Friday, January 25, 2013

Anadolu Efes Istanbul - Zalgiris Kaunas

Anadolu Efes Zalgiris Kaunas pick
Anadolu Efes and Zalgiris Kaunas are preparing to face each other third time this season. In the previous round, Zalgiris Kaunas managed to defeat Anadolu Efes in the both match ups. Tonight, home side Anadolu Efes will look to achieve their first victory of the season against Lithuanian side.

Zalgiris Kaunas had a fantastic start to Euroleague where they managed to have 8/2 record and qualified to TOP 16 by leading Group C. Today's opponent Anadolu Efes had 5/5 record in the same group. Zalgiris Kaunas defeated Anadolu Efes decisively, mainly thanks to the amazing outside shooting performance of Marko Popovic. Ironically, Marko Popovic played for Anadolu Efes before. He shot 7/10 behind the arc which I remember was 7/8 already at the end of the first half. Anadolu Efes couldn't just catch up with Zalgiris and suffered a desperate defeat.

Unlike Zalgiris Kaunas, Anadolu Efes struggled a lot in the first round, but thigs seem to be getting better now. After a 5/5 record in Group C, Anadolu Efes won 3 of its 4 matches in TOP 16. Head coach Oktay Mahmudi's rotation finds itself week by week to perform better. Tonight, Anadolu Efes is going to host one of the toughest opponents in their group. After losing already twice in the previous round, they certainly wish to get some compensation back from Joan Plaza's team.

Zalgiris Kaunas has already lost more than they could bear. 3 losses in the first 4 matches is surely something they  didn't wish at all. Therefore, Lithuanian side is the one which needs the victory more. Anadolu Efes is in top form, especially with their backcourt players. Josh Shipp is switched to starting line up to strengthen the perimeter defense along with Jordan Farmar and Sasha Vujacic. Lucas Gordon and Sinan Guler come off the bench to provide energy to the team. However, Anadolu Efes is still week inside the paint. Although, Dusko Savanovic is in great shape contributing both in the low post and by mid range shooting, center Semih Erden and Stanko Barac are the weakest links in the team. Semih Erden finds himself easily in the foul trouble while Stanko Barac isn't tough enough to protect the rim.

I expect Oktay Mahmudi to take extra precautions to prevent Zalgiris guards to shoot efficiently, but he doesn't have much alternative to slow down his opponent inside the paint. With Darjus Lavrinovic and Jeff Foote, Zalgiris Kaunas is inevitable to dominate Anadolu Efes inside the paint. Zalgiris might not be able to afford another loss, so they better do everything they could to stop Anadolu Efes tonight. Regardless of who wins and who losses, we'll definitely watch a decent game tonight. In a game which is very likely to be decided by the last possession, I think visiting Zalgiris Kaunas could stay in the game, they should!

Pick : Zalgiris Kaunas +4.0 @ 1.90
Stake: 6/10

Good luck and happy betting!

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