Road to the Playoffs: Olympiacos Piraeus

Apr 13, 2017 by Print

When Olympiacos Piraeus missed the playoffs last season, it marked the first time it had done so in a decade during which the club had reached the EuroLeague Championship Game four times and captured the crown twice. Thus the Reds entered 2016-17 intent of showing they were still a force to be reckoned with.

Doubters persisted after an 18-point loss at Real Madrid on opening night, but a three-game winning streak followed to get Olympiacos back on track.

Olympiacos fell at home to CSKA Moscow in Round 5 and Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv in Round 9, but after that the Reds redoubled their efforts at Peace and Friendship Stadium, where they won eight in a row.

Coach Ioannis Sfairopoulos’s men were not only surging in Greece; From December until mid-February, Olympiacos went 11-2 and held opponents below 70 points seven times.

In Round 25, Olympiacos joined CSKA and Madrid as the first three teams to clinch playoff berths and the Reds sat hot on their tails in the race for the top overall record.

A letdown followed with a home loss to Galatasaray Odeabank Istanbul, but a Round 27 victory at Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade on a Georgios Printezis game-winner eerily similar to his title-winning shot at the 2012 Final Four clinched home-court advantage for the Reds in the playoffs.

Olympiacos eased up a bit after that and lost its final three games of the regular season. Nevertheless, the Reds’ 19-11 record was third-best in the regular season and its home-court advantage combined with an 11-4 record in Piraeus makes this team a very tough playoff opponent, which is targeting its fourth Final Four appearance in the last six seasons.