Fenerbahce Still Has the First Chance to Qualify for the Final 4.

Fenerbahce Still Has the First Chance to Qualify for the Final 4.

Written by Themis Prokopiou.

Despite their loss in Game 4 against Monaco at home, Fenerbahce has the primary opportunity to qualify for the Final 4 in Berlin. Saras Jasikevicius’ team displayed a lack of concentration and had a rough day in Game 4, allowing Monaco to level the playoff series by winning 62-65 at the Ülker Sports and Event Hall, tying it at 2-2. However, upon analyzing the playoff games between the two teams, it becomes evident that Monaco is experiencing a downturn in their performance. Let’s not overlook the fact that Fenerbahce defeated Monaco on the road in Game 1 with a score of 91-95.

Fenerbahce has played all their playoff games without their starting center, J. Motley, whose absence significantly impacts their current situation. Consider the extent to which this absence has affected Monaco, especially since Monaco’s strength does not lie in their big men, with D. Motejunas and H. Donta occupying those positions, both being average centers. Nevertheless, it’s worth noting that G. Papagiannis demonstrated his capability to provide strong support for Fenerbahce in this area, despite not receiving many minutes during the season. He scored 10 points and secured 10 rebounds in Game 4, indicating his potential to play a crucial role in Game 5.

Fenerbahce’s roster stands out.

Regarding the roster, Fenerbahce stands out. They possess a deeper bench and players who can excel on the court even if they are not in the starting lineup. When factoring in that Monaco star M. James hasn’t delivered a strong performance recently, Fenerbahce’s potential clearly surpasses that of Monaco. Although M. James made a decisive three-pointer in Game 4, one minute before the game ended, he had missed all five of his previous attempts.

Monaco’s primary offensive focus relies on the performance of their guards: L. Jordan, E. Okobo, and M. James, with a less balanced frontline. While players like D. Motejunas, A. Diallo, and J. Blossomgame fulfill their roles adequately, they seldom produce standout performances that can sway the outcome.

In contrast, Fenerbahce combines experience with excitement. Players like T. Dorsey, who had limited minutes in the regular season, have shown remarkable performances, while N. Calathes offers versatile solutions with his wealth of experience.

Offensively, Fenerbahce boasts more options. S. Wilbekin, N. Hayes-Davis, T. Biberovic, M. Guduric, N. Calathes, T. Dorsey, and G. Papagiannis can pose numerous challenges for Monaco’s defense. Undoubtedly, if J. Motley were playing, Monaco would face even greater difficulties.

What will be the deciding factor in Fenerbahce’s Game 5 against Monaco?

I anticipate a game comparable to the previous four in the series. I don’t believe either team will manage to establish a significant lead in scoring, so it’s bound to be a fluid contest. Consequently, attitude will play a pivotal role, particularly in a game characterized by such intensity. Fenerbahce stands a good chance of emerging victorious at the Salle Gaston Médecin, as long as they adhere to the strategy employed in Game 1.

I consider T. Dorsey as the key player capable of disrupting Monaco’s defense. Moreover, if S. Wilbekin finds himself in good form, he could prove decisive for the outcome, with his perimeter prowess potentially propelling Fenerbahce to the coveted Final 4 even in the game’s final minutes. Personally, I firmly believe that Saras Jasikevicius is a superior coach compared to Sasa Obradovic, a difference evident in Fenerbahce’s performance since his tenure began. Undoubtedly, G. Papagiannis can dominate the battle of the boards, and N. Calathes’ experience will provide the necessary boost for Fenerbahce to achieve their goal. It remains to be seen whether Fenerbahce will be the team to break the tradition of all road teams losing Game 5, but I am confident they have all the necessary ingredients in their favor to do so.

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Posted in Blog, Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul, Teams.

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