This is it, Turkish Airlines EuroLeague fans - the moment we all have been waiting for, longer than ever before, is finally here! The 2021 Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Final Four is in the air. The busses bringing CSKA Moscow and Anadolu Efes Istanbul to Lanxess Arena have arrived. The players are in uniform and practicing on the court with a giant video wall that will be full of surprises all the weekend behind them. The coaches are in their suits and giving pre-game interviews.
CSKA has the chance to defend the EuroLeague title for the first time in club history. Efes looks for its first title in this rematch of the 2019 championship game. Efes is 22-0 when it has scored at least 80 points this season, but CSKA brought out its best defense late in the season and allowed just 70.3 points per game in the playoffs. This is much more than defense vs. offense... Follow the Game Blog for more details on the game and everything else happening in the arena.
Teams loosen up with early shootarounds
As is customary on gamedays, players like to get loose a few hours before the game with a shootaround. It is usually a light practice where the teams get a chance to feel the rims and sometimes to even walk through the game plan for the final time. The former is even more important than ever because so few of the players at the Final Four have ever played a game at Lanxess Arena, therefore every opportunity for players to familiarize themselves with the baskets could be beneficial.
After the teams' allotted shootaround time, they returned to the hotel to prepare for the game with perhaps a nap and a pre-game meal. The finishing touches have been applied to Lanxess Arena. The Live Blog will be back later with the first photos when CSKA Moscow and Anadolu Efes Istanbul arrive for the first semifinal.