Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade has undergone major changes during the offseason, which means that it will face 2020-21 with several challenges. With a new coach at the helm and several new faces that should have a major role, Zvezda will try to bounce back and start with the right foot to better the 11-17 record from 2019-20. Here are five key games for Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade.
Round 1: Season starts at Fenerbahce
As one Obradovic departs, another enters... new Zvezda coach Sasa Obradovic will lead his team for the first time with this season-opening trip to face another team entering a new coaching era, Fenerbahce. It will be Obradovic’s fourth 'debut' with his hometown club after he spent three different spells with the club as a player, and he will hope to repeat the success of those days which saw Zvezda claim three Yugoslav titles.
Round 2: Debut at home against Baskonia
Along with new coach Obradovic, another familiar face will be back on his old home territory for Zvezda’s Round 2 home opener against Baskonia. Veteran forward Marko Simonovic is entering his fifth season with Zvezda after rejoining the club he previously represented between 2012 and 2017, and he will be looking to quickly show he’s still the same force as the player who averaged 12.6 points and 3.6 rebounds over 30 appearances in the 2016-17 season.
Round 14: Nnoko faces breakout team
Landry Nnoko was a major factor behind the rise of ALBA Berlin over the past two years, with the Cameroonian big man averaging 8.7 points and 5.8 rebounds per game over 28 appearances for the German team in last season’s competition. Now the 26 year-old is aiming to become a key player for his new team Zvezda, and this reunion with ALBA will be an opportunity to remind his old teammates exactly what they are missing.
Round 20: Loyd returns to Valencia
Similar to Nnoko, shooting guard Jordan Loyd took his first steps in European competition last season with Valencia Basket, and Zvezda’s summer signing will return to his former club in Round 20. Sharpshooter Loyd had a promising but inconsistent debut EuroLeague campaign so will expect to take a step up this year with Zvezda, and a game-winning performance at La Fonteta would be a good way of showing his importance to his new team.
Round 30: Gist returns to his adoptive home
There might not be too many familiar faces remaining at Panathinaikos when James Gist heads back to his former home arena with Zvezda in Round 30, but any return to Athens will always be special for the highlight-reel specialist. Gist will hope for similar individual success to the 22 points and 7 rebounds he registered in last season's trip to Panathinaikos, but a different collective outcome after the host edged that game 87-82.