Euroleague Basketball Predictions
The two remaining tickets to the Final Four (Kaunas, 19-21 May) will be sealed on Wednesday as Partizan and Maccabi aim to make history by becoming the first teams to win on the road in Game 5 of the Euroleague playoffs. Real Madrid and Monaco have very different ideas as they look to make the most of home-court advantage and join -already qualified- Barcelona and Olympiacos in the Final 4.
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olympiacos – MONACO
When Olympiacos and Monaco meet in the first semifinal of the 2023 EuroLeague Final Four, a longstanding powerhouse will face a side seeking to make a major impact on its debut in European basketball’s biggest event.
Last season, these two teams played a dramatic five-game playoff series, which Olympiacos won 3-2. Monaco retooled last summer, but the Reds improved on an outstanding season by finishing with the best regular-season record. However, the French side won both games away and at home, so we shouldn’t take them out of the equation. Olympiacos and Monaco are so close that this semifinal is difficult to call.
Both clubs had to go the distance in the playoffs, with Monaco defeating Maccabi at home in Game 5 owing to backcourt players Mike James and Jordan Loyd scoring 21 points each. Olympiacos will rely on defensive ace Thomas Walkup – who leads the league in steals with 1.8 per game – to disturb Monaco’s flow, and will hope that Kostas Sloukas can maintain his excellent form after averaging 14.6 points on 60.5% field goal shooting during a thrilling playoff series with Fenerbahce. Monaco will also have to limit the impact of league topscorer Vezenkov (17.2 ppg), who scored at least 17 points in four of the five games against Fenerbahce, and super-sub McKissic, the other Olympiacos double-digit scorer in the playoffs.
2 (+5.5) at 1.90
barcelona – REAL MADRID
For the second consecutive season, Barcelona will face Real Madrid in a clásico semifinal, which Real Madrid won 83-86 on the same stage a year ago. Tipoff is set for 21:00 local time. Due to the participation of two former Zalgiris players, legendary head coach Sarunas Jasikevicius and young guard Rokas Jokubaitis, Barcelona will undoubtedly have significant support in Kaunas. However, Real’s incredible comeback from an 18-point deficit in Game 5 of the playoffs against Partizan demonstrates that the 10-time champion is not afraid of a challenge and will hope for in-form playmaker Sergio Rodriguez to continue his beautiful relationship with massive big man Walter Tavares.
Barca, led by former Real Madrid attacker Nikola Mirotic, has the advantage of rest after defeating Zalgiris in the playoffs in three games, and also has recent familiarity with the host stadium after finishing that series at Zalgirio Arena. Barca will also hope that center and former champion Jan Vesely is totally healthy after scoring 14.7 points in the playoffs but leaving a subsequent domestic game due to back issues.
Over 160.5 at 1.90
(All prices correct at 19/05/2023, 09:15 CET, subject to change)
News Source: Euroleague.net
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