Euroleague Top 16 Preview and Injury list – Round 6

Euroleague Preview & Tips

Arguably the most competitive Top 16 ever, with as many as 14 teams with at least two wins in their accounts, continues with Round 6, featuring some of Europe’s great rivalries from three different corners of the continent. With road teams winning only six games during the last three weeks, every victory away from home is a precious one. Four games are scheduled on Thursday, followed by four more on Friday. Get ready for a great week of Euroleague action!

Teams in red – Playing Thursday
Teams in green – Playing Friday

Group E

In the Round 5 opener on Thursday, Cedevita Zagreb (2-3) returns home to host Panathinaikos Athens (2-3) for the first time. During this Euroleague campaign, Cedevita is 2-5 at home, where it allows 81.3 points, most than any team still playing, and the Croatian champs are 1-5 all-time against Greek teams. Panathinaikos plays in Drazen Petrovic Zagreb Arena for the first time in nine years and is 5-1 all time there. However, the Greens have been scoring 68 points per game away from home this season, the least of any Top 16 team.


Also on Thursday, the winless Darussafaka Dogus Istanbul (0-5) plays host to Crvena Zvezda Telekom Belgrade (3-2), which arrives to Istanbul on a two-game winning streak. No team has been better than Zvezda defensively in the last three games, allowing just 67.3 points per game and holding opponents in the Top 16 to second-lowest 28.6% three-point shooting. Meanwhile, Darussafaka has allowed 90.7 points per game in the last three weeks, the highest mark in the Top 16 during that span, as it continues to search for its first-ever Top 16 victory.

Two teams trying to get back to winning ways, Unicaja Malaga (2-3) and Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar (3-2) have their first meeting ever on the Costa del Sol. Unicaja has the Top 16’s best defense, allowing just 73.8 points, and ranks first in offensive rebounding this season with 13.5 per game. On the other hand, Lokomotiv’s strength is on the perimeter, where Malcolm Delaney and Co. make a Top 16-high 11.2 triples per game.

Last but not least, on Friday, in a clash between two great Istanbul city rivals, Anadolu Efes Istanbul (3-2) hosts undefeated Fenerbahce Istanbul (5-0). This is third consecutive season that Efes and Fener are squaring off in the Top 16 and Fenerbahce has won all four of those previous meetings. However, this season, in the Turkish League a month ago, it was Efes that won 93-84 on its home floor led as its playmaking duo of Jayson Granger and Thomas Heurtel combined for 39 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists between them. Fenerbahce leads the Top 16 in index rating (108), scoring (89.4), three-point accuracy (43.6%) and blocks (4.8), while Efes has made more three-pointers (153) with better accuracy (43.4%) than any other team during the full season, and also averages second-best 20.5 assists and third-best 84.9 points.


Group F

In the lone Thursday game in this group, Brose Baskets Bamberg (2-3) welcomes FC Barcelona Lassa (2-3) for the first time in three years for the Game of the Week. No team on its home floor shoots the ball better from three-point range than Bamberg, who does so with 44.8% accuracy, but for the Top 16 Bamberg has the least offensive rebounds (6.4) of any team. Barcelona, which is 4-0 all-time against Bamberg, does the best job of taking care of the ball this season, committing just 10.4 turnovers per game. Barcelona is also tied for first in assists for the Top 16 with 20 per game.

Action on Friday starts with one of Europe’s great classics as Zalgiris Kaunas (1-4) hosts CSKA Moscow (3-2) and the competition’s top scorer Nando De Colo (19.1 ppg). There is an amazing tradition and almost seven decades to this great all-time rivalry that dates back all the way to 1947. Since 1999, Zalgiris and CSKA have played each other 16 times in the continental competition, with CSKA having won the last 15 of those contests. CSKA comes into the game as Euroleague’s index rating leader (107.5) and the best scoring team, averaging 90 points per night. Meanwhile, Zalgiris has allowed a Top 16-high 88.6 points, and Lithuanian giant also trails every Top 16 team with 45.1% accuracy on two-point shots and 4.8 made three-pointers per game.

