Baskonia Four Factors:
54.9% eFG 17.9% TOV 33.5% OREB 23.7% FTr
Baskonia Opponent Four Factors:
55.3% eFG 17.6% TOV 28.4% OREB 21.7% FTr
Bayern Four Factors:
55.9% eFG 15.3% TOV 28.2% OREB 21.9% FTr
Bayern Opponent Four Factors:
55.6% eFG 16.9% TOV 32.4% OREB 22.4% FTr
Baskonia and Bayern both do everything about as average as you would expect teams on the in the middle of the table to do. Besides a couple upset wins at home (Baskonia vs. CSKA Moscow, Bayern vs. Fenerbahce) and a couple upset losses on the road (Baskonia @ Buducnost, Baskonia @ Darussafaka) both clubs have generally beat the teams they’re supposed to beat and lost to the teams they’re not. Their fairly average shooting numbers from all ranges (Baskonia: 76.3% FT/54.6% 2/36.9% 3, Bayern: 77.0%/54.3%/39.1%) and similar to the numbers they give up (Baskonia: 77.2%/53.2%/38.8%, Bayern: 80.9%/57.2%/35.0%).
With both teams shooting numbers looking similar, the biggest place that Baskonia sets themselves apart is on the boards. They’re currently outrebounding opponents by 3.5 per game and scoring 1.5 more points per game while Bayern is being outrebounded by 2.8 and outscored by 0.7 on average. This battle of the boards is what will define this game. Last time these two teams faced off Bayern was able to win the battle of the boards (40-39) and the game (77-71). This was despite Vincent Poirier leading the game with 6 offensive rebounds and 11 total. If they want a chance to win the reverse fixture, Bayern must keep it respectable on the boards. Devin Booker still recovering from an ankle injury puts the onus on Derrick Williams to grab more rebounds than ever.
Hopefully, Booker will play some on Thursday night but he will almost certainly not be 100% right away. For that reason, Williams is an easy choice as Bayern’s key player in Spain.
Bayern: Derrick Williams
The last time these two teams played Bayern knew they would have to in the battle of the boards and went big starting Booker, Barthel, and Lucic, all three of whom are listed at at least 204 cm. Sixth man Derrick Williams also played 26:46 which he didn’t match until the Round 11 game when Booker went down with his ankle injury. In the 10 games since Booker’s injury, Williams minutes have increased to 29.6 per game due in large part to Baskonia’s inability to rebound without him. Bayern is rebounding just 44.7% of available shots without Williams on the floor since Round 12 but that number jumps to 49.1% when he plays. Williams’ plus/minus of +16 was 10 points better than any of his teammates back in Round 4 and Coach Radonjic is certainly hoping for a similar performance to secure an important late season road game.
Baskonia: Shavon Shields
Shields has been a key player for Baskonia since Round 13. Despite starting 10 games in the first 12 rounds, he only played an average of 16.9 minutes a night. That has changed starting with the Round 13 game at Gran Canaria. In the latest 9 matches, Shields has played an average of 28.9 minutes per game. This is mostly been due to the numerous injuries that Baskonia has dealt with this season, most notably in Shields’ case Patricio Garino and Tornike Shengelia. However, even if Baskonia was fully healthy, a large share of minutes going to the Danish forward might boost their chances. In the last matchup, which Baskonia played at relatively full strength, Shields was +10 and gathered 4 rebounds in 17 minutes to Garino’s 2 in 20 minutes. The difference becomes much more apparent when you look at the team numbers which each player. In Garino’s 20 minutes, Baskonia was outrebounded 27-17 (58.3% DREB, 15.0% OREB) while they had a 19-11 (78.6% DREB, 50% OREB) advantage on the glass in Shields’ 17 minutes. The two played mostly complementary minutes as they never saw the court together and Baskonia had 3 rebounds (1 offensive) to Bayern’s 2 (1 offensive) in the 3 minutes without either on the court. There is still blame to be shared across the team for being outrebounded by a tradionally poor rebounding team in Bayern. Shields playing all 17 of his minutes with leading rebounder Vincent Poirier definitely contributed to his lineups’ advantage over Garino who only played 10 of 20 minutes with Poirier. However, Shields clearly impacted the game on the boards leading him to a +/- of +10, 7 points greater than any of his teammates. If Shields minutes continue as they have been, he and Poirier have a good shot to even out the season series with Bayern Thursday night.
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