Olympiacos (2-0) collected a tough win at Baskonia in Round 2 thanks to 23 points by big man Nikola Milutinov. Milan (1-1) fell to the champs, Real Madrid, after having dominated the start of the game at home. Mike James shined with 21 points. The guests need the win to get back on the positive track, while the Reds can expect a great crowd after road wins against two playoff teams from last season to start this one.
Big men Milutinov and Kaleb Tarczewski are pillars of their respective teams. The former is playing good as ever, averaging 16.0 points and 10 rebounds. Tarczewski has been held to 5.0 points and 5.5 rebounds so far, but he had his moments in Round 2 against Madrid and will be more than willing to face Milutinov in a duel that could turn heads.
Watch the minutes
Olympiacos has no one averaging more tan Milutinov's 26 minutes and only one other, Vassilis Spanoulis, above 22 per game. Milan has three of the league's top eight in playing time, as Mike James, Vladimir Micov and Nemanja Nedovic average between 32 and 24 minutes each. At the end of a double-round week, playing on the road after going the distance with defending champ Real Madrid, it will be interesting to see if Milan's big guns can withstand all the minutes – and if Olympiacos does anything to make sure they don't.
Keys to Victory: Olympiacos
Olympiacos could not have asked for a better start. Totemic figures like Spanoulis, Georgios Printezis and Kostas Papanikolaou are contributing as expected while new faces like Sasha Vezenkov, Zach LeDay, Janis Timma and Axel Toupane are starting to leave their marks. Playing at home, the Reds will have faith that the league's top defense, just 73.0 points allowed to opponents, will take them to 3-0.
Keys to Victory: Milan
Milan is in a hard place after dominating Madrid at home until halftime but losing in the end. The team will need to bounce back psychologically as well as physically to challenge Olympiacos in Piraeus. James, Micov, Nedovic and Arturas Gudaitis will need as much help as possible from their teammates to outfox the Reds.