Out of the eight teams that have made it to the playoffs it’s safe to say that they may not be the most talented team nor the most star packed team, however for whatever they are lacking they are more than making up with their fighting DNA.
On Paper: Olympiacos in five games.
Why: They are Olympiacos the back to back (2011, 2012) champs, the 2015 finalists, basically it’s their thing,
Why not: Because it can end up in four but in all seriousness, this one is as unpredictable as it gets.
The ones to be missed:
As this preview is being written, it’s still unknown whether Tyler Honeycutt will be fully fit (or at all) for both games, but on the other side, the reds will be missing their marksman Matt Lojeski. Make no mistake both absences are significant and can prove to be crucial, as the first is the defensive anchor where the later creates spacing from the bench.
On defense Tyler Honeycutt is a threat, he can block shots he’s quick and can guard various positions, on offense for what he is lacking in shot consistency sometimes, he more than makes up in explosiveness, should Tyler miss some playing time adjustments would have to be made. For Olympiacos Kostas Papanikolaou who got his stride back would fill the void alongside Ioannis Papapetrou to back him up from the bench.
The 80 points barrier:
Anadolu lost 13 games this season, four of them were at home nine were on the road, what do they all have in common? In all of them Anadolu received at least 80 points, a score that Olympiacos have surpassed in 10 out of the 19 games they’ve won. On the other hand Anadolu have shown more than once during the regular season that they like to run, they like the up tempo game with almost every player being a threat from deep.
As Aris Barkas of EUROHOOPS said on the playoff edition of “Sweet16”, Olympiacos would have to slow down the Anadolu tempo and in order to achieve that they would have to limit the Turkish team to set offense as much as they can as it can prove to be Anadolu’s Achilles heel, in addition they would have to run on transition and punish Anadolu for every mistake they make on transition defense.
Our Young X-Factor’s:
In both games between these two team this season Khem Birch stat sheet could have been better, and they would need him in top form, the problem is the guy that’s facing him is as athletic, and on top of that he’s stronger, that’s why any contribution that coach Ioannis Sfairopoulos can get from Patrick Young could prove to be extremely crucial, he can prove to be the X-factor and also the young prospects of the reds (Dimitrios Argravanis, and Ioannis Papapetrou) would have to contribute consistently in order to rest both Giorgos Printezis and Kostas Papanikolaou.
Well SEF during playoff time is always the same, it’s as loud as it can get, and since it’s always the same, we’re expecting Vassilis Spanoulis and Printezis to do their thing as usual when it’s playoff time. Besides that with two teams looking kind of similar and with the Turkish side having some advantages in terms of mobility strength and athletic in some positions we have to ask once again….
Who do you got?