Euroleague Tips with Previews – Round 19 – Tuesday

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Khimki – Barcelona

Khimki Moscow Region looks to turn things around when it hosts FC Barcelona. Khimki (2-16) has lost 10 consecutive games, including in Barcelona last month. Barcelona (12-6) put an end to a three-game slide of its own with a home victory over Valencia Basket last week. Coach Sarunas Jasikevicus’s men, who are tied for second in the standings, are 4-4 on the road this season.

Barcelona likes to attack the basket and has made the second-most two-pointers (20.9 per game) at the fourth-highest percentage (55.9%). Khimki leads the league in blocks (3.9 bpg.) and if Jordan Mickey and Devin Booker can slow down the Barcelona attack in the paint, it could pay major dividends. These two are also among the worst in turnovers with Khimki committing the third most (14.7 per game) and Barcelona the second most (14.8). Taking care of the ball could prove decisive in the end.

Janis Timma and Jonas Jerebko have missed the last two games. Greg Monroe has not played since Round 13.

Even with Barcelona’s roster in flux, Coach Jasikevicius’s priority is on the defensive end. Barcelona has allowed the lowest PIR (76.4) and second-fewest points (73.6) in the league. Its opponents are bottom of the table in two-point shooting (49.9%) and second-bottom in threes (33.6%). Regardless of which players are fit, another strong defensive showing is the key in Moscow.

Higgins left Barcelona’s Spanish League game on Saturday night with an apparent thigh injury. Brandon Davies has missed Barcelona’s last four games. Nikola Mirotic has missed Barcelona’s last two games.

basketball prediction Tip: 1 (+6.5) at 1.90 with bet365
(Price correct at 12/01/2010, 09:15 CET, subject to change)

Efes – ALBA Berlin

Anadolu Efes Istanbul will look to gain some positive momentum at home when it hosts ALBA Berlin on Tuesday. Efes (9-9), which comes off a big road win at LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne, has dropped two of its last three home games and is 3-6 in Istanbul this season. ALBA (7-11) has dropped four of its last five games and has been dealing with a rash of injuries recently. Last week the German champs beat TD Systems Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz before falling to Maccabi Playtika Tel Aviv. ALBA is 3-5 on the road this season.

Efes knows that ALBA is an aggressive team that ranks third in the league in offensive rebounds (11.0 orpg.). A quarter of its points against Efes the last time were second-chance points. Efes has given up the second-most offensive rebounds (10.9) in the league this season. A better showing on the defensive glass could not only take points away from ALBA, but also help Efes to get out more in transition.

ALBA’s aggressive style bears fruits in that it is ranked fourth in the league in steals (7.1 spg.) and forces the most turnovers (15.4). However, it has allowed the third-most points (83.6 ppg.) on the second-highest three-point shooting (40.3%) and highest percentage on twos (57.6%)m as well as the most assists (20.9 apg.). ALBA needs to not only put pressure on the ball handlers, but to make sure it doesn’t give up any easy baskets along the way to improve its chances in Istanbul.

Luke Sikma and Niels Giffey are expected to miss several weeks with injuries. Head Coach Aito Garcia Reneses has missed ALBA’s last three games after testing positive for COVID-19. Peyton Siva has missed ALBA’s last four games. Marcus Eriksson has missed ALBA’s last 10 games.

basketball prediction Tip: Over 160.5 at 1.90 with bet365
(Price correct at 12/01/2010, 09:15 CET, subject to change)

Fenerbahce – Baskonia

Two teams riding high will clash on Tuesday when Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul takes on TD Systems Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz. Fenerbahce (8-10) has won three in a row to climb up the table. Two of those came at home, where Coach Igor Kokoskov’s men are 4-4 this season. Baskonia (9-9) has won three of its last four, including knocking off league-leader CSKA Moscow last week. With both teams just outside the playoff zone, expect high intensity in this showdown.

Baskonia has a loaded front line, which is why it is third in the league in rebounding with 34.8 per game. Fenerbahce is 15th with 31.1. The gap is larger when viewing rebounding difference; Baskonia has outrebounded its foes by 3.7 boards per game and Fenerbahce has been outrebounded by an average of 3.3 per game. What’s more, Baskonia is

Ali Muhammed has missed Fenerbahce’s last three games.

Baskonia is among the league’s best at drawing fouls with 21.0 per game. However, it is the league’s worst team at free-throw accuracy 74.1%. Poor free-throw shooting combined with its 14.6 turnovers per game – fourth-most this season – is a dangerous recipe on the road. Baskonia must improve on both fronts to have a good chance in Istanbul.

basketball prediction Tip: 1 at 1.57 with bet365
(Price correct at 12/01/2010, 09:15 CET, subject to change)

Maccabi – Olympiacos

Two teams in good form looking to climb in the standings meet when Maccabi Playtika Tel Aviv hosts Olympiacos Piraeus. Maccabi (8-10) has won five of its last seven games and is now looking to reclaim its former home-court dominance. The Israeli champs are 4-4 at home this season. Olympiacos (9-8) has won back-to-back games and has a winning record, 5-3, on the road this season. Four of its next five games will be on the road.

Maccabi is one of the best rebounding teams in the league with an average of 35.1 per game, while Olympiacos is third-worst with 30.8. Maccabi has needed that strong play on the glass to offset some of its shooting woes; it is below league-average from all areas and 16th in the league in true shooting percentage at 47.2%. Making more shots is the key for Maccabi.

Othello Hunter missed Maccabi’s Round 18 game with an eye injury.

With Othello Hunter likely out again for this game, Maccabi will be shorthanded in the paint and its size advantage with Dragan Bender at the ‘4’ will be negated by him needing to play more minutes at center. The depth the Reds have inside with Octavius Ellis, Livio Jean-Charles and Hassan Martin is tough for any team and even tougher when shorthanded. Pounding the paint could be a key for Olympiacos in Tel Aviv.

Kostas Papanikolaou has missed Olympiacos’s last two games. Shaquielle McKissic missed Round 18 with an ankle injury.

basketball prediction Tip: 2 (+4.5) at 1.90 with bet365
(Price correct at 12/01/2010, 09:15 CET, subject to change)

AX Milan – Valencia

AX Armani Exchange Milan snapped a losing streak with a big road win last week and Valencia Basket will look to do the same on Tuesday when they meet in the fashion capital. Milan (10-7) had lost back-to-back games before winning in Madrid in Round 18. Now it looks to get a first home win after three straight losses. Milan is 4-4 at home this season. Valencia (10-8) has lost three straight games on the road and is 4-5 away from home this season.

Milan has averaged the third-most points (81.6 ppg.) in the league this season while committing the fewest turnovers (11.1 per game). What’s more, it’s forced opponents into 14.9 turnovers per game, which is the second-most in the league. Valencia (20.4 apg.) leads the league in assists, but if Milan can win the turnover battle, it will be in the driver’s seat.

Vladimir Micov has missed the team’s last three games. Shavon Shields did not play in Round 18 with a thigh injury and is doubtful for this game.

With Bojan Dubljevic’s participation in question, Valencia, which leads the league in two-point shooting (59.5%) will need Mike Tobey, Derrick Williams and Louis Labeyrie to make up for his absence by attacking the paint. Strong play by those bigs is critical for Valencia to score a victory in Milan this week.

Bojan Dubljevic missed Valencia’s Round 18 game. Vanja Marinkovic has missed Valencia’s last 13 games due to a shoulder injury.

basketball prediction Tip: Winning margin 3-way ‘Any other result’ (1-5p. each way) at 2.75 with bet365
(Price correct at 12/01/2010, 09:15 CET, subject to change)

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