Olympiakos

Four Factors

53.7% eFG 18.2% TOV 32.6% oREB 21.4% FTr

Opponent Four Factors

53.2% eFG 14.8% TOV 25.5% oREB 16.6% FTr

CSKA Moscow

Four Factors

56.1% eFG 15.9% TOV 34.0% oREB 26.7% FTr

Opponent Four Factors

53.0% eFG 17.6% TOV 31.3% oREB 27.7% FTr

Despite losing against CSKA in their first matchup, Olympiakos is most likely feeling pretty confident about the reverse fixture. CSKA has only suffered one loss at home in Euroleague this year and Olympiakos played them very close, only losing 69-65 despite a -12 3rd quarter. They were able to keep it close because they held CSKA to an offensive rebounding percentage of 24.3% despite their season average of 34% and 35.7% at home. CSKA, on the other hand, has to be feeling good about the matchup because they pulled off a win last time despite Nando De Colo going scoreless for the only time in his Euroleague career. So who will prevail tonight? Will Olympiakos be able to hold CSKA off on the boards again or will De Colo give his team a much better performance and be the difference in a win?

CSKA’s offensive rebounding is a team effort, no player has more than 2 per game and no player has more of an effect on offensive rebounding percentage than Semen Antonov’s +6.4% in 138 minutes this year, after that is Othello Hunter with +3.5%. In the Round 5 matchup against Olympiakos, CSKA had 12.5% oREB (2/16) with Othello Hunter and 14.3% (1/7) with Semen Antonov on the court. If CSKA is going to beat Olympiakos on the road, those two, and the whole team must continue to crash the boards like they have most of the season. The team’s 12 offensive rebounds per win gives them 73.9 True Shooting Attempts per game in wins, compared to their 8.6 offensive rebounds in losses which have yielded just 66.6 True Shooting Attempts. Their elite ability to secure rebounds on offense no matter which group of players is on the court is one of the reasons that CSKA has set themselves apart from the pack in Euroleague this year and are one of three teams to have already secured a spot in the playoffs. If they can’t rebound at that level in Greece on Friday night and beyond, they may put themselves at risk of dropping in the standings. CSKA’s remaining schedule is not easy in the slightest, although 4 of their 6 matches after Olympiakos are at home, their last 7 opponents have a combined record of 93-74 and every team will likely be in contention for a playoff spot except for Khimki when CSKA runs into them. A win in Piraeus all but secures their spot in the top 3 playoffs but even first round home court advantage could start to get dicey with a loss, given their upcoming opponents.

Olympiakos will look to fix their offensive woes this round after averaging 65 points and 13.3 turnovers in their recent 4-game Euroleague skid. They have however limited opponents to a 25.4% oREB which is a similar number as what they allowed to CSKA in Round 5. This being the best way to slow them down and what they did last time to hold them under 70 for the only time all season, Coach Blatt will make sure his team is boxing out every possession. Last time was a total team effort, only Nikola Milutinov had 5 defensive rebounds of the team’s 31 and he has been rewarded for his strong play (highlighted by 18 rebounds against Panathinaikos in Round 16) with more minutes as of late. Olympiakos goes from a 67.1% defensive rebounding team without Milutinov to 75.3% with him, his increased minutes should continue this week as rebounding is as important as ever for Olympiakos as the look to bounce back from a rough February and lock down their place in the playoffs.