Anadolu Efes has taken a two-victory lead over all the other teams after January's double-round week. Here's a review of the key statistics in the competitive Turkish Airlines EuroLeague landscape.
Anadolu Efes earned a degree of separation at the top of the standings earning two 20-point wins at home to take a two-win advantage into Round 21. Several teams had a very eventful double-round week to cause a significant shakeup in the standings. CSKA Moscow and Maccabi Tel Aviv both avenged a pair of road losses to postseason-caliber opponents to create a logjam of teams tied for third place with 14 wins. Meanwhile, Valencia Basket continued its rise in the standings by going to Russia to complete season sweeps of Khimki Moscow Region and Zenit St Petersburg and propelling itself towards the top of the very competitive group in the middle of the standings that may only contribute two teams to the postseason. Valencia's road wins stand out as those are difficult to come by in the EuroLeague.
Home-Court Advantage and Consistency
Home-court advantage is a very real thing in the EuroLeague. The home team has won 63% of all games this season, with teams in playoff positions winning a remarkable 82% of the time in their own arenas. Digging a layer deeper, only two teams have a better efficiency margin on the road than at home and only Zenit St Petersburg has performed significantly better in opposing arenas this season. The average team is 0.04 points per possession better offensively and defensively at home than they are on the road, making the 0.08 total margin between home and road performance happen on both ends of the floor equally.
The graphic above lists the teams with the four largest gaps in their efficiency margins in home games versus road games. LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne is 7-4 at home, scoring 0.15 points per possession more offensively in the Astroballe. Khimki Moscow Region is 7-3 for having played 0.08 points per possession better on the defensive end. Anadolu Efes Istanbul unsurprisingly owns the largest efficiency margin both at home and on the road outscoring opponents by 0.17 points per possession in Istanbul and 0.11 away from the Sinan Erdem Dome.
On the other side of the spectrum, the graphic above lists the teams that have the largest gaps in their efficiency margins in road games versus home games – or, given that just two have positive margins, those whose performance falls off least in away games. Zenit is an outlier, faring significant better both offensively and defensively on the road. Zalgiris and FC Barcelona are the two teams who play to the most similar standard in home and road games, with Panathinaikos OPAP Athens and CSKA Moscow not far behind.
With the season nearing the two-thirds mark, home stands loom large on many team's schedules. Projecting ahead, all teams have between 6 and 8 home games remaining. FC Barcelona, KIROLBET Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz, ALBA Berlin, and Valencia Basket are the teams with the most home games remaining. On paper, Valencia benefits most from the remaining schedule, especially given how much the team has improved from the early part of the season.
Looking Ahead to Round 21
In what figures to be an interesting matchup, Valencia will head to Moscow to face CSKA in Round 21 before playing eight of its last 13 games in La Fonteta. However, next week also features perhaps the most interesting game of the
entire season on paper as Efes travels to take on Real Madrid. Both teams rank among the top five in both offensive and defensive efficiency.