Panathinaikos Four Factors
52.8% eFG 15.4% TOV 31.2% oREB 19.3% FTr
Panathinaikos Opponent Four Factors
53.4% eFG 19.2% TOV 32.4% oREB 24.0% FTr
Baskonia Four Factors
54.9% eFG 17.8% TOV 32.8% oREB 22.5% FTr
54.0% eFG 17.8% TOV 25.1% oREB 22.7% FTr
Panathinaikos and Baskonia each have a make or break week coming up and it starts with a big Wednesday night game in Athens. The two teams come in with streaks of 4 and 3, respectively with late surges pushing them into the playoff picture with just 4 games to go. Panathinaikos is one game back of Baskonia and Milano for the last playoff spot (who takes on Madrid in Madrid this round) and has a record of 9-3 at home with 3 of their final 4 games at home. This is a must-win for them as they face a road trip to Milano on Friday and the following home game against Madrid is not a guarantee. Meanwhile, Baskonia can move to 15-12 and put themselves 2 games ahead of 9th place while a loss will put them in a tie for the last playoff spot. Their last 3 matchups are all against top 4 teams so this matchup might be a must-win for them as much as it is for PAO.
Panathinaikos has seen their biggest advantage when they push the pace. In wins, they average 79.7 possessions while averaging just 75.92 in losses. The home/away gap is even wider with 80.8 possessions at home and 75.2 on the road. It has been to their benefit to play a faster game all year and they have capitalized on that in their recent 4-game run, averaging 81 possessions in those games. Baskonia averages 79.7 possessions per game so it shouldn’t be hard for Panathinaikos to speed this game up. This could definitely work in their favor as it seems to have all year, having a point guard like Nick Calathes who can control the pace of the game will help with that. However, controlling the pace is not the only issue facing Coach Pitino going into this huge matchup.
Despite having a pace closer to where they want it (79.3 possessions/game) in their 3 home losses, the rebounding battle has been a huge struggle. In blowout losses to Zalgiris and Fenerbahce, Pana was outrebounded 46-32 and 36-25, respectively. The latest home loss was a 3-point loss to Milano in a game with even 32-32 rebounding. That was all the way back in Round 14 before Pitino, who has coached 11 Euroleague games but just 4 at home, took over. In Pitino’s 4 home wins Panathinaikos has actually outrebounded opponents by 17, or 36.5-32.25 on average. This is a positive trend that will have to continue to have a chance to beat Baskonia, one of the best rebounding teams in Euroleague. Baskonia is outrebounding teams by 3.8 boards per game but has been even better over the last 5 games outrebounding opponents by 5.4. In wins, this margin is even great, Baskonia gets 6.4 more rebounds than opponents in wins. The home game against Panathinaikos in Round 9 helped boost that number, Baskonia pulled in 32 rebounds to PAO’s 23, led by Vincent Poirier’s 9 and Tornike Shengelia with 7. If Panathinaikos can continue to keep the rebounding numbers even and push the pace, they will give themselves a good chance to win. Either way, the last few rounds in middle of the standings will be very interesting starting with a good game in Athens Wednesday night.