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Bayern begins their December marathon against Khimki Moscow

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When the Bayern basketball team recently celebrated four victories in a row and even led the EuroLeague no one overreacted. Now, after two losses in a row, there is no sign of sentimentality in the team around head coach Andrea Trinchieri. 7-4 is the Munich team's record after the difficult tasks against title favorite ZSKA Moscow (89-81 loss) and away to four-time EuroLeague winner Panathinaikos Athens (83-76 loss). The team is still in a very comfortable position and again confident heading into the next duel: On Friday (4. 12, 20:30) a play-off candidate of the Russian top team Khimki Moscow will come to the Audi Dome. They were highly favored again before the season but have so far performed well below expectations with a 2-8 record.

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That doesn't make the job any easier for Trinchieri's men, as the bounce-back reaction of Panathinaikos proved a week ago. The guest from the north-western outskirts of the Russian capital, who was slowed down by Covid Falls at the beginning of the season, finds himself at the end of the table after the 80:100 in Berlin and wants to keep up with the midfield. Apparently Devin Booker will help again: The former Munich player (2016 - 2019) missed five games due to shoulder problems, but is expected to make his comeback in the Audi Dome. And: The former FCBB director Stefan Jovic (2017 - 2019), who has not yet been on season due to a foot injury, is apparently an option for coach Rimas Kurtinaitis and will travel to Munich.

His Munich colleague Andrea Trinchieri says: "We have had a very bad game in which we denied our identity. We have to come back now and we know exactly how to play. This duel is a great opportunity against a super talented team that can really beat any opponent. But we have to show and prove that we have understood how to get back to our basketball.

"Book" is second best scorer behind superstar Alexey Shved

With 16.2 points (8.4 rpg) "Book" is the best scorer behind superstar Alexey Shved (16.8). The third former Bayern Red in Khimki dress besides the power forward and Jovic is US Center Greg Monroe (10.3 ppg, 6.3 rpg), who accepted Khimki's extremely princely offer after his European debut for the FCBB last season.

The Khimki squad, which as usual has been arranged at great expense, also includes long-time NBA professional Jonas Jerebko (635 NBA games/currently 12.4 ppg), the two Americans Errick McCollum (from Kazan) and Jordan Mickey (11.0), who has been transferred from Real Madrid, as well as Latvian sniper Janis Timma (8.4).

Munich's record against Khimki is 6-1 (twice EuroCup), which is better than any other top European team. But the last duel a year ago was won big by Khimki (87-74). What their individuals are capable of is also evident from the EuroLeague's stats lists: Shved, currently the best player in the competition, is averaging 8.8 assists, while the Swede Jerebko is the top rebounder (6.8 rpg) and Mickey clearly has the most blocks (2.6 bpg).

The FCBB approach this time will be to avoid letting the guests' highly talented offensive power unfold. With an average of only 77.7 points from the opponent, the FCBB continues to be one of the strongest defensive teams in the premier league - Khimki's offense currently has exactly the same scoring average, which shows the problems that have arisen so far. If Bayern also keeps the opponent at previous levels (50 percent two-point shooting, 36 percent from three), the chances of an eighth victory are good.

"After two losses in the EuroLeague, we have to show a reaction, even if it won't be as easy as some might think," said Bayern's captain Nihad Djedovic. "After all, this team has so much talent that it can beat a team like CSKA at home, so it all depends on how well you do on the day. There are a few familiar faces, Greg, for example, is one of the best big boys in the EuroLeague."

27 days, eleven games: Sunday against BG Goettingen, Tuesday in Weissenfels

The Khimki game is the first of the Munich December Marathon with eleven games in 27 days. It continues on Sunday in the BBL against Goettingen and on Tuesday in Weißenfels at the MBC. MagentaSport will show all games live, as always.

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