CSKA Moscow vs. Real Madrid / The Euroleague Game Changer of the 19-20 Season / Round 18 by Stefan Odea

Over the past weeks Stefan Odea has been delivering such insight and solid input on players with incoming comments and requests that he breaks down a game was inevitable.

Therefore with a joint decision of our ownership Stefan took up a major task and broke down the game of the season of the 19-20 Euroleague season for us that affected the league in general.

As always we have garnished the report with some video and playtype insight to add some flavor to it.





Two of the best defenses from EUROLEAGUE meet in this game (CSKA is the 3rd-106 pts/100 poss while Real is the 4th in Defensive Rating -106.3 pts/100poss).

Real has also the 2nd best offense(117.8 pts/100 poss) in the League while CSKA is just 6th in Offensive Rating (115.3 PTS/100 poss).

These 2 teams have the biggest 3PTA/FGA ratio with more than 44% of their shots are 3 pointers. Also they are hitting them at 40% each. But on the other end of the floor they both allow the lowest amount of 3PTA (< 37% of their opponents shots are 3 pointers).

I can say that in this game, both teams will put their opponent in difficult positions that they are not used with. The team that will react better at the adversity will win this ball game.



-has to be ready to play individual actions and to create their own shots because Real has the lowest AST/FGM in Defense from the whole league (47.7%)

-has to be careful with the fouls because they let 0.32 FTA per 1 FGA


-has to contain CSKA’s power in OREB(CSKA is 3rd in OREB% while Real is just 7th in DREB%)

-has to read and react well in the HC Offense

Injury List

CSKA: Hackett , Strelnieks

REAL: Randolph, Fernandez

Final Score



DEFENSIVELY: Real was kept at a rating of 76 and shot just 10 FTs for a ratio of just 0.16 FTA per FGA. The Russians used clever their aggressivity in order to contain Real’s players, especially their inside game (Tavares,Mickey and Deck).

CSKA - Game of the 19-20 season playtype insight against RM Round 18
The above is the playtype insight that CSKA Moscow played with offensively as well as defensively against Real Madrid courtesy of InStat Basketball (our service provider)

CSKA wasn’t focused on Real’s shooters in Q1, Real went 4/8 from 3. They turned it around after the 1st quarter break and contain their opponent’s shooters with just 5/24 from beyond the arc. They turned it around and that let to a 28% at the 3PT line for Real overall in the game.

Also they blocked the paint very good in their HC defense ( 8/27 ) pushing Real to kick the ball out for 3 pointers. That made the Spanish team have a 3PTA/FGA ratio of 52.4%. After the kick-out CSKA went in full rotation to close-out and contest the shooters. That big efforts were rewarded because like I said before Real went 9/32(28%) from behind the 3PT line.

CSKA did a great job in defending Real’s off ball screen plays. Guards like Saint-Roos and Hilliard followed the shooters through the screens well and stop their efficiency. Real created 10 points from 12 offball plays for a 0.83 PPP. Their season average was around 12 pts from 9 plays ( 1.29 PPP !! ).

In the PnR, CSKA chose to stop the roll of Tavares and Mickey. Real didn’t score from the roll and they were used to score almost 5 pts from that. Coach Laso reacted and started to use the down screen to ballscreen to make the big guy’s defender be late and switch the coverage into a FLAT. That opened some pick and pop opportunities for Thompkins and Mickey. Mickey scored a 3 pointer and Thompkins had an open shot with 1:52 to go but missed it.

Another interesting choice from CSKA’s coaching staff was to go UNDER on the ballscreens with Campazzo. That led to a 2/7 in 3pt pull-ups from the Argentinian guard. The bet was a win for CSKA in the end, especially that Campazzo had a 3 point pull-up shot missed from an UNDER situation in the last minute of the game.


CSKA started the game bad offensively. The score was 18-29 for Real after 15 minutes and Itoudis chose to start posting up his big body wings(Hillard and Kurbanov) against Carroll and Laprovittola. That resulted in 6/6 at the FT line and another pair of free throws made from Mike James for a reach in of Mickey in the paint.

Real couldn’t stop CSKA’s energy in grabbing boards. CSKA had almost 31% in OREB% with their big guys making 7 OREB and Kurbanov also collected 4 OREB. Those OREB led to 13 2ND CHANCE PTS… Real had just 6.

CSKA reacted good to the adversity of the game. They had a 3PTA/FGA ratio of 33.8% with Mike James taking almost half of them. They were aggressive in attacking the paint. They went 15/15 at the FT line with all the fouls provoked from their aggressiveness and 15/39 in 2PT shots. Overall they were 0,95 PPP in attacks (with 2PT FGA and FTA) and that was very good seeing that the overall rating of CSKA in this match was of 86,2.

The Russian team had just 6 AST all game(as I pointed out in the preview). Their Drive&Kick game was stopped by Real’s defense. Just 15% of their offenses ended in a D&K and CSKA’s average in the season was 33%, so a difference of 18%.

The ball handlers chose to create their shots from the PnR to attack Real’s big guys. Anytime the BH had to create something, he called the big guy to ballscreen instead of playing an ISO. Almost 37% of their finishes were from the Ball Handler of the PnR and just 5% were Isolations. They wanted to attack the big guy (especially Tavares)with floaters,pull-ups or hard finishes vs contact. In the end that created 19 pts from 22 opportunities (0.86 PPP).

Real Madrid - Game of the 19-20 season playtype insight against CSKA Moscow Round 18
The above is the playtype insight that Real Madrid played with offensively as well as defensively against CSKA Moscow courtesy of InStat Basketball (our service provider)

From the PnRs CSKA punished Real also from the Roller scoring 6 pts from 4 rolls. All of them versus Tavares. He was focused on the BH because of their aggresive attacks and that opens the passing lanes to the Roller. CSKA’s Big guys finished with floaters or a fake and quick shot in order to avoid Tavares’ block.


The game from Moscow was an important one with Real coming to Russia on a 13 game winning streak while sharing the 1st spot in Euroleague with Anadolu Efes. 3 wins behind them was CSKA Moscow who lost their last home game with Panathinaikos after OT and wanted to redeem themselves.

It was a sloppy game with both teams having at least 16 TO but the effort that was put in defense had a big role in that too. A gritty match that put both teams in adversity and also any team could have won it in the end. With 56 seconds to go Campazzo had a 3pt shot while Real was down by 1 but he missed. After that shot in transition Hillard knocked down a 3 pointer that put CSKA up by 4. CSKA chose well how to attack Tavares and that you can see from his +/- (-11). The Russians managed better the adversity and with the support of the crowd they got the well deserved win (after the bad start).

This CSKA win stopped Real Madrid’s winning streak at 13 and dropped them to the 2nd place in the EUROLEAGUE. Also CSKA was now just one win away from catching Real Madrid in the standings. They got their revenge after the loss in Wizink Center. Their morale was back up after this hard fought win and their good form continued with a 5 game winning streak(3 games in Euroleague and 2 in VTB) until the leader, Anadolu Efes beat them in Moscow.

Madrid had to find their rhythm with Llull and Deck just back from injury and without their top scorer Randolph and one of their key shooters, Rudy Fernandez who are kept out with injuries. The problems continued for Real as the next 3 Euroleague games were all losses, including 2 home games (vs Baskonia and vs their rival for the 1st place Anadolu Efes) and 1 game away (where they got 102 points from Khimki).


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