Regular Season Round 11: Three nights of thrills!
More vital wins will be up for grabs as the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague heads into Round 11, featuring two of the competition's highest-scoring teams going head to head and a Game of the Week between two teams looking to break into the all-important top eight.
A sole Wednesday game will see host Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv (5-5) look to return to winning ways against a Brose Bamberg team (2-8) which is eager to climb off the foot of the standings by ending a five-game losing streak. These are two of the most accurate shooting teams in the competition, with Bamberg connecting on 51.9% of its shots – second in the league – closely followed by Maccabi with 51.2%. Maccabi needs to cut down on turnovers after committing more than any other team (14.4 per game) while Bamberg ranks last in rebounding (30.5 per game).
On Thursday, Fenerbahce Istanbul (7-3) will aim to maintain its three-game winning streak by overcoming guest Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade (4-6). Zvezda, which has scored exactly 79 points in three of its last four games, has the lowest overall index rating of all teams, averaging 73.4 per game. But its strong defensive play is helped by the league's highest tally of steals (7.4 per game). The contest could come down to shooting efficiency: only Zvezda (48.34%) has converted a lower percentage of two-point tries than Fenerbahce (48.98%).
In Italy, expect offensive fireworks as the league's top-scoring team, CSKA Moscow (9-1), visits the fourth-highest in that category, EA7 Armani Milan (4-6). The Russian team has averaged 93.3 points per game on the back of the competition's best three-point (43.78%) conversion rate and second-best free throw percentage (81.48%). Milan, which has lost three games in a row, is dominant in the other scoring category, having hit the second-highest number of two-pointers in the competition – 23.6 per game.
Real Madrid (7-3) will be gunning for its fourth consecutive home win against an in-form Zalgiris Kaunas (4-6) which has won three of its last four games. Madrid's efficiency is reflected in the league's best assist-turnover ratio (184.4%), contributing to the second-highest scoring offense in the competition with an average of 89.5 points per game. Zalgiris will look to gain the physical edge, coming into the game ranked joint second in rebounding, with its 36.9 boards per game slightly better than Madrid's average of 36.5.
On Friday, the Game of the Week comes from Istanbul where high-scoring Anadolu Efes (5-5) and visiting FC Barcelona Lassa (5-5) will look to break into the top half of the standings. Efes, gunning for its fourth straight win at the Abdi Ipekci Arena, tops the league in rebounds (38.3 per game) and ranks third in scoring (87.4 points per game). The visitors have scored fewer points than any other team (70.6 per game) but also have the best defense, allowing an average of just 73.7 points.
Another team on 5-5, Panathinaikos Superfoods Athens, will attempt to deny a first road win for visiting Galatasaray Odeabank Istanbul (3-7). Expect plenty of exciting action around the rim – these teams have blocked more shots than anyone else, with only Galatasaray (4.2 per game) rejecting more than Panathinaikos (4.1 per game). They have also committed the fewest number of turnovers, with Panathinaikos conceding possession just 10.5 times per game, and Galatasaray turning it over slightly more, 10.7 per game.
In Piraeus, Olympiacos (6-4) will seek to stay in the playoff places against a visit from Unics Kazan (3-7), which set a new club record by scoring 100 points last week. The two teams are tied for the fewest number of assists in the league, just 15.5 per game, but it should be a fierce battle under the boards with Olympiacos ranked second in defensive rebounds (26.1 per game) while Unics is placed third in offensive rebounds (11.9 per game).
And finally, two teams with big ambitions meet in Spain as Baskonia Vitoria Gasteiz (6-4) welcome a Darussafaka Dogus Istanbul (5-5) side aiming to end a three-game losing streak. Baskonia has claimed more defensive rebounds than anyone else (26.3 per game) while Darussafaka is ranked next-to-last in that category (21.3 per game). But the visiting team has the clear edge in long-range shooting, tied for second in the league with 9.4 triples per game, with Baskonia sinking an average of just 7.5 three-pointers.
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