Milan will try to extend one streak and snap another when it hosts Fenerbahce on Friday. Milan is on a two-game winning streak after losing a season opener, and will try to make it three in a row this season. On the other hand, Fenerbahce has lost both of its first two road games this season, and after finally getting its first win of the season on home floor, not it hopes to open its account away from home, as well.
This is the game in which Milan will try to snap a long losing streak against Fenerbahce, which has won their last 10 head-to-head games. The last time Milan beat Fenerbahce was in March of 2014. Five of those games finished with a margin of 7 or fewer points, however, in the last two games in Milan, the visitors scored 92 and 104 points respectively.
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Milan head coach Ettore Messina has returned to the EuroLeague this summer, and it did not take long for him to meet Fenerbahce led by Zeljko Obradovic. The two head coaches have combined to win 13 EuroLeague titles in the past 27 years. They go head to head for the first time since December 2013 when Messina was with CSKA and Obradovic was in his first year at the current job.
Coming off a 39-point performance, all eyes will be on Fenerbahce's Nando De Colo to see what he will be able to do for an encore. On the other side, there will be Milan's Sergio Rodriguez. The two were backcourt mates at CSKA Moscow the last two seasons, as they helped the team win 56 games over that span, reach the Final Four both seasons, and finally win the 2019 EuroLeague title. Rodriguez and De Colo have been on the opposite sides in the past when Rodriguez was with Real Madrid, and De Colo first with Valencia Basket then with CSKA. The last they faced each other was in March of 2016.
Keys to victory: Milan
Milan has been going down low quite a lot in the first three games, but not always with great percentages as the team has the third-lowest two-point accuracy (45.1%). Milan makes up for some of it in offensive rebounding, however, Fenerbahce is one of the best teams allowing the fourth-fewest offensive boards (9.3 per game). It will be a big battle inside, and it will be important for Milan to control it.
Keys to victory: Fenerbahce
Fenerbahce had a slower start to the season, especially from the offensive standpoint, but the indications are that Coach Obradovic men have been improving, and will want to continue that trend in Milan. What Fenerbahce will need to going into another road game is to keep a high energy level on defense. In addition, Fenerbahce has been good at forcing turnovers this season, and running in transition would be a perfect recipe to ease the pressure off the half-court offense until it starts clicking again.