Euroleague basketball predictions included under each mini game preview.
Among the notable clashes in Round 10 will be one between the top two teams in alphabetical order: Anadolu Efes Istanbul vs. AX Armani Exchange Olimpia Milan. The visitors boast six players plus Coach Pianigiani with experience in Turkish basketball, while Efes features former Milan guard Kruno Simon. Coach Sarunas Jasikevicius, who led Maccabi to back-to-back EuroLeague crowns as a player, will lead Zalgiris Kaunas to Tel Aviv on Thursday and on Friday, CSKA Moscow and FC Barcelona Lassa, which have met four times over the past decade in the Final Four, will duel in the Russian capital.
CSKA Moscow vs Barcelona
A true Turkish Airlines EuroLeague classic tips off Friday’s action as co-leader CSKA Moscow (7-2) hosts FC Barcelona (4-5) in a rematch of a game that has been staged on four occasions in the Final Four this century. Barcelona will be hoping to build on the momentum of two consecutive big home wins by now gaining its first road victory, while CSKA’s league-best offense (87.3 ppg.) will look to further extend its seven-game streak of scoring at least 80 points. Barcelona has dished more assists than any other team (22.2 apg.), so disrupting the visiting team’s rhythm will be key for Coach Dimitris Itoudis’s team.
Panathinaikos vs Unicaja Malaga
In-form Panathinaikos (6-3) will aim for a fifth straight win with the visit of an Unicaja team that has lost three straight and not won in Athens for nearly 12 years. Panathinaikos has significantly better shooting percentages than the Spanish team, especially from long-range with a 39.8% three-point conversion rate against Unicaja’s 29.6%. Those shooting woes help to explain why Unicaja has the lowest-scoring offense in the EuroLeague, averaging just 71 points per game, and it will surely need a lot more than that to challenge a Panathinaikos team that has averaged 84.5 points at home this season.
Real Madrid vs Crvena Zvezda
Two teams riding a wave of negative momentum will seek to turn that around in the Spanish capital. Injury-plagued host Madrid (5-4) has lost four of its last five games, while Zvezda (2-7) has dropped five in a row to sink to the bottom of the standings. The Serbian champion can at least take heart that its offense found form in last week’s narrow loss to Baskonia, surpassing 80 points for the first time since Round 4. And the visitors will need to maintain that pace because, despite its recent losses, Madrid remains the second-highest scoring team in the competition with an average of 84.9 points per game.
Khimki Moscow vs Brose Bamberg
After a promising start to the season, Khimki (5-4) has gone into freefall with three straight losses and will look to arrest that slide with the visit of a Brose (5-4) team that has launched miraculous comebacks in two of its last three games. A lack of offensive production has been the issue for Khimki, which will seek to improve upon its average of just 67 points per game from those three recent losses. Brose is the worst rebounding team in the competition with an average of 31.7 per game, but the absence of Khimki’s injured big man Thomas Robinson could even things out in that respect.
AX Olimpia Milan vs Anadolu Efes Istanbul
Two teams aiming to move away from the bottom of the standings go head to head when Efes (2-7) hosts visiting AX Milan (3-6). Efes relies heavily for offensive production on Errick McCollum, who averaged 26 points in his team’s two wins this season, but only 5.6 points in the last five losses. Efes has the worst defensive record in the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague, allowing 83.8 points per game, and Milan will look to its new backcourt duo of Jordan Theodore and Curtis Jerrells to provide the spark for what could be its fourth win of the campaign.
Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv vs Zalgiris Kaunas
After winning three of its last four games, including two on the road, Zalgiris (5-4) will be in high spirits as it attempts to climb clear of a Maccabi (5-4) team that suffered a heavy defeat in Barcelona last week. Zalgiris possesses one of the league’s most potent offenses, averaging 80.8 per game in large part thanks to an excellent three-point shooting rate of 41.9%, which is second best in the competition. Maccabi is dead last in that category after converting just 29.3% of attempts from beyond the arc, so the battle from downtown could be crucial.
Tip: No Bet
Baskonia vs Fenerbahce
Baskonia (4-5) has history on its side as it hosts reigning champ Fenerbahce (6-3): Baskonia has won seven consecutive home games against Fenerbahce, a sequence that dates back to 2004. The two teams are in good form after both winning four of their last five, and one key element could be the head to head battle between two of the league’s most in-form big men: Johannes Voigtmann has averaged 16 points, 8 rebounds and 4.5 assists in the last two games for Baskonia, while Jan Vesely has been worth 14.2 points for the season after reaching double figures in seven of his nine games.
Valencia vs Olympiacos
Struggling Valencia (3-6) will have a tough task in ending its five-game losing streak against co-leader Olympiacos (7-2), which has won three in a row. As always, the Reds’ success has been built on a defense that has restricted its opponents to a league-low team performance index rating of just 71.44 per game. Valencia could attempt to fire itself to victory from downtown after attempting 24.4 three-pointers per game, fourth-highest in the league, but that will be difficult against an Olympiacos team which has allowed opponents to convert just 31.6% of shots from beyond the arc, second-best in the competition.
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