In the summer Armani Milano announced that they brought back Coach Ettore Messina in Italy with the clear aim to do some great stuff here, achieve some titles this year and to attack the Euroleague trophy in the next year. But, we are in February and where is that great team that every Milano’s fans expected from the start of the season?
In the Italian League, they already have 7 defeats from only 21 games, while in the last six seasons, the worst record in the final standings for them was 22-8. This season they already lost to teams like Brescia, Brindisi, Cremona or Virtus Bologna, while against Venezia they got a 71-70 in the final seconds. They are currently on 4th position and Brescia, Sassari and Virtus Bologna are ahead of them. That heavy schedule with many games in Seria A and Euroleague will continue and I don’t think they will finish the last 9 games with an 8-1 record to end with the same ‘’worst-record’’ of 22-8 like in the last six seasons. Also, in the playoffs, they will have many problems with the teams mentioned above because they already show that can win against Milano and everything can happen.
In Euroleague, they are on a play-off position right now, in 8th place, but the distance between them and 4th place, which will secure the home advantage, is 4 wins, the same distance as 18th place. In the middle of the standings, teams are very balanced and for the last 2 play-offs spots, there are six teams, separated by only 2 wins. It will be very hard for them to stay in the same place until the final games because Fenerbahce, Khimki or Zalgiris Kaunas will make a great push in the final 10 rounds to secure a top spot. The real deal for Milano is the finish in a play-offs position, while the Final 4 is way too far from them right now.
In the Italian Cup, they made another upset to their fans and despite the comfortable win over Cremona in the Quarter-Finals, they got eliminated by Venezia in the next round with 67-63. Venezia remained focused and eventually won the Cup with a 73-67 win over Brindisi. Milano looked a little bit tired and in several moments they seem like they don’t care on this trophy making some funny turnovers or forcing a shot instead of giving an extra-pass to the more open man.
They need to get back on track and regroup because in two days they will face Khimki Moscow and then in the next Euroleague round Zalgiris Kaunas, two teams that follow them in the standings and aim to get their hands of the last play-offs spot. Maybe if Mike James would have stayed the standings would be different for them, who knows.
Bogdan Vasile Tirc