Preview: Panathinaikos vs Maccabi


The two powerhouses meet again in the famous OAKA arena for the 11th time in this millennium where the records between the two teams stands on 6-4 to panathinaikos , Panathinaikos Nick Calathes will miss the game due to a shoulder injury and Maccabi’s captain Itay Segev will miss the game due to back pain.

Panathinaikos is the best home team in last two seasons lost only one time last season and this season the fans didn't see even one lost in the OAKA with a perfect record of six wins out of six games, buth this time PAO’s most important player and starting point guard Nick Calathes will not play after he got injured in the last home game vs Milan , this is a major absence for the team because Calathes creates 40% out of the team points by scoring or passing assists to his teammates and coach Pascual will have to find a solution to keep a perfect score at the OAKA after this game.

Maccabi wants to be the first team who is winning in the OAKA this season,the team is getting back it’s sharpshooter Michel Roll after missing the last three games of the team due to a shoulder injury which happened in Maccabi last EuroLeague home vs Valencia , his absence was really major for the team who lost two of its last three games without him .

we saw in the last game at Moscow vs CSKA how Roll absence was so critical for Maccabi who needed his three pointers for the score and to space the floor for Parakhouski .

Maccabi keys for the game: # a good Perimeter defense that will reduce Panathinaikos 10 three points made per game in 40.9% , Maccabi rivels made about 15 three point shots per game in last few games(domestic league and EuroLeague) and Maccabi can not let PAO do the same if the team wants to back home with the W.

# STOP GIST , to me James Gist he is the second most important player of Panathinaikos after Nick Calathes , he is the second best two point shooter of the team (after Calathes) with 40 two points shot made so far in 63.5% (second in the team after Vougioukas) and lead the team in offensive rebound with 1.9 per game second in PIR(or if you want PER) with 11.9PIR and I believe coach Spahija has the perfect man for the job which is Jonah Bolden who has the size the athleticism the defensive and rebounding abilities to do so , he can also use Bolden by penetrating or Parakhouski with his post up game to get Gist in to a foul trouble.

# prevent Lekavicius from controlling Panathinaikos offensive sets , Lekavicius is PAO’s backup PG and the second best passer of PAO with 1.9 AST per game (Calathes is first in the team and the EuroLeague generally with the amazing number of 7.9 AST per game) John DiBartolomeo and Norris Cole should be the guys for this job.

Panathinaikos keys for the game: # make it rain beyond the perimeter , Maccabi is getting 12.6 three points made by their opponents on losts and PAO will have to make about this average to win the game the four best three point shooters of the team are Rivers with 28 three point shots made so far Singleton with 21 Pappas with 16 and Lojeski with 14.

# slow the pace of the game , Maccabi is one of the fastest team in the EuroLeague and when the team run to fastbreakes they are almost unstoppable so Panathinaikos can’t let him to do it specially on a home game.

# take Tyus Parakhouski and Bolden out of the paint on defense three of them are on the top eight shot blockers of the EuroLeague and you don’t want to face them in the paint so use Singleton and Gist ability from the perimeter and use Thanasis as a SF and let him play inside.