Euroleague: Group E Outlook and Schedule

The Euroleague Top 16 opens up Thursday, December 27 and Friday, December 28 with Game 1 of 14. Group E features Real Madrid (Group A winner), Zalgiris Kaunas (Group C winner), CSKA Moscow (Group D 2nd), Unicaja Malaga (Group B 2nd), Panathinaikos Athens (Group A 3rd), Anadolu Efes Istanbul (Group C 3rd), Brose Baskets Bamberg (Group D 4th), and Alba Berlin (Group B 4th). Here are some thoughts on the way the group will play out over the next 14 weeks, with Group F coming in a few days.

Headlining the group is CSKA Moscow, who came out of Group D with a 9-1 record, their only loss coming to FC Barcelona Regal. To make up for it they gave Regal their only loss on the regular season on the last day in Barcelona. CSKA is on a five-game Euroleague winning streak and was 7-0 in the Russian PBL until Thursday when BC Khimki Moscow Region defeated them 75:70. CSKA is on a roll and shouldn’t have any problems not only finishing in the top four of Group E, they should top the Group.

Real Madrid finished on top of Group A at 7-3 and they’ve been unbeatable in the Spain ACB, currently 13-0. They’ve also been unbeatable at home, winning all five home contests in the Euroleague regular season. They did show some signs of weakness, specifically a 76:70 loss to Mapooro Cantu and an 11-point loss to Panathinaikos Athens, but they did finish with a +94 point differential in the Group A. They’ll move on and battle with CSKA for the top of the group down to the wire. Week 13’s match-up in Moscow should be a game to watch.

Zalgiris Kaunas won Group C, finishing 8-2 with losses to Olympiacos and a huge upset in overtime to Cedevita in Week 6 after opening up 5-0. They are also 4-0 in the Lithuanian LKL. They’ll move on and finish third, but close behind CSKA. Zalgiris put up some big numbers and held teams fairly well as is evidenced by their 111 positive point differential, second only to FC Barcelona Regal’s 127 positive point differential in Group D.

Unicaja Malaga finished second in Group B behind Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv, losing two regular season contests, one to Maccabi and the other to Montepaschi. They are 8-1 in their last nine games in Euroleague, but 7-6 in the Spain ACB, having lost three of their last five. Unicaja will move on and come in fourth in the group. Unicaja’s trade of James Gist for Andy Panko should strengthen them on the blocks and get rid of an unhappy player. Panko returns to the league he won an MVP trophy in last season, so he’ll feel right at home in Malaga.

Panathinaikos Athens has been battling many issues both on and off the court that everyone hopes is behind them, but most likely will cause some distractions. They just completed a big trade with Unicaja that brings James Gist to the Greens and sends big man Andy Panko back to the Spain ACB. The move will be highly beneficial for Panathinakos as it’ll give Gist a fresh start on a big stage (it doesn’t get much bigger than Olympic Stadium in Athens). They are currently 8-2 in the Greece A1 and have won five of their last five. The fourth and fifth positions in the group will come down to the last week, but the Greens are going to come up just short on moving on.

Alba Berlin finished fourth in Group B at 4-6 and had a number of close games during the regular season. They lost two games at home by two points each and won two by three points each. Their road games were typically bigger margins, but they did lose one and win one by five points each. They are third in the German BBL at 10-3 and have won four of their last five. They’ll finish the Top 16 round out of the top four in Group E by a couple of games.

Brose Baskets Bamberg made it into the Top 16 on the last day of the regular season with a 3-7 record. They are on the top of the German BBL at 11-2, so they’ve been playing solid basketball lately. They were in a tough group in the regular season, but this one is even tougher, putting them at the bottom of the group battling to keep out of the cellar.

Anadolu Efes Istanbul finished 5-5 in Group C and in third place behind Zalgiris and Olympiacos, but lost four of their last six games. They are currently 9-2 in the Turkish TBL behind Fenerbahce Ulker (10-1) and have won four of their last five. They are in a tough group though and will end up someplace at the bottom.

Euroleague Group E Matches

Game 1[matches league_id=20 match_day=1 group=E template=sumnoscore dateformat=”M. j, Y”]

Game 2[matches league_id=20 match_day=2 group=E template=sumnoscore dateformat=”M. j, Y”]

Game 3[matches league_id=20 match_day=3 group=E template=sumnoscore dateformat=”M. j, Y”]

Game 4[matches league_id=20 match_day=4 group=E template=sumnoscore dateformat=”M. j, Y”]

Game 5[matches league_id=20 match_day=5 group=E template=sumnoscore dateformat=”M. j, Y”]

Game 6[matches league_id=20 match_day=6 group=E template=sumnoscore dateformat=”M. j, Y”]

Game 7[matches league_id=20 match_day=7 group=E template=sumnoscore dateformat=”M. j, Y”]

Game 8[matches league_id=20 match_day=8 group=E template=sumnoscore dateformat=”M. j, Y”]

Game 9[matches league_id=20 match_day=9 group=E template=sumnoscore dateformat=”M. j, Y”]

Game 10[matches league_id=20 match_day=10 group=E template=sumnoscore dateformat=”M. j, Y”]

Game 11[matches league_id=20 match_day=11 group=E template=sumnoscore dateformat=”M. j, Y”]

Game 12[matches league_id=20 match_day=12 group=E template=sumnoscore dateformat=”M. j, Y”]

Game 13[matches league_id=20 match_day=13 group=E template=sumnoscore dateformat=”M. j, Y”]

Game 14[matches league_id=20 match_day=14 group=E template=sumnoscore dateformat=”M. j, Y”]

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