UNICS Kazan will have its eye on the future when it hosts MoraBanc Andorra on Wednesday. UNICS (4-0) has already clinched a berth in the quarterfinals and another win would lock up first place in Group H and home-court advantage in the next stage. A loss in regulation by fewer than 7 points would also seal the group's top spot. Since the Top 16 records will determine the home-court for the semifinals and finals, UNICS has no reason to slow down. Andorra (2-2) cannot advance in Round 5, but a victory would keep its destiny in its hands for the Top 16 finale.
Last time they met
UNICS held off Andorra 66-in their Top 16 opener. UNICS led for the majority of the night and by as many as 13 points in the third quarter before the hosts rallied. But Jamar Smith scored and Jordan Morgan pulled down key offensive boards to keep UNICS in front. Isaiah Canaan netted 16 points and John Holland and Smith added 13 for the winners. David Jelinek led Andorra with 18 points.
Controlling the pace will be critical in this game and therefore the point guards will have outsized importance. Jordan Theodore's role has grown in the Top 16, in which he leads the team with 4.8 assists per game. Clevin Hannas has been outstanding all season and has been worth 16.5 points and 3.8 assists in the current stage. Their duel could make the difference.
Keys to victory: UNICS
UNICS's 40 three-pointers are third-most in the Top 16, but Andorra has limited opponents to 27.7% shooting from downtown in this phase. Big shooting nights from Jamar Smith, John Holland and Isaiah Canaan could be exactly what UNICS needs to pull away and claim another big win.
Keys to victory: Andorra
Andorra's 73.3 points per game this season is the lowest among all Top 16 teams and that number has dropped to 70.0 in the current stage. However, UNICS is 6-2 when it has scored at least 80 points this season and Andorra is only 1-2 when reaching that mark. A slower-paced, low-scoring game could be the key for Andorra.