Euroleague Tips with Previews – Round 22 – Tuesday

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Anadolu Efes – Crvena Zvezda

Anadolu Efes Istanbul will try to get back to winning ways when it welcomes Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade on Tuesday. Efes had its three-game winning streak snapped last week when it lost in St Petersburg, while Zvezda is coming off a week in which IT knocked off Real Madrid on the road before losing at home against FC Barcelona. Efes will have to contain The EuroLeague’s third-best scorer Jordan Loyd (18.1) while trying to get its offense going behind the stellar backcourt trio of Vasilije Micic (15.1 ppg., 5.2 apg.), Shane Larkin (13.9 ppg.) and Krunoslav Simon (11.8 ppg.).

It will be important for Efes to come out and match Zvezda’s energy and effort from the opening tip-off. Zvezda plays with a lot of confidence when it starts games well, as evidenced by its win last week in Madrid. The hosts will need to avoid such a scenario. Efes will also need to get the ball moving and try to create open looks, just like it did in the first game this season against Zvezda when it knocked down 15 threes.

Tibor Pleiss has missed last six games with an injury.

Coach Dejan Radonjic’s men need to find a way to come out with focus and play with a lot of patience. Apart from trying to keep Efes from running in transition as much as possible in this game, it will be a must for Zvezda to control the defensive glass. Efes averaged 13.7 offensive rebounds over the last three games and those have often led to second-chance three-point attempts from Larkin, Micic and co., which Efes uses to spark its dangerous offense.

Marko Simonovic has missed the last five games with an injury.

basketball prediction Tip: Over 156.5 at 1.90 with bet365
(Price correct at 26/01/2010, 10:15 CET, subject to change)

Khimki – Bayern

Two teams coming off big road losses will look to bounce back when Khimki Moscow Region hosts FC Bayern Munich. Khimki (2-19) is coming off a 16-point loss at Panathinaikos OPAP Athens, while Bayern scored a club record-low 51 points in a 24-point loss at AX Armani Exchange Milan (13-7). Khimki enters this contest on a 12-game losing run and has not won at home since October 30 when it beat Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade. Bayern, on the other hand, has lost five consecutive road games and has not won outside Munich in more than two months. One streak is sure to end on Tuesday.

Khimki has lost 13 in a row and allows more than 90 points per game, by far the most in the EuroLeague. Khimki’s forte is traditionally its offense, however, the team has not scored more than 78 points in the last four games, either. Khimki moves the ball well with 19.0 assists per game and will need to use that and play its up-tempo style to get Bayern out of its comfort zone and give itself a better chance of snapping its losing streak.

Khimki announced that it has released Greg Monroe and Jonas Jerebko. Janis Timma has missed the last five games. Alexey Shved and Devin Booker did not play in Round 21.

Bayern needs to try to keep Khimki offense in check while getting its own offense going after scoring just 51 points last week. Taking care of the ball will be of utmost importance in this game for Bayern, which turned the ball over 20 times last week after previously ranking among the best in this aspect of the game. Fewer turnovers would mean fewer opportunities for Khimki to run in transition and a better chance for Bayern to control the tempo of the game.

Robin Amaize, Nihad Dedovic and Zan Mark Sisko have missed the last four games.

basketball prediction Tip: Bayern Over 87.5 at 1.86 with bet365
(Price correct at 26/01/2010, 10:15 CET, subject to change)

Fenerbahce – Maccabi

Two teams on the fringe of the playoff zone will clash on Tuesday when Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul hosts Maccabi Playtika Tel Aviv. Fenerbahce (11-10) has won six straight games, including four at home. Coach Igor Kokoskov’s men have outscored their opponents by 18.8 points in those last four home wins. Maccabi has won seven of its last 10 games, including victories in Berlin, Barcelona and Vitoria-Gasteiz.

Over the last three games, Fenerbahce’s offense leads the league with 95.0 points per game, but Maccabi is second with 88.0. Jan Vesely has carried the load in the paint for Fenerbahce and he will be counted on to do so against Maccabi, which is third in the league in rebounding thanks to Ante Zizic and Othello Hunter. The potential debut of Kyle O’Quinn could help the hosts, whose chances to beat Maccabi again rise with a good night on the boards and in the paint.

Fenerbahce has allowed the second-most three-pointers (10.2 per game) in the league this season and with Wilbekin, Tyler Dorsey and Elijah Bryant, Maccabi has the players to take advantage of. A strong shooting night from downtown for Maccabi, which has made 39.4% of its shots from downtown in wins this season, could lift the team in Istanbul.

basketball prediction Tip: 2 (+4.5) at 1.90 with bet365
(Price correct at 26/01/2010, 10:15 CET, subject to change)

AX Milano – Olympiacos

AX Armani Exchange Milan will try to keep its momentum going against an Olympiacos Piraeus squad, which has stumbled recently. Milan (13-7) has won four straight games by an average margin of victory of 12.5, including a 75-51 demolition of FC Bayern Munich last week. Olympiacos (11-10) has dropped two of its last three games, including a heartbreaking last-second loss at Zalgiris last week. The Reds, however, are 7-1 on the road this season.

Milan is second in the league in scoring (82.1 ppg.) and a big part of that is by winning the turnover game. Milan has committed the second-fewest turnovers in the league (11.6 per game) while forcing opponents into the second-most (15.2 per game). If Milan can continue that trend at home with nearly four extra possessions per game, it will have a good chance of extending its winning run.

Vladimir Micov has missed the team’s last six games. Shavon Shields has not played the last four games due to a thigh injury. Michael Roll and Jeff Brooks did not play in Round 21.

Olympiacos has drawn the second-most fouls in the league (21.2 per game) and as a result, made the second-most free throws (15.4 per game) as well. If the Reds are able to shorten the Milan rotation by getting some of the key players into foul trouble early, Coach Bartzokas’s men could find themselves in a position to grab another road win.

Kostas Papanikolaou has missed Olympiacos’s last six games. Giannoulis Larentzakis has not played in Olympiacos’s last three games.

basketball prediction Tip: Winning margin 3-way ‘Any other result’ (1-5p. each way) at 2.80 with bet365
(Price correct at 26/01/2010, 10:15 CET, subject to change)

Barcelona – Zenit

The two best defenses in the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague will meet on Tuesday when FC Barcelona hosts Zenit St Petersburg. Barcelona (15-6) has won four games in a row – including three straight on the road – and boasts an 8-2 record at home this season. Zenit (13-6) has won its last two and five of its last six games to climb into third place – just two wins behind Barcelona.

Though Barcelona and Zenit are best in the league in defense, Barcelona has the better attack, averaging 4 more points per game. Coach Jasikevicius’s men are second in the league in true-shooting percentage (52.2%) and an efficient game on offense against Zenit could make all the difference. Barcelona has the tools to crack the Zenit defense if Nick Calathes and Leo Westermann speed up the pace.

Barcelona has released Thomas Heurtel.

Barcelona has dominated in the paint this season; it is second in the league in rebounding (35.1 rpg.) and has made the most two-pointers (21.1 per game) in the competition. To survive inside, Zenit will lean on Arturas Gudaitis (10.6 ppg.) and, potentially, new signing Tarik Black. A strong showing in the paint is pivotal for Zenit.

Alex Poythress has been unavailable for Zenit’s last four games.

basketball prediction Tip: 2 (+8.0) at 1.90 with bet365
(Price correct at 26/01/2010, 10:15 CET, subject to change)

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