Euroleague Tips with Previews – Round 22 – Wednesday

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ALBA Berlin – CSKA Moscow

 ALBA Berlin will look to build on last week’s win and go for a season-sweep of CSKA Moscow, which has hit a recent rut. ALBA (8-13) comes off a road win at TD Systems Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz to snap a three-game losing streak and needs to start a winning streak to get back into the playoff hunt. CSKA (15-6) has dropped three of its last four games and lost sole possession of first place in the standings, too. ALBA is 4-7 at home this season and CSKA is 7-3 on the road.

  • Niels Giffey is expected to miss several weeks with an injury.
  • Head Coach Aito Garcia Reneses has missed ALBA’s last six games after testing positive for COVID-19.

ALBA’s greatest weakness this season has been its defense and part of that has been because it has committed the third-most turnovers in the league (14.7 per game). Conversely, CSKA has committed the fourth-fewest turnovers (12.2 per game). ALBA is second in the competition with 19.8 assists per game. ALBA must continue to work the CSKA defense with its great ball movement and turn the turnover battle in its favor to have better chances of beating CSKA again.

  • Will Clyburn is out with an ankle injury.
  • Mike James did not travel.

CSKA has stars in the frontcourt and the backcourt, which is why it leads the league in scoring (84.5 ppg.) and rebounding (37.3 rpg.) and ranks second in three-pointers made (10.0 per game). ALBA has allowed the third-most points in the league (83.3 ppg.), so a fast-paced game may be in store and that should suit CSKA just fine. The faster the pace, the better for CSKA.

basketball prediction Tip: Over 163.5 at 1.90 with bet365
(Price correct at 27/01/2010, 09:10 CET, subject to change)

Villeurbanne – Baskonia

LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne (7-14) has won two of its last three games and is looking for its sixth home victory. Norris Cole (12.7 ppg.) has been ASVEL’s top scorer to date, followed by David Lighty (11.0 ppg.) and Guerschon Yabusele (10.2 ppg.). TD Systems Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz (9-12) is eager to end a three-game losing streak. Pierria Henry (11.0 ppg., 7.3 apg., 2.0 spg.), Achille Polonara (11.4 ppg., 6.4 rpg.) and Alec Peters (11.8 ppg., 45.5% 3FG) have been its pillars.

ASVEL leads the league in turnovers at 15.2 per night. It’s been better in its last two wins, averaging 12.0 against Olympiacos Piraeus and Valencia Basket, but still needs to take better care of the ball; ASVEL ranks 17th in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.06). On offense, ASVEL should try to get Fall involved to open the floor for its many shooters, including William Howard, Cole, Lighty and Matthew Strazel. On defense, preventing Henry from dominating the game tempo is a major key for the French powerhouse.

Baskonia is allowing opponents to dish 17.6 assists on average. On its current losing streak, however, opponents have recorded at least 20 assists in all three games. Baskonia allowed 90.3 points in those games, which is much higher than its season average (79.0 ppg.). Defense comes first for Coach Dusko Ivanovic and his team must get back to its trademark aggressiveness to be more competitive. On offense, Baskonia must find good options for its best three-point shooters, Peters, Rokas Giedraitis and Polonara, to open the floor for one-on-one opportunities.

basketball prediction Tip: 1 (+1.5) at 1.90 with bet365
(Price correct at 27/01/2010, 09:10 CET, subject to change)

Real Madrid – Panathinaikos

It is a battle of powerhouses between EuroLeague giants that combine for 16 continental crowns. Real Madrid (13-8) comes off back-to-back losses and is looking to bounce back, led by Edy Tavares (12.3 ppg., 7.8 rpg., 1.9 bpg.), Trey Thompkins (11.2 ppg.) and Jaycee Carroll (9.6 ppg.). Panathinaikos (7-13) looks for its first EuroLeague road victory since early December. Nemanja Nedovic (16.6 ppg.), Round 21 MVP Dinos Mitoglou (8.8 ppg., 5.3 rpg.) and Aaron White (6.9 ppg.) are leading the Greens right now.

  • Anthony Randolph is out with a ruptured left Achilles tendon.
  • Sergio Llull has been sidelined for the last four games.
  • Rudy Fernandez did not play in Round 21.

Real is keeping opponents to just 35.9% three-point shooting this season. In its last two losses, Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade and Maccabi Playtika Tel Aviv averaged 44.7% shooting from downtown. Real needs to reach out to long shots, as it has two top-class shot-blockers in Tavares and Alex Tyus to intimidate everyone in the paint. On defense, Real must try to prevent Nedovic from controlling the game tempo and can rely on Abalde and Carlos Alocen to do so by putting pressure on the ball.

  • Ioannis Papapetrou has not played the last three games.
  • Giorgos Papagiannis is sidelined.

Even without Ioannis Papapetrou and Georgios Papagiannis, Panathinaikos was competitive against Khimki Moscow Region in Round 21, outrebounding its opponent by 40-23 and pulling down 21 offensive boards, just like it did against Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul a week earlier. Panathinaikos needs to stay active on the offensive glass to prevent Real from running its transition offense. On defense, Panathinaikos must stop Tavares down low and it should rely on Mitoglou and Zach Auguste to do so.

basketball prediction Tip: Panathinaikos Under 75.5 at 1.80 with bet365
(Price correct at 27/01/2010, 09:10 CET, subject to change)

Valencia – Zalgiris

Valencia Basket looks for its fourth consecutive home victory when it hosts Zalgiris Kaunas. Valencia (11-10) has been led by Klemen Prepelic (11.2 ppg.), Bojan Dubljevic (10.8 ppg.), who is back in action after missing Valencia’s last four games, and Nikola Kalinic (10.3 ppg.). Zalgiris (12-9) arrives with good momentum, as it has won seven of its last nine games led by Marius Grigonis (14.5 ppg.), Joffrey Lauvergne (11.5 ppg., 5.5 rpg.) and Nigel Hayes (9.2 ppg., 4.3 rpg.).

  • Klemen Prepelic has missed the last two rounds.
  • Bojan Dubljevic has missed Valencia’s last four games.

Valencia needs to protect the paint better, as it has allowed opponents to make 58.1% of their two-point shots at La Fonteta. Dubljevic gives his team a very valuable weapon on offense, as his low post game will generate better options for sharpshooters like Prepelic, Sam Van Rossom and Joan Sastre. On defense, Valencia should need to find a way to stop Grigonis; it will rely on Sastre and Guillem Vives to play aggressive against him.

  • Zalgiris swingman Patricio Garino remains out of action after a knee operation.
  • Steve Vasturia will be sidelined at least until mid-February with a knee injury.

Zalgiris must try to disrupt’s Valencia offense, as the hosts have the league’s second-highest assist-to-turnover ratio (1.69). Putting pressure on its main ballhandlers – Vives, Van Rossom and Martin Hermannssson – should be a first step for the Lithuanian champs to reach that goal. As always, Zalgiris needs good spacing to get Grigonis, Milaknis and Lukas Lekavicius involved. Making the most out of its shooters is important: Zalgiris ranks second in three-point shooting at 42.3%.

basketball prediction Tip: 2 (+4.5) at 1.90 with bet365
(Price correct at 27/01/2010, 09:10 CET, subject to change)

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