In an all-Spanish clash, Real Madrid (3-2) hosts Laboral Kutxa Vitoria Gasteiz (3-2). It’s the second week in a row Laboral pays a visit to a fellow Spanish side, after edging Barcelona in overtime last week. This is the first time, however, Madrid and Laboral will play in the Euroleague, although they have played each other 66 times in the Spanish League and the Spanish Cup so far. In the latest of those matches in early January, Laboral beat Madrid at home 86-80 behind 24 points and 8 rebounds from big man Ioannis Bourousis who won Euroleague title with Madrid last season, and now returns to the Barclaycard Center for the first time since then. Laboral’s defense has held Top 16 opponents to 27.6% three-point shooting. Laboral leads the league in rebounding (38.3) but also commits a league-high 14.6 turnovers. Madrid is first in assists (20.5), second in scoring this season (85.3), and since the start of Top 16 has hit the third-most triples per night, 9.4.


Olympiacos Piraeus (2-3) looks to snap its three-game losing streak while hosting group leader Khimki Moscow Region (4-1) and Top 16 Round 5 MVP Tyrese Rice. Khimki is on a three-game winning streak, and is coming off a club record 111-point performance in its win over Zalgiris last week. But all four of Khimki’s Top 16 victories so far have come on its home floor, and now travels to the Peace & Friendship Stadium to face Olympiacos’ defense that has allowed league-low 71.1 points this season. The Reds have lost two of their last three in Piraeus, however, and have been struggling offensively there, scoring just 71 points at home this season, the lowest of any team still in the competition.



Group E

Anadolu Efes Istanbul

Other than Nenad Krstic, who is sidelined long term, Efes Coach Ivkovic has a full roster to choose from.

Cedevita Zagreb

Luka Zoric has already started practicing with the team.
Luka Babic is expected to be out for two weeks due to foot problems.

Crvena Zvezda

Luka Mitrovic remains unavailable due to a knee injury.


Oguz Savas and Serhat Cetin have not played for Darussafaka in recent weeks.


Kostas Sloukas didn’t play in the last domestic game and is doubtful against Anadolu Efes.

Lokomotiv Kuban

Coach Bartzokas has a full roster available to play against Unicaja.


Dimitris Diamantidis didn’t play in the Greek League but will be available against Cedevita.
Vasilis Charalampopoulos will not follow the team to Zagreb because of injury.

Unicaja Malaga

Point guard Stefan Markovic will be sidelined for at least two months due to a leg injury.
Richard Hendrix missed the last Spanish League game but he should be available against former team Lokomotiv Kuban.

Group F

Brose Baskets Bamberg

Head coach Andrea Trinchieri is expected to have a full roster to face FC Barcelona Lassa.

CSKA Moscow

Joel Freeland was back in action last week and is now fully back with the team.
Ivan Lazarev is questionable against Zalgiris due to an ankle injury.
Pavel Korobkov remains sidelined due to a knee injury.


Carlos Arroyo will be sidelined at least until early February after suffering a left calf muscle tear in practice.


Paul Davis and Ruslan Pateev remain sidelined with long-term injuries.
Khimki signed big man Josh Boone, but he does not become eligible to play in the Euroleague until Top 16 Round 8.

Laboral Kutxa

Davis Bertans is finally available for coach Perasovic.
Tornike Shengelia suffered a serious knee injury and is out indefinitely.


Patric Young is sidelined long-term due to a torn ACL.
Matt Lojeski appeared for a few seconds against Real Madrid. He will probably have a styrongest role from now on.
Olympiacos signed forward Kostas Papanikolaou, but he does not become eligible to play in the Euroleague until Top 16 Round 8.
Daniel Hackett is expected to be sidelined for two weeks due to knee problems.

Real Madrid

Rudy Fernandez (back) is out again this week after undergoing back surgery.
Sergio Rodriguez missed the last Spanish League game but he is expected to play.
Jonas Maciulis is still questionable for this week’s game.

Zalgiris Kaunas

Marty Pocius missed the last domestic league game due to personal reasons.
Veteran center Robertas Javtokas will miss the remainder of the season due to an ankle injury.
Vytenis Lipkevicius remains sidelined. He has not played in the Euroleague yet.