By: Sam Meyerkopf & Nick Gibson / @euro_adventures
Just like yesterday, we’ll preface our predictions with some math-type stuff. Luckily, Euroleague.net did it so we didn’t have to:
CSKA Moscow already qualified and will finish in first place.
Galatasaray Medical Park will advance with a victory OR if it loses by only one point at Olympiacos.
Olympiacos will advance with a victory by more than one point against Galatasaray.
Montepaschi Siena will advance to the Playoffs with a victory. Siena will advance with a defeat in case Gescrap loses, too.
In case of a Siena defeat combined with a Gescrap victory, a three-way tie will take place.
In this situation, the score difference achieved by Real Madrid is the key to determine the final standings, as follows:
Real Madrid win by less than 23 points, Siena 1st place, Gescrap 2nd place.
Real Madrid win by more than 22 AND less than 30 points, Siena 1st place, Real Madrid 2nd place.
Real Madrid win by more than 29 points AND less than 38 points, Real Madrid 1st place, Siena 2nd place.
Real Madrid win by more than 37 points, Real Madrid 1st place, Gescrap 2nd place.
Gescrap will advance with a Siena victory.
Anadalou Efes (1-4) vs. *CSKA Moscow (4-1)
Sam: CSKA has a bad taste in their mouth after their last visit to Istanbul when they lost to Galatasaray. This is a city they better get comfortable playing in when Final Four time comes around, so I expect a trouncing from the Moscow men. CSKA Moscow.
Nick: Their seasons have unfolded in opposite fashions, as reflected by their opposite records. Moscow has dealt with significant loss well, whereas Anadolu Efes has let turmoil get the best of them, never really finding a rhythm since the three-game winning streak against Partizan (did not advance), Spirou (did not advance) and Milano (did advance, but…you know) back in the regular season. So after today, yes: their records will still be opposites. CSKA Moscow.
Olympiacos (2-3) vs. Galatasaray (3-2)
Sam: Game of the week, no question, you have to be watching this. Both teams matchup very similarly as they both have a lack of depth in the post and rely heavily on their guards and wings. This is the game where Vassilis Spanoulis should take over. He’s played in too many late season battles over the years with Olympiacos and Panathinaikos that has groomed him for this occasion. If Jamon Lucas can do a good job on Spanoulis, the Reds might panic a little bit, but I doubt anyone will be able to contain the bearded Greek on Thursday night. Olympiacos.
Nick: Player O needs to do [good offensive basketball thing], but not if Player G can [other good basketball thing]. No no no. None of that shit matters. Who wants this thing more? Who needs it more? Olympiacos.
Unicaja (0-5) vs. Gescrap Bilbao (3-2)
Sam: Win and they’re in. It’s a simple formula Bilbao has to follow. I watched Unicaja fumble around the court for 40 minutes at the Copa del Rey, and I have zero confidence in that team. Bilbao just went into Siena and won, which happens, well almost never. Even when Aaron Jackson had a down game, Raul Lopez stepped in and played his game of the year. This team is peaking at the right time and if I were Unicaja, I’d be scared to come on the court. Gescrap Bilbao.
Nick: It’s pretty tough to get behind a head coach that seemingly has no interest in involving his best player, Joel Freeland. Welcome to the playoffs, Guess Crap. Gescrap Bilbao.
Montepaschi Siena (4-1) vs. Real Madrid (3-2)
Sam: Real Madrid’s Euroleague season is hanging in the balance. Sergio Llull is surging and Jaycee Carroll seems to have found the sweet spot on his jumper again. I wouldn’t normally pick Siena to lose back to back games at home, but it’s going to be tough for them to stick with the marathon scoring pace Madrid is going to set. Real Madrid.
Nick: “Siena can’t keep up with Madrid,” said that guy who forgot Bo McCalebb existed. Montepaschi Siena.