Anadolu Efes maintains a top four push

Anadolu Efes rallied past Darussafaka at home on Friday night (82-68) thanks to another dominant Euroleague performance .

The hosts improved to 13-6 and are still fourth in the Euroleague standings. On the other hand, Darussafaka dropped to 2-17.

Anadolu Efes led by as many as 27 points (59-32) and cruised to its fourth straight win at home.

Anadolu Efes

Adrien Moerman scored a team-high 15 points for the winners. Vasilije Micic and Rodrigue Beaubois added 11 and 10, respectively. On the other hand, Toney Douglas had 17 points for the losing squad, with Jeremy Evans posting 14.

Anadolu Efes started this season with high expectations. The arrival of talented and versatile players, like Shane Larkin, Vasilije Micic and Rodrigue Beaubois, bolstered the roster. In addition, Moerman is a versatile player who literally does everything on the floor, and is the glue of the team.

Moreover, key players, like Bryant Dunston and Krunoslav Simon, retained their place in the team. As a result, head coach Ergin Ataman created a deep and balanced roster.

Consequently, Anadolu Efes has been one of the best teams in the league, with 13 wins in 19 EuroLeague games. The Turks are currently fighting with Olympiacos and Barcelona for the home-court advantage in the playoffs.

They are one victory ahead of the Greek giants (12-7) and two ahead of the Catalans (11-8). Anadolu Efes will host both the “Reds” (21/2) and the “Blaugrana” (08/03) at the Sinan Erdem Dome. If coach Ataman and his players win both games, they will come one step closer to home-court advantage in the Euroleague playoffs.

Otherwise, they will need to protect their home court and claim big wins on the road. So far in the season, they have been one of the most consistent teams. However, they have a tough schedule ahead, playing against all the other top teams in the following rounds.

Last season, Anadolu Efes had the worst record in the league (7-23). Consequently, one of the preseason Euroleague burning questions was if they would even clinch a Euroleague playoff spot this season? But now, they seem capable of going all the way. They only have to keep playing consistently.

It is not very likely they will drop lower than the fifth place. While, the trio of Real Madrid, Fenerbahce and CSKA Moscow will most probably finish within the top three. That leaves only one question mark open; the fourth place!

That said, Anadolu Efes’ target is to finish either fourth (best scenario) or fifth (worst scenario) on the table. If this happens, they will improve their chances to advance to the Final Four. It seems they will battle Olympiacos for the home-court advantage.

Their match on February 21 will be paramount for both clubs. At the moment, coach Ataman and his palyers have the upper hand. And they should be given credit for this consistency and their decent performance so far.

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