Euroleague basketball predictions included under each mini game preview.
Round 22 will close with another chapter in the exciting rivalry between Real Madrid and Olympiacos Piraeus. The two have met in the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Championship Game twice in the last five years alone! Before that, Fenerbahce Dogus Istanbul will welcome former players Nikos Zisis and Ricky Hickman when it hosts Brose Bamberg and Valencia will host CSKA Moscow and Nando De Colo for the latter’s first game there since he played three years for the club.
Fenerbahce vs Brose Bamberg
Fenerbahce (14-7) will look to keep a grip on at least a share of second place by recording a fourth straight home win with the visit of a Brose team (8-13) that has not yet surrendered hope of climbing into the playoffs places. Don’t expect a shoot-out – Brose is the second-lowest scoring team in the Turkish Airlines Euroleague (75.3 points per game) while Fenerbahce has the second-best defense (73.5 ppg allowed). Former Fenerbahce players Nikos Zisis and Ricky Hickman return to Istanbul with Brose, which has blocked the joint lowest number of shots in the league (1.8 per game) so there could be plenty of rim-rocking action from Jan Vesely and co.
Crvenz Zvezda vs Olimpia Milan
On a roll Milan (7-14) will look for a third straight road win in a meeting with Zvezda (8-13), which could see the loser effectively kiss goodbye to realistic playoffs aspirations. The home team has the worst three-point shooting conversion rate in the league, making just 34.0% of attempts from downtown, but could improve that statistic against a Milan team which has allowed opponents to complete a higher percentage of three-pointers (41.8%) than anyone else. If it stays close, don’t expect Milan to freeze: the Italian team’s last two wins both came with shots in the dying seconds.
Zalgiris vs Khimki Moscow
Confident Zalgiris (13-8) will look to maintain its strong challenge for home-court advantage in the playoffs by registering an eighth consecutive victory in Kaunas. But Khimki (12-9) is poised just one game behind the Lithuanian champion after winning three of its last four games, and would jump above the hosts in the standings with a win here thanks to a Round 2 victory in Moscow. Zalgiris’s players will have to keep their eye on the ball against a Khimki team that has made the joint-highest number of steals in the competition (7.5 per game).
Real Madrid vs Olympiacos
A clash of styles awaits in the Spanish capital as free-scoring Madrid (13-8), which is second in the league in scoring (84.2 pppg.) takes on the competition’s stingiest defense in 14-7 Olympiacos (73.1 ppg allowed). The Reds have suffered horribly on the road in recent weeks, losing four straight, while Madrid has won five in a row on its home floor. The backcourt battle between old master Vassilis Spanoulis (11.7 points, 5.1 assists per game) and rising star Luka Doncic (17.4 ppg. and 4.6 apg.) will be well worth watching, and sparks will surely fly as these old foes go head to head.
Euroleague Basketball Tips
Maccabi Tel Aviv vs Barcelona
Barcelona (7-14) has won four straight against Maccabi (11-10) and has no choice but to do so again in order to preserve its slender playoffs hopes. Maccabi has been a free-scoring outfit at home in recent weeks, averaging 85.7 points in its last six games in Tel Aviv. But the hosts have also struggled defensively, allowing opponents to score at least 88 points in six of the last seven. Both teams have great potential, but are also highly inconsistent, with neither having won more than two consecutive games at any stage so far this season.
Panathinaikos vs Baskonia
A big battle with major implications will unfold in Athens, where Panathinaikos (13-8) will look for a return to form after losing three of its last four games, while Baskonia (10-11) is aiming to burst into the top half of the standings with a third straight win. Baskonia dished 28 assists in last week’s big win over Zvezda, the second-highest tally in club history, but will be hard pushed to repeat that feat against a Panathinaikos defense that has allowed its opponents an average of just 16.1 assists per game – second-best in the league.
Valencia vs CSKA Moscow
League-leading CSKA (17-4) could move to the brink of a playoffs place by making it six wins in a row with a trip to injury-ravaged Valencia (7-14), which is running out of chances to prolong its challenge for post-season action after alternating between wins and losses over the last six games. It’s a meeting of the competition’s top offense (CSKA, 88.8 points per game) and the third-worst (Valencia, 75.4 ppg), and the host will be hoping for an off-day from former favorite Nando De Colo in his first return to the city since his three year playing stint.
Unicaja Malaga vs Anadolu Efes
After suffering two consecutive defeats on the final buzzer and losing five of its last six, Unicaja (8-13) is looking for an injection of positivity against an Efes team (6-15) hoping to climb out of the cellar by gaining its first road win since Round 7. The teams are very closely matched in most statistical categories, but Unicaja’s dangerous collection of long-range shooters will hope to profit from the fact that Efes has allowed its opponents to convert 41.7% of three-point attempts – second-worst in the league.
Basketball Tips: livetipster.com