European Basketball Weekly | Latest News & Stories – Apr. 18, 2022

April 18, 2022
Euroleague basketball

Hello, basketball fans, and welcome to our weekly review! Many things happened in the past couple of days, so we will not make this introduction long. Let’s start with the latest news, stories, latest results, and what holds for next week! Also, don’t forget to read our free basketball predictions!

Barcelona – Bayern

Barcelona finished Euroleague regular season in first place for the second year in a row. The club’s ambition is to win this competition, and everything else will be considered a failure. Looking at all the other clubs in Euroleague, Barcelona has by far the best roster on paper. Last season they had the best starting five in Europe, and now they have significant quality on the bench as well. They have improved the bench by signing Rokas Jokubaitis, Nicolas Laprovittola, Sertac Sanli, Nigel Hayes, and Dante Exum, and they are ready for the most important period of the season.

Last year, Bayern became the first team in the history of German basketball that play in the Euroleague quarterfinals, and now they repeat that success. Head coach Andrea Trinchieri did not have a good team at his disposal like last year, but he found a way to bring Bayern to the playoffs. Vladimir Lucic did not have much help in the offense as last year when Wade Baldwin and Jalen Reynolds were there. However, all of Trinchieri’s teams are recognizable for quality defense, which will be the way to play against Barcelona.

Prediction: Barcelona in four games

At the moment, Bayern does not have the quality to eliminate Barcelona. They will probably manage to snatch one win, but no more than that.

Real Madrid – Maccabi

Until February this year, Real Madrid was the best team in Europe along with Barcelona, ​​but then everything fell apart. They lost 8 of the last ten games in the Euroleague regular season, which is why they have fallen from second to the fourth position, and in the Endesa League, in the last 12 games, they recorded four wins and eight defeats. Some Spanish media wrote that head coach Pablo Laso could be fired, but instead, Thomas Huertel and Trey Thompkins were removed from the team.

It seemed like an impossible mission for Maccabi to play in the Euroleague playoffs two months ago. Head coach Ioannis Sfairopoulos was fired because they had lost almost all chances, but then the Russian clubs were kicked out of Euroleague, and everything changed. Maccabi reluctantly accepted a new chance that unexpectedly appeared. With six wins in the last six rounds in Euroleague, they reached the playoffs and finished the regular season in fifth place. Scottie Wilbekin and James Nunally had a few excellent offensive games, but Maccabi also has quality in the frontcourt, where they have Ante Zizic, Derrick Williams, and Jalen Reynolds.

Prediction: Real Madrid in five games

If this series had been played three months ago, everyone would probably predict Real Madrid in three games. Now things have changed, but Real should eventually find a way to the final four due to home-court advantage.

Milan – Anadolu Efes

Ettore Messina brought back quality basketball to Milan. For many years, this club tried to make a good result in Euroleague. Still, only with the arrival of one of the best Italian coaches of all time they manage to qualify for the Euroleague final four after almost 30 years. They lost against Barcelona last season, but now they want a new chance. Lately, many players have been infected with the coronavirus, which could be a problem when it comes to freshness and energy.

Anadolu Efes is Euroleague reigning champion, and their coach Ergin Ataman recently said that they will win the European trophy again this year. Vasilije Micic and Shane Larkin are still the best offensive duo in this competition, and it will be very difficult to defend them, especially now when Krunoslav Simon is back. Croatian player has a huge influence on Efes offensive system. This season, this team had many problems in the center position because Filip Petrusev wasn’t the right choice to replace Sertac Sanli, but Efes had shown their best basketball several times in the last few years when they needed it most.

Prediction: Anadolu Efes in four games

Milan had a better season than Efes; they beat them twice, but Efes has much more offensive potential and self-confidence, which could be crucial in this series.

Olympiacos – Monaco

Olympiacos surprised everyone this season. Last summer, not many people predicted that they would be in the Euroleague quarterfinals. Not only did they secure a place in the top 8, but they finished the regular season in the second position. Head coach Georgios Bartzokas is most credited for these results as Olympiacos defense was one of the best in Europe. The offensive organization was in Kostas Sloukas hands, while Sasha Vezenkov was the best scorer.

Monaco won Eurocup last season and reached a spot in Euroleague. By qualifying for the quarterfinals, they secured a place in Euroleague next season as well, which was their primary goal. After a weak start, they fired Zvezdan Mitrovic and brought Sasha Obradovic as head coach, which turned out to be the right move. Mike James played much better, and along with Dwayne Bacon, he was unstoppable. Monaco can play without pressure in this playoffs, and they could use that to their advantage.

Prediction: Monaco in five games

This should be the most interesting series in the quarterfinals. Monaco is offensively one of the most powerful teams in the Euroleague, while Olympiacos is one of the best defensive teams. Five games in this series are quite certain, and Monaco, led by James, could make another step forward.

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Author MilosNS

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