Laso facing Obradovic in Munich

Bayern Munich will host Partizan Belgrade tomorrow evening in the Bmw Park in a game that counts for Round 8 of the current EuroLeague season.

After a 2022-23 season where Bayern finished only 3rd in the German BBL and wasn’t a contender to reach the EuroLeague playoffs (the Bavarians finished 15th in the regular season standings with an 11-23 record), the management decided to replace coach Andrea Trinchieri with Pablo Laso and start a new project. Naturally, the expectations became bigger and Bayern fans hoped that the team would instantly become a powerhouse in the EuroLeague. However, this is not the case yet, as the German started the EuroLeague season with a 2-5 record. Four of the five defeats were by a single-digit difference, the only blowout defeat was suffered in the Palau Blaugrana where Barcelona demolished Bayern. The roster is not bad and some interesting signings were made in the summer like Carsen Edwards (who is starting to find his rhythm), Leandro Bolmaro or former NBA champion Serge Ibaka, but in this season’s EuroLeague it will not be enough to reach the Top 8.

Eventually, I’m sure that Bayern will become a top team in European basketball with a coach like Laso and the new arena that is expected to be finished next year will probably allow the club to increase the budget and sign star players.

Partizan’s expectations for this season are higher. The team from the Serbian capital almost reached the Final Four last season and managed to keep top scorer Kevin Punter. The departure of Matthias Lessort hurt the team in the first month of the season but they managed to sign Brazilian center Bruno Caboclo who is expected to debut tomorrow. The black and white team has a 3-4 record so far and their last three games ended by 1 or 2 points difference last week they showed great mental strength coming back from 15 points down against Fenerbahce in the Stark Arena. They also beat rivals Crvena Zvezda in Round 5, but I’m sure everyone from the organization and the fans hoped for a better record after the first 8 rounds.

Statistically, we can see that Partizan games are played at a higher pace. Bayern scores much fewer points (73 points scored per game vs 86 by Partizan) but also receives less (79.3 ppg vs 86 by Partizan).

Zeljko Obradovic’s team is the favourite in tomorrow’s game. While Bayern just started to build a new project, Partizan wants to win now and is without a doubt a Final Four contender. ‘’Every game matters’’ is very true this season and the Serbian team cannot afford to lose games like this and must climb in the standings.

Imre Halasz

Image: EuroLeague