Bayern (6-14) has lost its last six games, tying its longest negative streak in the competition, and has an opportunity to stop the slide in front of its fans. It will not be easy, however, as Maccabi (14-6) won its last three games and is arguably in its best moment since winning the EuroLeague title in 2014. T.J. Bray (14.5 ppg.), Greg Monroe (12.7) and Vladimir Lucic (11.8) are leading Bayern right now. Scottie Wilbekin (16.6) is Maccabi's top scorer, followed by Othello Hunter (10.2) and Tyler Dorsey (9.8).
Two solid big men are ready to go against each other in the paint. Monroe is an old-school, left-handed center with solid post moves who can crash the offensive glass or run the floor like a small forward. Hunter comes off a monster game against Milan - 14 points, 14 rebounds - and wants to use his experience, explosiveness and intimidation skills against Monroe. It should be a fun-to-watch matchup between two physical centers.
Earlier this season
In Round 12, Maccabi had no trouble defeating Bayern 77-55 at Menora Mivtachim Arena. Wilbekin led the winners with 16 points, Hunter added 15 while Yovel Zoosman had 13 for Maccabi, which led 41-26 at halftime and never looked back. Petteri Koponen led Bayern with 10 points. Maccabi forced Bayern to shoot the ball poorly (42.9% 2FG, 21.1% 3FG) and forced 19 turnovers.
Keys to victory: Bayern
Bayern is struggling to circulate the ball, averaging 14.4 turnovers and just 16.7 assists per night. Despite ranking third in three-point accuracy (40.2%l), Bayern is last in attempts from downtown at just 20.3 per game. On the other hand, Bayern ranks 14th in two-point shooting (49.3%). A more balanced offense, getting its shooters involved, would definitely make Bayern even more dangerous.
Keys to victory: Maccabi
Maccabi is one of the highest-scoring teams in the competition (84.8 ppg.) mainly because it is shooting the ball with really high percentages (54.7% 2FG, 38.6% 3FG). It is also suffocating opponents on defense, allowing just 76.6 points per game, leading the EuroLeague in steals (8.1 spg.) and forcing 14.2 turnovers on average. It will need that blue-collar mentality against a team like Bayern, which will play with a lot of pride in front of its own fans.