Barcelona vs Olympiacos: Key Points for Game 5.

By Themis Prokopiou:

Despite appearing fatigued and seemingly devoid of mental reserves, Olympiacos demonstrated their readiness to battle for a ticket to the Final 4 in Berlin. George Bartzokas appeared to have some tricks up his sleeve. By incorporating Nicola Milutinov and Shaquielle McKissic, he dismantled Barcelona at home with a resounding score of 92-58. This significant margin undoubtedly grants Olympiacos a substantial psychological advantage as they approach Game 5. Their task now is to secure a victory against Barcelona at the Palau Blaugrana to advance to the Final 4.

On the contrary, Barcelona must elevate their performance and exceed their usual standards. While they typically exhibit strong defensive and offensive play, their strategies have become somewhat predictable. Grimau Roger’s challenge lies in devising a method to contain Olympiacos’ formidable post presence, arguably the strongest frontline in the Euroleague at present. This is a formidable task, particularly for Jan Vesely, who must utilize his physical prowess to contest battles in the paint.

What does Barcelona need to do in Game 5 to defeat Olympiacos?

The key player for Barcelona in previous games has been Jabari Parker, who is arguably having his best performances of the season. While Barcelona will undoubtedly focus on utilizing Parker offensively, they must also capitalize on the skills of their experienced guards to secure a victory.

Ricky Rubio will play a crucial role, given his role as Barcelona’s offensive organizer. With his ability to create scoring opportunities, he will likely see ample playing time. The primary targets for distribution should be Jabari Parker and Willy Hernangomez. Hernangomez excels at scoring from mid-range and can evade Olympiacos’ imposing big men.

Jan Vesely will also be a key contributor, but he may need strategic resting periods throughout the game to maintain his energy for crucial rebound battles.

Barcelona could explore the strategy of attacking Olympiacos from the perimeter, leveraging their talented shooters. Players like Alex Abrines, Nico Laprovittola, and Rokas Jokubaitis possess the capability to score effectively from beyond the three-point line.

In terms of creation and organization, Barcelona relies heavily on the performances of Tomas Satoransky and Ricky Rubio. They will need to effectively move the ball to create scoring opportunities. On the defensive end, containing Shaquielle McKissic, who inflicted significant damage in Game 4, will be crucial. However, the real challenge for Grimau Roger lies in finding solutions to contain Nicola Milutinov and Mustapha Fall.

To win Game 5, what must Olympiacos do?

Olympiacos heavily relies on its defensive prowess, as evidenced by their performance in Game 4 where they limited Barcelona to only 58 points. The importance of Shaquielle McKissic’s explosiveness cannot be overstated if Olympiacos aims to secure a victory on the road against Barcelona. McKissic possesses remarkable stamina and excels on the offensive end.

Certainly, George Bartzokas will lean on his frontline, particularly focusing on Mustapha Fall and Nicola Milutinov, who appear capable of dominating near the rim.

However, Bartzokas must also be vigilant against players who can inflict significant damage. Limiting Barcelona’s guards, who have the potential to pose serious problems for the opposing defense, is imperative. Additionally, Olympiacos faces the daunting challenge of neutralizing Jabari Parker’s scoring prowess, given his ability to score from various positions on the court.

Perhaps Bartzokas will introduce some tactical changes in this game. Moses Wright, who was absent in Game 4, may receive playing time, with some offensive burden potentially shifting to Isaiah Canaan, who can be effective from the perimeter. Personally, I anticipate Bartzokas will employ a strategy similar to what we witnessed in SEF, where Olympiacos dismantled Barcelona and asserted dominance on both ends of the court.

Which team will qualify for the Final 4?

It’s a challenging match, and apart from Game 4, the games between Olympiacos and Barcelona are typically contentious. On one hand, Barcelona holds the advantage of playing on their home court, but on the other hand, Olympiacos possesses the psychological edge. If the latter exhausted all their reserves in Game 4, then the momentum could easily shift in Barcelona’s favor, given their consistent performance. However, if Olympiacos maintains the same level of energy in Game 5, Barcelona will need to excel in their gameplay to defeat the Olympiacos team we witnessed in Game 4. Personally, I believe Barcelona can emerge victorious, albeit with difficulty, as Olympiacos’ performance has been inconsistent and they may encounter an off day. Barcelona’s greater consistency could ultimately prove to be the deciding factor.


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Themis Prokopiou

By Themis Prokopiou

As an enthusiastic blogger, I take pride in crafting pages with high-quality content. Explore Euroleague news, predictions, and my personal views on this thrilling basketball institution.

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