2018-19Regular SeasonRound 28
March 22, 2019 CET: 20:45
Local time: 20:45 PALABANCODESIO
Bulgaria: MAX SPORT 4
Middle East: beIN MENA HD10
France: RMC SPORT LIVE 7
Serbia: SPORTKLUB HD
Greece: NOVASPORTS 1HD
Turkey: beIN SPORTS MAX HD1
Israel: 5STARS
United Kingdom: EUROSPORT PLAYER
Italy: EUROSPORT PLAYER
Internet: EUROLEAGUE.TV
Italy: EUROSPORT 2

Records

14-13 Regular Season 14-13
14-13 Overall 14-13

Referees

Crew Chief
GARCIA, JUAN CARLOS
Umpire 1
JOVCIC, MILIVOJE
Umpire 2
KARTAL, ERSAN

The Take

A pivotal game in the tighest of playoffs races unfolds in the fashion capital on Friday as AX Armani Exchange Olimpia Milan hosts Panathinaikos OPAP Athens. Both are part of a four-way tie of 14-13 teams seeking three playoff spots. This game's winner will be one step closer to qualifying for the playoffs, while the loser could be outside the top eight playoff positions with just two games left to recover. Panathinaikos comes off a high-wire 72-70 home win in which it had led KIROLBET Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz by 23 points in the second half and almost collapsed. Milan had the opposite luck on Wednesday, leading Real Madrid by 18 points on the road before falling 92-89 at the finish. Both teams have won six of the last eight, with Panathinaikos on a five-game victory streak, including three away from home.

Earlier this season

Milan ambushed Panathinaikos in Athens with an 83-86 Round 14 road victory in what was the last game for the Greens before Rick Pitino took over as head coach. Arturas Gudaitis, now injured and out for the season, paced Milan with 20 points and 8 rebounds that night. Nick Calathes was the big gun for the Greens with 24 points, 11 assists. Milan's three-point margin of victory from that December game is something to keep in mind on Friday, too. If Panathinaikos wins by fewer than 4 points, Milan retains a head-to-head tie-breaker between them. If the difference in a Panathinaikos win is 5 points or less, Milan would survive a three-way tie with Panathinaikos and Baskonia. Anything higher than 5 points, however, and Milan would lose a three-way tie for seventh and eighth place.

Marquee matchup

One of the great head-to-head duels of the season is coming as point guard Mike James tries to guide Milan to the promised land against the best passer in the game right now, Nick Calathes of Panathinaikos. James leads the league in points (20.5) and PIR (22.0), while Calathes is on a record pace in assists (8.6) and also ranks first in steals (1.7). These are, hands down, the most relied-upon team leaders in the EuroLeague right now, which means that which of them can thrive will give his team the chance for what could be the key win of the season. Calathes has picked up his performances on the road in the last three games, and he'll be asked to do it again in this all-important game that could decide either team's future.

Keys to victory: Milan

Milan will see a different Panathinaikos than before, with Keith Langford back in action, DeShaun Thomas as a go-to guy, and big Georgios Papagiannis as a centerpiece. The hosts don't have Gudaitis anymore, so Kaleb Tarczewski and Alen Omic will be called on to control the paint while James Nunnally gets two-way duty to shut down someone on Panathinaikos – possibly even Calathes at times. Points always fly when Milan is at home, and if the hosts can't slow Calathes, they'll need Vladimir Micov and Nemanja Nedovic helping James fill up the baskets in a game where a few points could mean the difference between making the playoffs or not.

Keys to victory: Panathinaikos

James is the most-fouled player in the EuroLeague this season and Panathinaikos one of the most foul-prone teams. The visitors can't afford to see James control the tempo or put Calathes in foul trouble. Like Milan, Panathinaikos likes to turn defense into offense, with Thomas, Ioannis Papapetrou, Sean Kilpatrick and Thanasis Antetokounmpo running the floor, and in that aspect of play, the visitors may find their edge. But they'll need to rebound better than usual to get the ball in the hands of Calathes more than it finds the hands of James.

