Euroleague TOP16 9th round
Posted 03. march 2015
Four of five teams with best Top 16 records face road tests in Round 9, including both group leaders. While those teams focus on making a push for the playoff home-court advantage, several other teams have a last chance to get back into a playoff hunt this week. Action is split over three days, with one game on Wednesday, five more on Thursday, before Round 9 concludes with three games on Friday.
Wednesday 04.03 matches
- Both ALBA and Zalgiris need a win to get back into the playoff race. This is their sixth head to head meeting, and host teams won previous five games, each with a double-digit margin. When ALBA last hosted Zalgiris, in the Top 16 two seasons ago, it won 77-55.
Thursday 05.03 matches
- Fenerbahnce Ulker Istanbul welcomes Nizhny Novgorod for the first time ever. Fenerbahce has won their Top 16 Round 2 clash 60-78, which started its current run of six wins in 7 games. Fenerbahce has done so with defense that holds opponents to 73.1 points, but now faces the offensive-minded visitors which rank fourth with 81.4 points per game in the Top 16.
- Euroleague’s best two scorers this season are set to go one against another, as Taylor Rochestie (19.8 ppg) - who is also Top 16 assists leader (6.9) and runs Nizhny’s offense - goes against Fenerbahce’s guard Andrew Goudelock, who ranks second with 17.0 ppg.
- Laboral Kutxa Vitoria (4-4) hosts CSKA Moscow (6-2), hoping to build on a momentum from a road win last week. Laboral has been solid at home, winning five of its last six games. It ranks second in offensive rebounding (13.5) and third in scoring (82.5) in the Top 16, but CSKA and it's offense rank first in Top 16 in scoring (89.1), three-point accuracy (40.8%) and second in assists (18.8). The visitors will also look to bounce back from a home loss last week, and need a win in a battle for playoff home-court advantage.
Friday 06.03 matches
- Galatasaray Liv Hospital (2-6) faces the group leader Real Madrid (7-1) at home. Two teams met for the first time ever last year in the Top 16, a series Madrid swept, and Los Blancos hope to do the same this season. Galatasaray will have a tough task trying to end its five-game losing streak, going against the team that dominates on both ends of the floor in the Top 16.
- Madrid ranks first in assists (21.8) and second in scoring (86.3), while having league-best 10.6 steals, 17.8 turnovers, in addition to allowing second-lowest 71.4 points per game.
- Last place Unicaja Malaga (1-7) welcomes Anadolu Efes Istanbul (4-4). Both sides enter this contest on a two-game losing streak. Unicaja wants to keep its slim playoff hopes alive, while knowing that another loss would all but mathematically eliminate it from playoff contention. Unicaja is the best offensive rebounding team in the competition (13.8) while Efes ranks last in that compartment (7.6).
- Efes are one of the most successful three-point shooting teams in the Top 16 - third with 8.9 triples on fourth-best 39.4% accuracy. Efes also takes good care of the ball, ranking third with only 10.6 turnovers, while on defense teams ranks third with 7.4 steals.