Adriatic League Playoff Preview

Adriatic League

The Adriatic League 2015-16 regular is now in the books and well-deserved congratulations go out to KK Buducnost Voli Podgorica for finishing as the regular season champs. They capped off an impressive season with a strong and uncontested 23-3 record. The Adriatic League Playoffs are set to take place on March 12, with the Top 4 teams advancing in what is expected to be an exciting clash of titans. Buducnost is set to face BC Mega Leks, which ended the season in fourth position with their 17-9 slate. The other match-up will be between Crvena Zvezda “Red Star” Telekom Beograd and KK Cedevita Zagreb. Red Star finished second at the end of the regular season with their respectable 20-6 record. Cedevita (19-7) ended in third, just two games behind Crvena Zvezda.

All four teams ended the regular season on a high note, notching wins against their respective opponents. The games had no bearing on the outcome of the playoff picture. Mega Leks was not at risk with BC Partizan finishing at with a distant sub-.500 record of 12-14.

Buducnost vs. Meg Leks

There is no doubt here. Buducnost is a heavy favorite to advance to the finals. Their strong showing throughout the regular season has shown that time and again the other teams failed to find answers on how to slow them down. Buducnost got the best of Mega Leks in both their skirmishes during the regular season. The first was a dominant runaway win, 71-56 on October 7th, and the second was much closer 81-83 on December 23rd.

Tadija Dargicevic will be the man to watch for Buducnost. He has led them in several wins. How well Mega Leks contains him will be their key to an upset victory. That is easier said than done though, as Dragicevic has been a tough man to beat both close to basket and at medium range. The Serbian forward will be important, but Buducnost has shown that they are capable of balanced attacks as well. In more than a few games at least four of their players managed to score in double figures. So when opponents do try to shut Tadija down, Buducnost simply goes and makes a few extra passes and find the open man.

Crvena Zvezda vs. Cedevita

The defending champions have the clear and decisive edge in match-up. So yes, the expectation is that we should see a Buducnost-Crvena Zvezda clash in finals. While Red Star has failed to repeat its history-making 2014-15 this time around they are still a tough team. Their aggressive offense is something that cannot be taken lightly, by any team. They know how to build on early momentum and run away with games. That said, Cedevita should not be counted out just like that. They are capable of upsetting the favored Serbian powerhouse if they can control the boards and pressure Red Star’s shooters.

Cedevita won their last game in the regular season on January 4th. They edged out Red Star 79-80. So they have a historical basis for being a threat for Crvena Zvezda’s return trip to the finals.

Will the Montenegrin powerhouse Buducnost finish their strong season in style or will Red Star find a way to win again?

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