Anadolu Efes Istanbul seems to be to return to the Turkish Airways EuroLeague Ultimate 4 with the identical core that reached the large occasion in 2019. Actual Madrid hopes to take one other step ahead to compete for an eleventh continental crown. Efes has the home-court benefit in what guarantees to be an exciting playoffs sequence. Each recreation can be a battle.
A brand new period for each groups
Each Actual and Efes are in excellent moments. Efes made it to the EuroLeague championship recreation in 2019 for the primary time in membership historical past. It did so in its first Ultimate 4 look since reaching that stage within the 2001 FIBA SuproLeague. It additionally received the Turkish League title in 2019, its first in a decade.
Actual is into a brand new golden age. Within the final 10 years, Actual has made it to seven EuroLeague Ultimate Fours and received the title in 2015 and 2018. Its earlier two EuroLeague crowns got here in 1980 and 1995. It has additionally received 5 Spanish Leagues and 6 Spanish King’s Cups within the final decade.
Retaining a core of gamers has been vital for each groups. Efes has had Shane Larkin, Vasilije Micic, Krunoslav Simon, Adrien Moerman, Bryant Dunston, Rodrigue Beaubois, and Tibor Pleiss main the best way within the final three seasons. Sergio Llull, Rudy Fernandez, Felipe Reyes, Jaycee Carroll, Trey Thompkins, Jeffery Taylor, and Anthony Randolph have been taking part in collectively for Los Blancos for a minimum of 5 years.
We might count on street wins, which at all times make playoff sequence extra attention-grabbing. Certainly, Actual and Efes have been among the finest street warriors within the 2020-21 EuroLeague. Actual recorded 10 street victories, whereas dropping solely seven video games away from Madrid. Profitable its three street video games towards Zenit St Petersburg, LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne and Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul allowed it to achieve the playoffs.
Efes was even higher, recording 11 street wins in 17 video games. Solely CSKA Moscow and FC Barcelona, the 2 squads that ranked forward of the Turkish powerhouse on the finish of the common season, received extra usually on the street. Six of these wins had been greater than 20 factors, displaying that Efes is sort of snug on the street and an enormous lead would not gradual it down.
Earlier This Season
Actual and Efes traded street victories this season. In Spherical 17, Actual outlasted Efes 65-73 at Sinan Erdem Dome in December. The sport was shut within the fourth till the guests pulled away within the remaining minute behind a pair of three-pointers from Carroll. Fabien Causeur paced Actual with 15 factors, whereas Thompkins added 13 and Nicolas Laprovittola mixed 10 factors with 6 assists. Micic was Efes’s solely scorer in double figures with 16 factors.
Efes returned the favor in Spherical 32, thrashing Actual 83-108 within the Spanish capital. The hosts led 42-41 at halftime, however Efes wanted only a quarter and a half to attain 56 factors and open a 25-point lead halfway by way of the fourth quarter. Sertac Sanli completed as Efes’s prime scorer with 17 factors. Larkin scored all of his 16 factors within the remaining 11 minutes of the sport. Thompkins scored 19 for Actual.
A number of gamers on each groups are on the verge of reaching playoff milestones on this sequence. Dunston wants simply 3 blocks to develop into the playoffs’ chief. Ioannis Bourousis is first with 26 factors, with Dunston proper behind at 24. Dunston already leads the all-time standings with 270 profession blocks.
Actual has a number of gamers who can climb to elite spots within the playoffs standings. Felipe Reyes ranks second in rebounds (182), proper behind former teammate Ante Tomic (183). Reyes already leads in offensive boards (79). Sergio Llull is fifth in assists (129) and second place, shared by Milos Teodosic and Dimitris Diamantidis (147) is just not out of attain. Rudy Fernandez can simply crack the highest 10 in playoffs steals. Victor Khryapa is tenth with 26 and Fernandez has collected 24 in playoff motion.
Pablo Laso and Ergin Ataman have led their respective groups to their present success. Laso is in his tenth season with Actual and appears for his seventh Ultimate 4, which might tie him with Bozidar Maljkovic for fourth place. Laso has additionally received two EuroLeague crowns and 5 Spanish League crowns, amongst different highlights, pushing Actual to be a prime contender 12 months in, 12 months out, because it was within the twentieth century.
Ataman has helped Efes attain new heights within the final three seasons. When he arrived, Efes was on the backside of the standings. A 12 months later, it reached its first EuroLeague championship recreation and received the Turkish League. Over the past two seasons, Efes has a mixed 46-16 document (74.2% wins). Ataman has received three completely different European competitions throughout his profession, together with the 2015-16 7DAYS EuroCup trophy with Galatasaray Istanbul. He has additionally guided three completely different groups to the Turkish League crown.