In an article, a couple of days ago I analyzed the chances of each team to occupy the last 3 available spots in for a potential Euroleague’s playoff. I stated there that between the teams fighting for those spots:
“PAO is the strongest candidate to be in the playoffs. Not only because they are at 6th spot right now, but because their core of players can focus and keep the rhythm. Even without Pitino, I trust them to be in the playoffs and if the event will be organized in Athens their chances to reach it are increasing a lot”.
Since then the situation had an unbelievable turnaround. The PAO chances to complete the playoff qualifiers are still there, but then, their season is over. Whoever is playing against them in the playoff will eliminate them easily. The same as Maccabi Tel Aviv who released already many American players, PAO is looking like a resigned team for the season. It seems that their roster will completely change in the near future. It’s not only about the rumours regarding Dimitris Giannakopoulos not following anymore Nick Calathes or Ioannis Papapetrou on Instagram. Or about Jimmer Fredette and DeShaun Thomas ready to part ways with the Greens. It’s something deeper.
For me, the most significant proof of PAO’s real problems is the willing of AEK Athens president Makis Aggelopoulos to search for any solution in order to resume the HEBA season. He feels – and he is right – that, at the moment, in these new circumstances, AEK has a huge opportunity to win the title in the Greek league. If PAO is losing some of their core players, they will be swept by the former BasketballCL champions, AEK. Let’s not forget that Olympiacos is already out from the 1st league since last year, so AEK can easily add another trophy on the list.