FC Bayern Munich will compete in the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Playoffs this season as the first German club to do so. Its great focus at both ends has been Bayern's biggest weapon so far this season. That can be seen simply by looking at steals and turnovers, on offense and defense. Not allowing second-chance points and making teams struggle from downtown have been other keys
Bayern's hustle is proved in many ways, as it ranks high in points off turnovers and fastbreak points.
As the above graphic shows, Bayern was third or better in steals during the regular season (8.2 spg.), ranked second in points off turnovers and fourth in fastbreak points. Bayern committed the fifth-fewest turnovers with just 12.8 per night and was sixth in defensive rebounds (23.2 drpg.), leading to those fastbreak opportunities.
Bayern improved its three-point shooting throughout the regular season, ranking eighth by the end at 38.4%. It struggled inside the arc, however, ranking 17th at 51.0%.
Bayern has left room for improvement on offense. It ranked 11th in offensive rebounds (9.3 orpg.) and 14th in assists (16.4 apg.), and its scoring average, which was once best in the league, dropped to 13th (78.2 ppg.).
The club improved from 17th to 11th in blocks and from 16th to sixth in defensive boards, protecting its paint better and better throughout the season. It also ranked third in steals allowed at 6.1 per game and second in blocks received (1.9 bpg.).
If Bayern has been strong on offense, it's been great on defense. Its aggressiveness and overall excellence help give it the edge to reach the playoffs. Bayern allowed the fourth-fewest and finished 10th in two-point shooting percentage allowed (53.7%). It also climbed from 18th to second in three-point shooting allowed (34.7%). Despite those low percentages, Bayern only ranked third in offensive rebounds allowed at just 9.0 per night.
Good defensive balance saw Bayern excel in several categories, ranking first in second-chance points allowed and third in points off turnovers.
Speaking of turnovers, Bayern's defensive intensity not only made opponents felt uncomfortable shooting the ball, but sharing it, too. Bayern forced 14.2 turnovers per game. Taking good care of the ball and pressuring opponents at the other end has been Coach Andrea Trinchieri's leitmotiv all season long.
Now Bayern is set to make history just by taking the floor in the playoffs. If it beats AX Armani Exchange Milan in the best-of-five series, it would become the first German team ever to reach the Final Four. Bayern visits Milan in Game 1 of their best-of-five series on Tuesday, April 20.