Baskonia (7-13) has only won once in the last seven EuroLeague games but downed Real Madrid in Spanish League action this weekend, in what could prove to be a turnaround moment. Khimki (9-11) also beat Real in Round 21 and looks for its first EuroLeague road victory since early November. Toko Shengelia (16.5 ppg.), Nik Stauskas (9.7) and Shavon Shields (8.5) are leading Baskonia right now. Alexey Shved (21.3) is Khimki's top scorer, followed by Janis Timma (13.4) and Devin Booker (12.0).
Stopping Shved is mandatory for any Khimki opponent, and Baskonia is no exception. Shved can pull the trigger from way downtown but he is equally dangerous when driving to the basket due to his one-on-one and passing skills (13 assists against Real in Round 20). Pierria Henry, who leads the EuroLeague in steals, will see playing time against him, as will physical playmaker Sergi Garcia.
Earlier this season
In Round 2, Khimki edged Baskonia 79-76 at Arena Mytishchi as Shved led the winners with 21 points and 8 assists. Timma added 18 points while Jeremy Evans had 17 for Khimki. Shengelia paced Baskonia with 18 points and 10 rebounds. Khimki did not trail in the second half and sealed the outcome, 79-73, with free throws by Shved with 27 seconds left.
Keys to victory: Baskonia
When it comes to the three-point line, Baskonia has struggled all season. Not only do its opponents hit 43.4% of their attempts from downtown, but Baskonia makes just 35.5% of its own shots from beyond the arc. Running its offense through big Youssoupha Fall and Shengelia will generate open shots for everyone else, although Baskonia has not been effective inside the arc, either (48.5% 2FG, 17th overall)
Keys to victory: Khimki
Khimki leads the EuroLeague in two-point shooting percentage (59.5%), making the most out of the double-team situations involving Shved. It is also shooting very well from downtown (40.2%) but has struggled to rebound the ball, averaging just 32.6 per game. Khimki must stick to its usual game plan, running its offense through Shved to generate advantages and capitalize on them through its effective big men. Anthony Gill and Devin Booker make over 66% of their two-point shots.