Euroleague Preview & Tips – Round 2 – 11/10/2019

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Zenit – Barcelona

EuroLeague newcomer Zenit St. Petersburg welcomes one of the greats of the competition for its first-ever home game when it hosts FC Barcelona on Friday. Insult was added to literal injury in Round 1 when Zenit lost its game at ALBA Berlin and also lost Gustavo Ayon and Andrey Zubkov to injury. Barcelona will play for the second straight week on the road after opening the season with a victory at Anadolu Efes Istanbul in which Nikola Mirotic marked his return to the EuroLeague with 24 points in 26 minutes.

The difference between a few three-pointers that go in or don’t can greatly impact any game. Zenit was just 7 for 26 (26.9%) in its loss at ALBA, but over the weekend stunned EuroLeague champion CSKA in Moscow in the VTB United League. In that game, Zenit shot 11 for 23 (47.8%) from behind the arc. A strong shooting night for Andrew Albicy, Evgeny Voronov, Austin Hollins and Tim Abromaitis would put Zenit in a much better position against Barcelona.

Barcelona used its frontcourt depth and its athletic wings to outrebound Efes 37-44 last week, though it did allow 13 offensive rebounds, which Efes converted into 17 second-chance points. However, that only underscores how strong of an overall defensive effort the team made to keep the opponent to 64 points at home. If Barcelona can duplicate that effort on defense and control the rebounds against a short-handed Zenit frontline, Barcelona’s many offensive stars should put the team in position to take a second road win.

basketball prediction Tip: Over 159.5 at 1.90 with bet365
(Price correct at 11/10/2019, 09:40 CET, could have changed)

Khimki – Baskonia

In a clash of Round 1 winners, Khimki looks to remain perfect at home while Baskonia seeks a valuable second road win. Khimki bested Maccabi with Jannis Timmas joining the old guard of Alexey Shved and Anthony Gill in putting up big numbers. Baskonia triumphed on the road at Zalgiris Kaunas with Shavon Shields providing the offense and Youssoupha Fall dominating on defense. Baskonia swept the season series against Khimki last season.

Khimki scored 89 points in Round 1 despite making only 13 of 32 two-point shots (40.6%). Led by Alexey Shved and Jannis Timma, Khimki fired up more three-point shots (35) than twos and such strategy is an excellent way to neutralize Baskonia’s shot blockers. However, the spreading of the floor can only be complete if the Khimki bigs convert inside. Devin Booker and Jeremy Evans are two of the players who must step up in that department.

Chris Kramer, Timofey Mozgov, Evgeny Valiev, Egor Vialtsev, Stefan Jovic are still out with injuries. Sergey Karasev and Dairis Bertans will probably be a game-time decision for coach Kurtinaitis.

Baskonia put on a defensive clinic to start the season. Ball pressure from Luca Vildoza and co. led to Zalgiris committing 17 turnovers. Youssoupha Fall blocked 5 shots and together with the threat of Michael Eric, they forced the home team into 13 of 36 two-point shooting (36.1%). The downside of challenging so many shots was that they gave up 17 offensive rebounds, but nonetheless, Baskonia held Zalgiris to just 58 points. If Baskonia can duplicate that kind of defensive effort, it will give Khimki fits.

Amazing stat: CSKA has hosted Bayern twice for the Euroleague. The final score in both games (2014 and 2019) was 77-70.

basketball prediction Tip: 2 (+4.0) at 1.90 with bet365
(Price correct at 11/10/2019, 09:40 CET, could have changed)

Anadolu Efes – ALBA Berlin

Anadolu Efes Istanbul, last season’s runner up, will be in search of its first victory in the new season when it welcomes ALBA Berlin to Sinan Erdem Dome on Friday. Shorthanded in the opening round, Efes battled hard but could not avoid 64-74 home defeat against FC Barcelona Lassa, while ALBA had a great return to the EuroLeague, downing Zenit St Petersburg 85-65 in the German capital.

