Last 32, Group N analysis

Jan 02, 2014 by Print
Last 32, Group N analysis
Alba Berlin
Khimik Yuzhne
Radnicki Kragujevac
Anything can happen in Group N, which features a Eurocup veteran with great experience, a team that returns to the competition after a six-year absence and two newcomers who want to keep making some serious noise. Alba Berlin made it to the Eurocup title game in 2010 and it is in its eighth season in the competition. David Logan and Leon Radosevic, with years of Euroleague experience, have been their best players until now. Strasbourg relies on guards Antoine Diot and Louis Campbell to make the difference in the Last 32. Khimik Yuzhne used a strong start to storm into the Last 32. A balanced offense led by Matt Gatens and Paul Delaney could pay high dividends. Radnicki Kragujevac relies on former Eurocup champion Marko Marinovic and Nikola Kalinic to stay as competitive as it has been until now.
Tim Abromaitis- Strasbourg - EB13
Tim Abromaitis
It is a cliche for all Turkish Airlines Euroleague and Eurocup teams, but being strong at home is what gets a squad deep in any of these competitions. It will be even more important in Group M, as all four teams have been really solid in front of their fans. Alba is undefeated at the O2 World, winning all of its five Eurocup games there until now. Khimik and Radnicki have been equally powerful at home, reaching the Last 32 with a 4-1 home record. Radnicki's only home loss came against Group H champion Besiktas Integral Forex Istanbul and Khimik only lost against Aykon Ted Ankara Koljeliler. Strasbourg won its last three Euroleague home games - against Brose Baskets Bamberg, Zalgiris Kaunas and EA7 Emporio Armani Milan. In other words, road wins will be good as gold in Group N - and not many are expected.
Cliff Hammonds - Alba Berlin - EC13 (photo Basket Zaragoza - Esther Casas)
Cliff Hammonds
Jamal Shuler - Khimik Yuzhne - EC13 (photo Khimik)_52706
Jamal Shuler
Some of the most interesting players in the competition can be found in Group N - players that have been under the radar and yet have begun to enter the primes of their careers. Reggie Redding of Alba has excelled at small forward, being deadly from three-point range (13-of-31, 61.9%) and helping his team in many ways (10.9 ppg., 3.5 rpg., 2.9 apg.). Also, at age 25, Sava Lesic of Radnicki is a really effective big man who averages 12.6 points and 5.5 rebounds and is expected to do even better. Tim Abromaitis of Strasbourg, age 24, is full of energy and intensity, showcasing his best basketball - 23 points, 5 rebounds, 2 blocks - in his team's last Euroleague win against Milan. Matt Gatens comes off Khimik's bench to offer instant offense (13.5 ppg.) and often changes games with his three-point shots (29-of-61 47.5%).
Nikola Kalinic - Radnicki Kragujevac - EC13 (photo Radnicki)
Nikola Kalinic
For many reasons, Group N is completely unpredictable. The fact that most of the teams in the group never faced each other - only Khimik and Strasbourg played against each other beforer, twice in 2009-10 - says it all. Alba has the most experienced team, the biggest home crowd and the biggest tradition in European club competitions. Strasbourg stepped down to the Eurocup and had a good final rush in the Euroleague. The addition of veteran forward Bootsy Thornton gives Strasbourg know-how and a new leader. Khimik head coach Karlis Muiznieks knows the Eurocup well and has a talented team at his disposal, ready to keep surprising people. Radnicki needs to stay strong at home, which, in a six-game group stage, is critical to keep its chances alive. Expect a good, close fight in this group!