By Nikos Varlas/ firstname.lastname@example.org
Snake-bitten Brose Bamberg, who shares last place at 2-7 after losing five of its games by a total of nine points, host the reigning Turkish Airlines EuroLeague champions and sole occupants at the top of the current standings, CSKA Moscow (8-1).
Needless to say, Bamberg wants to use its home court and loyal fans to make a new start after the four consecutive defeats and leave behind the frustration of suffering several defeats in games that were decided by a single shot. To beat the mighty champs from CSKA would be the perfect re-start for Bamberg. Indeed, during last season’s Top 16, Bamberg did just that, defeating CSKA on its home court in Freak City! Can they do it again? It will be very difficult.
In this encounter, Bamberg’s Nikos Zisis and CSKA’s Milos Teodosic – who is on amazing form – are going to go head to head! Zisis, at 33 years old, is in his 15th season in the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague. He ranks fourth in games played in the competition (with 262 appearances) and 10th on the list of the best passers of all-time, with 725 assists. What’s more, he won his EuroLeague title as a player in 2008 playing for the same team that he’s going up against on Thursday night – CSKA Moscow!
Zisis is one of the smartest point guards of his generation, a controlled floor general, an excellent creator and high-level decision maker who offers contribution in all areas of the game. So far this season he is posting 9.6 points, 5.8 assists, 1.7 rebounds, and a performance index rating (PIR) of 11.1 per game.
Teodosic, at 29 years of age and in his 10th season in the EuroLeague, is entering the peak of his career and playing his best basketball. If you like great passing – and what basketball fan doesn’t? – he may be the one player in the world you do not want to take your eye off! This big scorer and unbelievable creator last week gave us one of the best performances we have ever seen!
In his team’s victory over Baskonia Vitoria Gasteiz, Teodosic scored 34 points and dished 10 assists to become the first Euroleague player this century to reach 30 points and 10 assists in the same game. He finished with a performance index rating of 43, something that only nine other players have accomplished this decade, and he dished his 1,000th assist, becoming just the third player in EuroLeague history to do so.
After that career-high performance by Teodosic, he is now the EuroLeague’s sixth all-time scorer, with 2,496 points. In Bamberg, he only needs one point to break his tie with former EuroLeague champion Mike Batiste. And if he were to repeat his 34-point performance, he might jump all the way fourth place all-time, ahead of Real Madrid‘s Felipe Reyes and former scoring ace Jaka Lakovic.
In last year’s Final Four, Teodosic won his first EuroLeague trophy. He was the MVP in 2010, was named to the All-EuroLeague First Team three times (2010, 2015, 2016), and was the MVP of the Month of October. To start this season, he is averaging 17.3 points, 8.2 assists, 2 rebounds, and a PIR of 18.9 after nine games!
One more thrilling game awaits us in Round 10 of the regular season, with Bamberg and CSKA as the protagonists, along with a high-level matchup between Zisis and Teodosic, two players with their own history in the competition, plus numerous major achievements at the international level with their national teams!
#GameOn in Freak City!