The underdogs’ rebellion: Euroleague level is more balanced than ever

It’s enough to take a look at the last night’s results to understand that. The biggest margin was 5 points in a game that actually had to have no surprising winner: Fenerbahce with the full roster visiting the newcomer Zenit, plagued by injuries. So, let’s start with this game to analyze the tied level of the Euroleague this season. For many Euroleague fans, Fenerbahce seemed to be the big favourite in Russia. Zenit Sankt-Petersburg was missing 4 important players, Colton Iverson, Alex Renfroe, Mateusz Ponitka and Dmitry Khvostov and had no chance to win it. For this reason, the initial odds dropped a lot, making Fenerbahce – favourite even more. All the arguments lead towards an easy win of the Turkish powerhouse. They did it, but not in a convincing way. There were many moments when the Russian with the roster decimated by the injuries were tough opponents. In the end, Fenerbahce won but with only 5 points. It’s not much for a team that played the whole game without any Turkish player on the court!

In the other game of the night, Maccabi Tel Aviv having their home-court advantage struggled to beat Khimki. Both teams have some injuries, but actually Khimki had to be more affected because their quality rotation is very short now. But even so, playing away in one of the most difficult arenas in Europe, they resisted the whole game.

The encounter between Crvena Zvezda and PAO was an amazing thriller and let’s not forget the F.C. Barcelona win at Valencia Basket in the last seconds, both games not recommended for the cardiacs. All these games proved that the Euroleague – more than any other league in Europe – is becoming more similar to the NBA, with surprising results and an extremely tied level, where every small team can face without problems any favourite. There are no more resigned underdogs.

Photo: Euroleague

Gratian Corm0s