All the signs are showing Armani Olimpia Milano as the clear favorite in this Euroleague round against the Basques. The visitors have also a great team, with a couple of experienced players but I see them as the underdog in this battle because:
- Olimpia Milano has finally the roster complete. They started the season affected by many injuries and since last week all of them are totally recovered. Important players were missing for weeks or even months. But now Arturas Gudaitis, Nemanja Nedovic, Shelvin Mack are back and they will help a lot the Italian team. You see, Olimpia Milano’s power relies on the largest possible rotation, they don’t have 2-3 providential players, but 12 fellows collaborating to execute very accurately the strategy of Ettore Messina. When a couple of them were missing, the team was in a difficult position. Now I trust them doing an excellent job.
- The Italians didn’t lose a game in the Euroleague for a month since Bayern Munich hammered them in Germany in 3rd October. They grew up every round, beating strong teams Panathinaikos or Fenerbahce and providing the only loss to F. C. Barcelona. Mentally, Olimpia Milano’s squad is at the top and they can extend it easily with a win against the visitors.
- On the other side, Baskonia is a hard-working squad that can surprise any team. In the domestic league this weekend they almost won against Real Madrid after being down by 13 at the halftime. But, this won’t be their season. Jayson Granger is out, Ilimane Diop is not anymore at the level he was and some other players are having too big ups and downs. Let’s take Nik Stauskas who scored only 2 points last game against Real Madrid or Patricio Garino who finished scoreless after 29 minutes spent on the court.
Normally, at this moment, Olimpia Milano has all the advantages in the world to win this encounter.