The 7DAYS Eurocup is down to the last four. After four heart-wrenching quarter-finals where three out of four of them went down to the wire.
They were excruciating but, in the end, ALBA Berlin, Unics Kazan and MoraBanc Andorra advanced to the semifinals. While Valencia Basket went straight to the semis not losing a single bit against Rytas Vilnius.
Hence, as it happened for the quarterfinals, I decided to make a statistical comparison for the semifinals too. Using the “usual stuff,” radars and a bit of advanced stats.
Clearly, in terms of the sample available, I’ve made the comparison by adopting the advanced data that came out after the quarterfinals. From one side the data seem to be a bit more homogeneous. On the flip side, though, the sample is very, very, thin and this has to be taken into account when evaluating the strength of the teams involved in the semis.
ALBA Berlin vs. MoraBanc Andorra
This looks to be a spectacular, offensive-oriented, clash between two teams who are highly efficient on the offensive side of the ball. ALBA’s explosive offense has been well documented, and the Germans confirmed once again their skills in the series against Unicaja. Nevertheless, MoraBanc is no fluke at all. ALBA has a startling 44% of offensive rebounds grabbed that match to the quality of an offense that converts points in such a fashion can be hard to stop when in rhythm. At the same time, MoraBanc stays in the game with his offensive quality (0.59 vs. 0.58), free throw rate and an impressive 1.51 assist/turnover ratio. Which allows MoraBanc to have better control of the pace of the game by limiting turnovers while maximizing its possessions.
This match-up has the looks of being very even under many aspects. It will be absolutely interesting paying attention to the two coaches. Aito Garcia Reneses is a living legend in Europe (he won everything and everywhere), and, in spite of him being 72 years old, the way makes his team play is a manifesto of modern basketball. On the other bench, there will be the 42 years old Ibon Navarro who is showing signs of being an up and coming young coach in Spain and outside.
This generational clash among the coaches will add some spice to an already utterly spicy match-up!
Valencia Basket – Unics Kazan
Valencia Basket and Unics Kazan are, arguably, the two best teams of the entire competition. The Spaniards are cruising on a streak of 12 consecutive wins. Unics has lost just three times during the whole season in the EuroCup. “Strength in numbers” the Golden State Warriors use to say a couple of years ago. Paraphrasing that, Unics and Valencia’s numbers show a lot of strengths in many areas of the game. Valencia has a clear advantage in the shooting rate percentages (Efg as well as TS) and in points per possession (0.98 vs. 0.88), although both of them are not shining in this department. Valencia, confirms even at playoff level, the quality of its offense (0.52), while Unics is incredibly low in this stat (0.44). However, the Russian side prevails in the FT rate as well as in the DReb % too and the assist/field goal ratio.
What could be said is that both teams don’t seem to be inclined to play a game with high pace, favoring, instead, an offense that maximizes opportunities and shot selection.
In the end, it could all come down to Unics strong defense that will have the tough task of derailing Valencia Basket’s efficient offense to flip the script and advance to the final.