Real Madrid hosts Anadolu Efes in EuroLeague Round 20

DAILY SABAH
ISTANBUL
Published
Anadolu Efes' Vladimir Stimac (L) in action against Real Madrid's Ognjen Kuzmic during the EuroLeague basketball in Round 1 in Oct. 12, 2017.
Anadolu Efes' Vladimir Stimac (L) in action against Real Madrid's Ognjen Kuzmic during the EuroLeague basketball in Round 1 in Oct. 12, 2017.

Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Round 20 games will kick off today. Real Madrid (12-7), will look to get back to its winning ways against an Anadolu Efes (5-14) team that is much more dangerous than its position at the bottom of the standings might suggest.

Since the arrival of Toney Douglas to the backcourt, Efes has averaged 89 points per game, but Madrid is the second-highest scoring team in the competition (83.9 points per game) and will relish the chance to take on Efes's league-worst defense, which has conceded 83.4 points per game. Expect a shootout as Madrid seeks a fifth straight home victory, while Efes looks for its first road win since Round 7.

Elsewhere, a game with major ramifications in the race for home court advantage takes place in the Greek capital, where Panathinaikos (12-7) welcomes Zalgiris (12-7) for a game which will split their tie for fourth place. The backcourt battle will feature league-leading assister Nick Calathes (8.4 assists per game) going head to head with Kevin Pangos, who set a new Zalgiris record with 15 assists last week. Panathinaikos will seek to regain its invincibility in Athens after losing its first regular season home game in more than a year against CSKA in Round 19, while Zalgiris needs to snap a two-game losing streak on the road.

An all-Spanish affair could be a serious momentum-changer in the race for the playoffs as Unicaja (8-11) welcomes Baskonia (8-11) for a game that could leave the winner just one game short of the top half of the standings. The host will have confidence renewed after stopping a three-game losing streak with last week's win over Madrid, while Baskonia's charge up the standings has been halted by a run of just one win in five. Unicaja is the league's second-best offensive rebounding team, averaging 12.8 per game, while Baskonia ranks second in assists (19.3 per game).

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter