The champions of the last Euroleague’s editions are meeting in Moscow

Round 19 of Turkish Airlines Euroleague will include a huge derby between CSKA Moscow and Real Madrid. These two teams are the most decorated in Euroleague history and for sure this match will be a high-quality one. In the first duel of the season, Real came victorious 97-81 after a very good game on both ends of the floor. Facundo Campazzo (18 points and 6 assists) and Gabriel Deck (17 points and 11 rebounds) were the top performers for Real, while for CSKA were Johannes Voigtmann (20 points and 5 rebounds) and Mike James (14 points and 5 assists).

Cska Moscow will come into this game with more days rest than Real Madrid because they didn’t have any game in the weekend. Their last encounter was in Germany, where they beat Bayern Munchen 84-77, despite Will Clyburn, Daniel Hackett and Janis Strelnieks’s absence. The trio of Mike James, Darrun Hillard and Kyle Hines made an awesome game, scoring 59 points combined. Their main star was nobody else than Mike James who made a huge game when CSKA needed the most. He ended with 27 points, 5 rebounds and 7 assists, while Hillard had 20 points and 7 rebounds. Bayern defense was inefficient, making a lot of fouls and giving 23 opportunities from the free-throw line for the Red Army. That made the difference in the game because the percentages of field-goals made were almost the same. For this match, those three players that didn’t play against Bayern are still out, while the new addition, Howard Sant-Roos from AEK Athens is a game-time decision.

Real Madrid had an easy ACB game on Sunday against Estudiantes when they won the game 87-72 after a huge second quarter. In that quarter they scored 31 points with 7/8 from the arc while holding their opponents to only 11 points scored with 5-18 field-goals made. Jordan Mickey (20 points and 7 rebounds), Trey Thompkins (18 points, 6 rebounds and 7 assists) and Nicolas Laprovittola (11 points and 10 assists) were the main contributors for Real Madrid who had many absentees for this game. Sergio Llull, Anthony Randolph and Gabriel Deck were injured, while Fabien Causeur and Rudy Fernandez were rested before this big clash from Russia.

If Randolph and Deck will play because they are on a game-time decision status, then Real Madrid will be stronger in the paint and Randolph’s 3-point shooting can be a huge threat for CSKA Moscow. However, I expect some fatigue’s problems for Real’s players because that long trip to Russia and only 2 days’ rest and because of that, CSKA has a good chance to win here.

Photo: Euroleague

Bogdan Vasile Tirc