This match is going to be an interesting battle, open to any result. Both teams are in shape and have huge budgets and the rosters full with good players. They split home wins this regular season, so the advantage of the first two games at home should be huge for Anadolu Efes. Let`s have a look at both teams:
Anadolu Efes – They won 9 out of 10 last games, the only defeat came from CSKA Moscow at home, 78-80. In the last game against Barcelona, the offensive flow worked very well for the Turkish giants. They won 92-70, scoring 60% of 2-point shots and also 14 out of 15 from the free-throw line. Shane Larkin had a big match scoring 37 points in 28 minutes.
- It`s very important for Anadolu to have their ballhandlers – Micic, Larkin and Simon – at their best. Efes ranks second in 2-point and third in 3-point accuracy in the regular season of Euroleague, so they need to control the ball and find the open man, in order to have another big game against Barcelona. The offense is their main strength
- It seems there are no injuries for the Turkish powerhouse
Barcelona Lassa – They won 8 out of their last 10 games, losing only against Bayern and Fenerbahce, both games away. They are leading as well the domestic league, with one win in front of the biggest rival Real Madrid. In the last game against Efes, their defense didn’t work as good as always. They allowed 92 points, many more than their 76.4 average through the season which is second best in the league. In that game, the main problem of Barcelona was the poor percentage from the 3-point line, where they scored only 3 out of 23.
- The main challenge for Barcelona is to slow down Efes`s guards. If you allow them to start a run, they will score as many points as they can, especially in front of the Turkish fans. They must rely on their big guys to contest every shot in the paint and inside the arc and on their defensive mindset.
- The only absent for Barcelona is Kevin Seraphin. But coach Svetislav Pesic said recently this won’t be a problem since he is not an important player for the Blaugrana club.
Bogdan Vasile Tirc, firstname.lastname@example.org