Real Madrid will try to bounce back after having its five-game winning streak ended last week when it hosts LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne, which is trying to extend a modest two-game run of its own. Real (6-5) is 4-1 at home this season. ASVEL (3-6) stunned league-leader FC Barcelona last week and drained a club record 17 three-pointers on Tuesday in beating Panathinaikos OPAP Athens and will try to keep its momentum going in the Spanish capital.
Walter Tavares is the 2019 EuroLeague Best Defender and a brick wall in the Real paint. Moustapha Fall is a virtually unstoppable force for ASVEL in the paint. The 2.20-meter Tavares is one of the best shot-blockers in the game. The 2.18-meter Fall has made 78.7% of his shots this season. Their head-to-head duel in the paint will have a major impact on this game.
ASVEL and Real played each other for the first time in the 1965 European Cup quarterfinals. Real swept ASVEL with a 37-point victory on aggregate. Real's 87-78 win over ASVEL in Madrid in Round 28 last season was the first EuroLeague home win in four head-to-head games between them this century. Real leads the series 3-1.
Keys to victory: Real
Real is 4-0 this season when it has scored at least 90 points, though ASVEL has not yet allowed a team to reach that number against it. ASVEL has held opponents to just 32.9% three-point shooting. Point guards Nicolas Laprovittola and Sergo Llull must find a way to crack the ASVEL defense and get their teammates open shots in the paint and from behind the arc to increase Los Blancos' chances.
Keys to victory: ASVEL
ASVEL is coming off a near-perfect shooting night against Panathinaikos and a repeat would make it hard to beat. However, the team also committed 19 turnovers in that game and leads the league with 16.1 per game. Cutting that number is critical to improving its chances, as is getting good games from veterans Norris Cole, David Lighty and Antione Diot, who know a thing or two about these sorts of games.