Can Bayern follow up against EuroCup winners Monaco?
That felt good: After three defeats and two canceled games, the Bayern Basketball team bounced back in the EuroLeague with a home win over Zalgiris Kaunas. "That was a very important victory in one of those games that is anything but easy," said co-captain Vladimir Lucic after the 74-65 win over Lithuania's champion in the deserted Audi Dome.
With a record of 8-10, the Munich team is still in the middle of the pack in the top division, despite the difficult circumstances so far, and would like to improve on that on Thursday: Starting at 20:30 (MagentaSport), AS Monaco, a league rival that is no less unpleasant to play against, will be the guests at the Audi Dome.
Mike James best passer in the EuroLeague
"Monaco is one of the positive phenomena of the season," says Trinchieri about the guest from the Cote d'Azur. He continued, "They are a tremendously athletic caliber and have one of the best point guards in the league, backed by a very efficient squad. This mix of skills, youth and athleticism means a tough match-up for us, as we know from the first matchup. In addition, they didn't play on Tuesday, so energy will be an important factor."
In the first duel almost two months ago (94-71 loss), Monaco impressed with strong shooting and high intensity on defense. The playmaker mentioned by Trinchieri, U.S. guard Mike James, averaged around 20 points in the past three seasons (for Milan and ZSKA) and is now a dominant figure in Monaco: With 6.1 assists per game, he is currently the best passer in the competition, in addition to 14.3 points on average.
Standings neighbor with a lot of athleticism
Just four weeks after the win over Bayern, however, Monaco changed coaches. After five lossed in a row, former Berlin coach Sasa Obradovic, who coached the Roca team in 2019/2020 until the season ended, took over. The Monegasques won their last EuroLeague game before New Year's Eve against Tel Aviv 82-76, and they are second in LNB Pro A (10-4) behind league leader Boulogne-Levallois (12-2).
In addition to James and veteran international Leo Westermann (7.2 ppg), they have to control bulky athletes like centers Donta Hall (8.6/6.1 rpg) and Donatas Motiejunas (9.1 ppg), as well as re-signed forward Dwayne Bacon (11.8 ppg/most recently Orlando Magic). "This team has great talent, with a lot of offensive weapons, we know that," Bayern center Augustine Rubit (10.4 ppg), 4.1 rpg) said. "We will see what changes they have made since the coaching change and adjust to that. But most of all, we have to look at ourselves and solidify our style and push through."