Coach Ergin Ataman’s team had major success last season behind some of the best three-point shooting ever see in the EuroLeague. Efes led the league with 10.4 triples per game, the second-best average in EuroLeague this century, and ranked third with 40.6% accuracy from long range. Indeed, Efes made 10 triples last week against Barcelona, but on a massive 39 attempts. If it seems like a lot, it is: 39 three-point attempts is tied for the second most in the competition since January 2014. Efes is one of the best teams in the competition in creating good three-point looks, but needs better accuracy to help itself re-capture last-season’s form.

Similar to Efes, ALBA has not done many changes to its roster over the summer, and the team has done a great job staying true to itself despite moving up to play at the EuroLeague level. ALBA plays with great ball movement where all players share the ball, and no one is shy about pulling a trigger. No team in Round 1 had more than ALBA’s 23 assists, but more importantly, each of the 10 players who got minutes registered at least 1 assist. Continuing to play with such mindset will be the key for this team against Efes, too.

Johannes Thiemann and Stefan Peno will not play due to injury. Peyton Siva might return on Friday, but is still questionable, the club reported.

basketball prediction Tip: Under 165.5 at 1.90 with bet365
(Price correct at 11/10/2019, 09:40 CET, could have changed)

Olympiacos – Valencia

Two teams looking to bounce back from disappointing starts to the season meet on Friday when Olympiacos hosts Valencia. the Reds are reeling not just from their opening-night loss at LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne, but also the decision to part ways with Coach David Blatt. His top assistant, Kestutis Kemzura, is guiding the team on an interim basis. Valencia was rocked in Round 1 by the champs, but Coach Jaume Pansarnau can be pleased with how his big men fared against CSKA in that game.

Teams always come out and play hard after a coaching change and this is a sure thing for Olympiacos, too. The stumbling block last week for the Reds was the second unit’ Olympiacos only got 19 points off the bench, despite the presence there of weapons like Vassilis Spanoulis, Kostas Papanikolaou, Brandon Paul, Will Cherry and Augustine Rubit. It is imperative to get more scoring from the second unit going forward.

You can’t win in basketball if you can’s put the ball in the hoop. This is something that Valencia struggled with in Round 1. The team made just 47.2% of its two-pointers and 23.8% of threes. Even though Valencia drew many fouls and shot 29 free throws, the poor shooting meant that Valencia could not keep pace with its opponent. It must find its shooting touch this week to trip up Olympiacos in Greece.

basketball prediction Tip: Olympiacos 3-6 points Winning Margin at 5.50 with bet365
(Price correct at 11/10/2019, 09:40 CET, could have changed)

AX Armani Milano – Zalgiris

Both teams are eager to get onto the winning track after disappointing outcomes in the opening round. Milan was held to 64 points in a road loss to FC Bayern Munich, while Zalgiris was able to score only 58 points in a home defeat against KIROLBET Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz. It is very early in the season, so it is hard to say that there is pressure mounting ahead of this clash, but any team with high aspirations like these two would love to avoid dropping to 0-2.

Milan’s offense struggled last week. Milan has not been doing well from long range this season, and that was especially true in team’s EuroLeague opener when Milan shot a mere 4-for-22 against Bayern. In that game, however, Milan was also held to just 42.9% for two-pointers, and missed one third of its free throws. Messina’s team will need to facilitate more offense, and shoot with better percentages, to improve its chances on any given week, including in this game against Zalgiris.

Center Jock Landale is the biggest man on Zalgiris roster at 2.11 meters, but has found himself in a new role in Round 1 when he fired 6 three-point shots in 20 minutes of action. For comparison purposes, Landale has shot 21 threes in 16 EuroCup appearances last season. His newly developed skill could be of big importance when he goes against his Milan counterparts, especially the 2.13-meter Kaleb Tarczewski. Forcing Tarczewski, and other Milan’s big men, to play further from the basket could open up things for Zalgiris down low, and a team coached by Jasikevicius will know how to use it.

Vladimir Micov is expected to be available for at least some minute against Zalgiris. Nemanja Nedovic and Arturas Gudaitis are still unavailable to coach Messina.

basketball prediction Tip: 1 & Both Teams to Score 80 points at 10.00 with bet365
(Price correct at 11/10/2019, 09:40 CET, could have changed)


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