March, 20:00)
Panathinaikos – Cedevita (1st of April, 20:45)
(All hours are CET)
You want to know that….
- Vassilis Spanoulis needs one more steal with reach 200 in Euroleague and become the 13th player in the related list.
- Giorgos Printezis has scored in double-digits in his last seven games, averaging 18.7 points per game.
- Barcelona remains the team with less turnovers (11.3) per game in Euroleague
- Nando De Colo is the player with the best ranking (an average of 23.6) in Euroleague
- Milos Teodosic needs one more three-pointer to be tied with an old CSKA legend, J.R. Holden, in the fourth place of all times. Milos has mae 376 so far in his Euroleague career.
- Even though he is a rookie, Cory Higgins, has the best three-point percentage in the competition, shooting with 56.3% from behind the arc.