FC Bayern Munich (7-4) comes off back-to-back losses for the first time this season. Vladimir Lucic (14.8 ppg., 5.0 rpg.), Jalen Reynolds (12.6 ppg., 6.3 rpg.) and Wade Baldwin IV (13.7 ppg., 4.0 apg.) have been Bayern's pillars until now. Khimki Moscow Region (2-8) also lost its last two games and is looking to bounce back with a road win. Alexey Shved (16.8 ppg., 8.8 apg.), Jonas Jerebko (12.4 ppg., 6.8 rpg.) and Greg Monroe (10.3 ppg., 6.3 rpg.) are leading the team right now.
Monroe returns to Munich for the first time since playing for Bayern last season. His post skills and overall effectiveness turn him into a nightmare matchup at center as few players are as mobile and experienced as he is. Bayern will rely on Reynolds to stop him in the low post. Reynolds is also a ferocious offensive rebounder who can give anyone trouble with his second-chance points. Expect them to fight for every rebound in this fun-to-watch matchup.
Bayern has a 6-1 record against Khimki - 4-1 in the EuroLeague and 2-0 in the EuroCup, including a 22-point overtime victory. Khimki, however, won the teams' last matchup at Audi Dome on October 24, 2019. Khimki triumphed 74-87 behind 19 points and 9 assists from Shved. Monroe led Bayern with 18 points. Khimki buried 12 of 23 three-point shots in a key to its victory.
Keys to victory: Bayern
Bayern has some of the best defensive numbers in the competition, allowing just 77.7 points on just 31.7% three-point shooting. That three-point defense may be especially important against players such as Shved, Dairis Bertans and Janis Timma, who are all great shooters. Bayern, however, has struggled to protect its paint, as opponents score 56.0% of their two-point shots. Stopping Monroe, Jerebko and, if available, Devin Booker is mandatory for Bayern, as well as running its offense through Lucic and Baldwin.
Keys to victorty: Khimki
Khimki is averaging just 77.7 points, which is a low number for such an offensive-minded team. Shot selection is an issue, as Khimki is hitting just 50.0% of its two-point shots (17th overall) and shooting 36.1% from downtown (13th). Shved leads the EuroLeague in assists, but is struggling to score (35.9% 2FG, 31.3% 3FG) so far this season. As soon as Khimki's undeniable leader steps up on offense, he will generate space for its many scorers all around the court. Stopping Lucic is a critical issue for the Russian powerhouse.