Two teams with opposite momentum collide in the Russian capital when Khimki Moscow Region hosts Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade on Friday evening. The hosts are winless in five games this season, though two of those losses have come by a single basket, including last week's 87-89 overtime defeat against Maccabi Playtika Tel Aviv. Zvezda is in good spirits after an overtime takedown off CSKA Moscow in Round 5, but Coach Sasa Obradovic's side is still seeking its first road win of the season.
Alexey Shved. Jordan Loyd. Say no more. Three times has a player scored 30 points this season. Loyd has done so twice in his four games. Shved did it in his only appearance. These elite shooting guards will square off on Friday in what is sure to be an exciting and high-scoring duel.
Khimki holds a 4-2 edge in head-to-head EuroLeague games between the teams, including a 78-72 home win in February 2020 when Alexey Shved had 22 points and 9 assists and Jonas Jerebko posted 19 points and 8 rebounds. In their first EuroLeague meeting, in October 2015, Khimki set its EuroLeague club record with 18 steals in a 91-53 home win. No EuroLeague team has had more steals in a game since then. That win remains Khimki's biggest-ever EuroLeague victory and marked the fewest points Zvezda scored in a single EuroLeague game this century.
Keys to victory: Khimki
Khimki was almost at full strength in Round 5 with Shved and Greg Monroe making their season debuts. While that led to an excellent three-point shooting night and strong play from the big men, Khimki also committed 19 turnovers and as a team shot just 42.6% on two-pointers. Improvements in both those categories would increase Khimki's chances of getting in the win column this week.
Keys to victory: Zvezda
Twice this season Zvezda has had only two players score in double figures and only once has it had four players with more than 10 points. The more effective scoring weapons Zvezda has, the more freedom Loyd has and the more dangerous Zvezda's attack is overall. The emergence of second and third scoring options is critical for Zvezda.