By Aris Barkas/ email@example.com
Time flies and finally with 13 games left in the regular season, some of the teams are really left behind. Yes, we reached the point where there’s no room for mistakes if you want to have the home court advantage, be in the playoffs or keep hope alive.
And while some are losing hope, CSKA Moscow still leads (13-4) the standings, followed by Real Madrid and Olympiacos (12-5) in the second place. Baskonia is fourth (11-6) with Panathinaikos and Fenerbahce chasing them (10-7) while the duo of Crvena Zvezda and Dogus Darussafaka complete the top eight with a 9-8 record. And speaking of Crvena Zvezda…
He has a career high in a big game, delivering against the front line of Fenerbahce. He finished the game with 21 points, 8 rebounds and 2 blocks, one of them in the last play of the game which decided the outcome and sealed the win of Crvena Zvezda. That’s MVP material.
- Bruno Fitipaldo: The newcomer in Galatasaray took things on his hand as he lead his team to the win over Zalgiris Kaunas with 21 points and 6 assists.
- Dairis Bertans: He had an amazing shooting performance with 29 points on 10/13 shots as Dogus Darussafaka beat Baskonia with ease.
- Keith Langford: Once more he was a one man team for Unics Kazan with 27 points, 10 rebounds and 5 assists in the win over Brose Baskets.
- Luka Doncic: He flirted with the triple double as Real Madrid beat Maccabi Tel Aviv with 10 points, 11 rebounds and 8 assists with zero (!) turnovers.
- Ognjen Kuzmic: The man in the middle
Best losing performance: Milan Macvan
The only bright spot in the disaster of EA7 Emporio Armani Milano in Moscow was him. The Serb big man finished the game with 19 points (6/10 FG), 11 rebounds and 3 assists. Those numbers don’t mean anything in the big picture, still you can’t blame him for this.
Coach of the week: Dejan Radonjic
He is a regular here and with Crvena Zvezda having won 5 of its last 6 games this feels natural. Against Zeljko Obradovic he presented once more a solid team which plays as a unit and gets things done first of all thanks to its defense. Zvezda has the seal of its coach and it remains to be seen if he will stay in Belgrade next season.
Biggest win: Olympiacos
You may argue that many underdogs got crucial wins, but at this point those kind of results shape the future of the playoffs. The Reds playing without Vasilis Spanoulis got the road win over Barcelona which is now officially in trouble, having a 7-10 record. Barca is having its worst Euroleague season ever so far, while Olympiacos made one more big step towards the home court advantage, even if the leader of the team stayed in Greece.
Playoffs mode: Panathinaikos
In a crucial game between two playoffs contenders, the Greens managed to send the game to overtime and beat Anadolu Efes. Ironically, after 40 minutes of action the game was tied at 70, like the first game between the two teams in Istanbul. However, Panathinaikos this time got the win and Efes for the moment is marginally out of the playoffs in the 9th place of the standings.
Last word: Between a rock and a hard place
This was the 10th defeat in a row for EA7 Emporio Armani Milano in Euroleague. In theory the Italians – like also Galatasaray (5-12), Maccabi Tel Aviv (6-11) and Zalgiris Kaunas (6-11) – can still make the playoffs, but the way they played in Moscow does not give them any real hope. With a 4-13 record, it remains to be seen if they can react somehow, or if they just give up.