Euroleague basketball predictions included under each mini game preview.
The action continues to come thick and fast as the double-game week continues with Round 14 on Thursday and Friday, featuring a Moscow derby and the reigning champ facing a stern test on the road.
Crvena Zvezda vs Panathinaikos
Round 14 tips off with a bang as Zvezda (5-8) attempts to overcome injury-hit Panathinaikos (9-4) in the Serbian capital. The visiting team will be without guard duo Nick Calathes and Nikos Pappas, but Lukas Lekavicius stepped up to score 13 points on his first start for the Greens in Tuesday’s win over Maccabi. KC Rivers is red-hot for the Greens, scoring at least three triples in each of his last five games. Zvezda was riding a three-game winning run before being derailed by a big loss at Fenerbahce on Tuesday, and needs to get back on track as soon as possible in front of its passionate fans.
Brose Bamberg vs Real Madrid
Resurgent Madrid (7-6) faces a stern test as it travels to face German champ Bamberg (6-7) for a game which will probably only see the victor occupying a playoff position at the end of the week. A pair of convincing home wins has restored Madrid’s confidence after an alarming slide, and although Luka Doncic gets the headlines Bamberg should also pay attention to the backcourt threat of Facundo Campazzo, who produced his best performance of the season against Valencia on Tuesday with 14 points and 8 assists. Three of Bamberg’s last four home games have resulted in thrilling victories after overturning double-digit deficits…can lightning strike again?
Maccabi vs Fenerbahce
After suffering consecutive losses against top four teams, Maccabi’s (7-6) tough schedule continues with the visit of reigning champion Fenerbahce (9-4). Maccabi, which is in danger of slipping into the bottom half of the standings with another loss, will look to dominate the boards after out-rebounding Fenerbahce 37.8 to 32.7 per game so far this season. But Jan Vesely gives the Turkish team plenty of power in the paint, scoring in double-digits in his last six games. Fenerbahce boasts the best defense in the competition, allowing just 70.1 points per game, and will look to slow down Maccabi’s fast-paced offense, especially in transition.
Valencia vs Zalgiris
No team in the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague needs a change of fortunes more badly than Valencia (3-10), which has lost nine consecutive games ahead of Thursday’s meeting with in-form Zalgiris (8-5). The Lithuanian powerhouse has won its last three games and already won four on the road this season, including victory at Fenerbahce on its last away trip. Three-point shooting will be key: Zalgiris has the best long-range shooting conversion rate in the competition (42.9%), while Valencia has made the third-highest number of three-pointers (9.8 per game at a conversion rate of 40.1%. Arturas Milaknis has made 15 of 26 attempts (57.8%) from downtown in the last four games for the visitors.
CSKA Moscow vs Khimki Moscow
Friday’s opening shots will be fired in a rare Moscow derby which has been contested on just two previous occasions in the EuroLeague this century. As it hosts Khimki (8-5), co-leader CSKA (10-3) will be hurting after losing its four-game winning run in dramatic fashion at Olympiacos on Wednesday, and will have to find a way of stopping a familiar foe: former player Alexey Shved, whose seemingly unstoppable season continued with 25 points – including 6 triples – in Wednesday’s big win over Efes. Anthony Gill is also a threat, scoring at least 14 points in four of his last six games, while Sergio Rodriguez has passed 20 points in three of CSKA’s last six.
Anadolu Efes vs Olympiacos
New Efes (3-10) coach Ergin Ataman will oversee the first home game of his third spell with the visit of Olympiacos (10-3) as bottom hosts top. The two teams contested a titanic playoffs battle which went the full five games last season, but a new addition to the mix since then is Jamel McLean, who stepped up with 25 points and 12 rebounds to help injury-hit Olympiacos overcome CSKA on Wednesday. Efes also needs to watch out for Janis Strelnieks, who has converted at least one three-pointer in his last eight consecutive games. The home team can call upon the league’s best shot-blocker, Bryant Dunston (1.6 rejections per game) going up against his former club.
Baskonia vs Barcelona
Two Spanish teams looking for a return to winning ways go head to head as Baskonia (6-7) welcomes a Barcelona (4-9) team which is still waiting for its first road win of the season. Baskonia has won three of its last four home games and boasts a high-powered offense which has passed 80 points in eight of its last nine outings. Barcelona desperately needs to end a four-game losing slide and will hope a quartet of ex-Baskonia players – Thomas Heurtel, Adam Hanga, Kevin Seraphin and Pau Ribas – can make the difference as coach Sito Alonso also returns to face his former club.
Unicaja Malaga vs AX Olimpia Milan
Two teams with renewed confidence conclude this double-week of action as Unicaja (5-8) hosts Milan (4-9). The Spanish side has won its last two games, largely thanks to a vastly improved offensive output with 93 and 90 points securing victories over Khimki and Barcelona. Nihad Nedovic has especially sparkled with 21 and 26 points in those contests. Milan survived a comeback to defeat Baskonia on Wednesday, its first win in five games, and will look for inside dominance from rising star Arturas Gudaitis, who has only missed one two-point attempt in his last four games.
Basketball Tips: livetipster.com