The derby for the 2nd place: CSKA Moscow – Olimpia Milano

Round 29 of Turkish Airlines Euroleague will bring us a lot of interesting matches and here we can name the Spanish ‘’El Clasico’’ between Real Madrid and Barcelona, or Panathinaikos Athens vs Maccabi Tel-Aviv, in a game where the Israeli team continue their final push to reach the play-offs spots. But, the game that I will look forward to seeing is CSKA Moscow vs Olimpia Milano as they are currently in the 2nd and 3rd positions. Let’s see the stats for both teams in their last games.

CSKA Moscow managed to recover from 4-straight losses at the start of February and now they won 4 of their last 6 games in all competitions. The return of Tornike Shengelia made a big impact on the Russian team, as they are more powerful in the paint, on both ends of the floor. However, in their last Euroleague game, Anadolu Efes smashed them 100-70, thanks to a very good first quarter from the Turkish team, which ended 31-13. The main scorer for CSKA was Shengelia with 14 points, while Mike James had an awful game, finishing with 5 points with 1 shot made out of 9 attempts. In the weekend, they got their heads back together with a win over Tsmoki Minsk 101-67 in VTB League in-game where CSKA used all their players and Johannes Voigtmann was the best scorer with 15 points in 13 minutes of play.

The second-best offensive team in Euroleague, Armani Milano (81.57 points per game), seems to have some problems on the offensive end, as they managed to score only 69 points in their last Euroleague encounter against Zalgiris and 60 against Trento in the weekend in Legabasket. Sergio Rodriguez (18 points) and Kevin Punter (14 points) were the main scorers, but they lost the game 61-60 to Trento. In order to have a chance in Moscow, they need to raise their game on the offensive end and score at least 80 points as their season average.

In this game, CSKA Moscow can’t count on Nikola Milutinov, while Janis Strelnieks is a game-time decision after the injury suffered on his back in the game against Anadolu. For Milano, Zach LeDay is back in business, while Malcolm Delaney is out.

I expect a tough match like the last one between these teams when the game was decided in overtime, but won by CSKA thanks to a huge game from Milutinov who ended with 17 points and 19 rebounds. Also, Mike James will try to bounce back from his poor shooting against Anadolu and lead the Russian team to victory.

Image: Euroleague

Bogdan Vasile Tirc