In round 12 of Euroleague, CSKA Moscow will receive the visit of Zalgiris Kaunas in a match between two teams that are in different positions, especially regarding their morale. CSKA Moscow has a 7-4 record, while Zalgiris is on the 17th place with a 3-8 record. Let’s see what they’ve made in the last round.
CSKA morale is high these days because they managed to get a huge win against Barcelona in Spain 96-67. Everything was perfect for them in that game-winning in every aspect of the game, while their shooting was awesome, especially inside the arc where they scored 22 buckets out of 32 attempts. After that huge win, they came back in Russia and on Monday had another travel to Kazan where they lost the game 94-86 against Unics. Maybe they were a little bit tired after that long trip to Spain and that was visible especially on the defensive end allowing Unics to score so many points. CSKA used a 10 men rotation, giving some rest to Darun Hillard. However, the main scorer for them was Mike James who ended with 19 points and 8 assists, while Johannes Voigtmann (12 points and 6 rebounds) and Janis Strelnieks (12 points) also had big contributions.
Zalgiris Euroleague’s season was a disaster so far. They have only 3 wins so far and only newcomers Zenit St. Petersburg have fewer victories, 2. In the domestic league, everything is perfect, with 12 wins from 12 matches, but in Euroleague the story is different. They now have 5 straight losses in Euroleague and after this game, I think that run will be extended to six games. In the last round, they met ALBA Berlin in Germany, but they lost the game 69-62 in a game where they scored only 2 three-pointers out of 23 attempts. That was the main reason for their loss. Coach Jasikevicius must find some solutions because rounds pass and the play-offs places are further than expected. Zach LeDay (15 points) and Lukas Lekavicius (12 points and 3 rebounds) were the main contributors.
In my opinion, CSKA will win this game, despite Will Clyburn’s absence because they have a better roster and will play in front of their fans. Also, they need to prove that result against Barcelona wasn’t a mistake, they need to continue in the same rhythm. Zalgiris seems to be in a very bad moment and this game won’t help them to get out of this 5 game losing streak.
Bogdan Vasile Tirc