The 13th round of the regular season in Europe's biggest club basketball competition, Turkish Airlines EuroLeague kicks off today.
Action begins in Istanbul, where Marko Guduric of Fenerbahçe Doğuş will welcome his former teammates from Crvena Zvezda.
Reigning champion Fenerbahçe (8-4) aims to bounce back from a home loss last week with the visit of red-hot Crvena Zvezda (5-7), which has won three games in a row to move within a game of the top half of the standings.
A potent offense has been the key to Zvezda's recent surge, with an average of 91 points per game in its three wins.
James Feldeine has been particularly hot, scoring 29 and 26 points in the last two outings, so stopping him will be a key for Fener, which will be keen to recover its usual defensive stinginess after allowing Zalgiris to score 90 points last week.
In another game, Zalgiris Kaunas and Brose Bamberg will meet in Kaunas. Two teams look to build on the confidence derived from their Round 12 victories over last season's finalists.
Finding a way to contain the long-range scoring threat of Kevin Pangos will be vital for Brose, with the guard netting the league's third-highest number of three-pointers so far this season (2.6 per game) at an impressive conversion rate of 50.8 percent.
Brose's last three wins have all come through overcoming double-digit deficits, so there's no room for Zalgiris to feel comfortable until the final buzzer sounds.
Meanwhile, two traditional heavyweights meet in Athens as Panathinaikos (8-4) looks to at least maintain its share of third place with the visit of a Maccabi team (7-5) that needs to improve its away form after losing its last two road games by 22 and 15 points.
Panathinaikos may be without injured leader Nick Calathes for this week's games, so Lukas Lekavicius can expect increased responsibility after averaging less than 13 minutes on the floor so far this season.
Maccabi leads the league in rebounds (38.2 per game), and the battle for boards between the athletic Alex Tyus and James Gist will be well worth watching.
After recapturing the feel-good factor with last week's convincing Clasico win over Barcelona, host Madrid (6-6) will look to establish further momentum against another Spanish opponent, Valencia (3-9).
The visiting team, which has lost eight consecutive games, will have to find a way of stopping Luka Doncic, who ranks among the league's top five performers in no less than 11 different statistical categories.
The teams have made the most (Madrid, 10.2 per game) and third-most (9.7 per game) three-pointers in the competition, so expect plenty of long-range shooting from the likes of Doncic, Jaycee Carroll, Erick Green and Sam Van Rossom.
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