Thursday, March 21, 2019
Euroleague.net
AX Armani Exchange Olimpia Milan
# Player Pos. H. Age
00 DELLA VALLE, AMEDEO G 1.93 25
2 JAMES, MIKE G 1.85 28
5 MICOV, VLADIMIR F 2.01 33
7 GUDAITIS, ARTURAS C 2.08 25
13 FONTECCHIO, SIMONE G 2.03 23
14 GRAVAGHI, FRANCESCO G 1.95 16
15 TARCZEWSKI, KALEB C 2.13 26
16 NEDOVIC, NEMANJA G 1.91 27
19 KUZMINSKAS, MINDAUGAS F 2.05 29
20 CINCIARINI, ANDREA G 1.93 32
21 NUNNALLY, JAMES F 2.01 28
23 BURNS, CHRISTIAN F 2.03 33
32 BROOKS, JEFF F 2.03 29
55 JERRELLS, CURTIS G 1.85 32
92 OMIC, ALEN C 2.16 26
Panathinaikos OPAP Athens
# Player Pos. H. Age
0 THOMAS, DESHAUN F 2.01 27
5 LANGFORD, KEITH G 1.93 35
6 PAPAGIANNIS, GEORGIOS C 2.20 21
9 SAKELLARIOU, EVANGELOS G 1.91 29
10 PAPAPETROU, IOANNIS F 2.05 24
11 PAPPAS, NIKOS G 1.95 28
14 GIST, JAMES F 2.04 32
15 VOUGIOUKAS, IAN C 2.10 33
16 KALAITZAKIS, GEORGIOS G 1.99 20
19 LEKAVICIUS, LUKAS G 1.81 24
23 KILPATRICK, SEAN G 1.93 29
24 LOJESKI, MATT F 1.98 33
33 CALATHES, NICK G 1.96 30
43 ANTETOKOUNMPO, THANASIS F 2.00 26
44 MITOGLOU, KONSTANTINOS F 2.10 22

Player Stats

James, M. / 20.5 Micov, V. / 14.0 Gudaitis, A. / 12.5
Calathes, N. / 11.7 Langford, K. / 11.0 Thomas, D. / 10.0
James, M. / 6.7
Calathes, N. / 8.6
James, M. / 1.3 Micov, V. / 1.1
Calathes, N. / 1.7
2PT
Tarczewski, K. / 70.3 % Gudaitis, A. / 63.9 % Brooks, J. / 55.0 %
Papagiannis, G. / 76.0 % Antetokounmpo, T. / 72.9 % Vougioukas, I. / 70.0 %
3PT
Bertans, D. / 53.6 % Kuzminskas, M. / 44.8 % Brooks, J. / 39.1 %
Langford, K. / 37.5 % Lekavicius, L. / 36.8 % Papapetrou, I. / 36.4 %
FT
Kuzminskas, M. / 84.6 % James, M. / 83.5 % Gudaitis, A. / 80.5 %
Pappas, N. / 82.6 % Langford, K. / 82.5 % Gist, J. / 71.0 %
PIR
James, M. / 22.0 Gudaitis, A. / 18.7 Micov, V. / 13.6

Team Stats - Offense

Ave.   Ave.
87.0 Points 79.0
34.3 Rebounds 32.9
10.8 O. Rebounds 10.7
23.5 D. Rebounds 22.1
16.0 Assists 16.9
6.5 Steals 7.2
2.3 Blocks 2.7
52.7 % 2PT 55.3 %
38.9 % 3PT 31.0 %
79.5 % FT 69.4 %
95.9 PIR 85.5

Team Stats - Defense

Ave.   Ave.
85.7 Points 79.0
35.3 Rebounds 34.9
11.4 O. Rebounds 11.3
23.9 D. Rebounds 23.6
18.3 Assists 17.9
5.4 Steals 5.7
2.1 Blocks 2.8
54.5 % 2PT 53.0 %
38.2 % 3PT 35.6 %
74.5 % FT 75.1 %
94.2 PIR 87.0

Head Coaches

PIANIGIANI, SIMONE
AX Armani Exchange Olimpia Milan
"Panathinaikos comes off five wins in a row, including three wins on the road and the one in Moscow at the last second. This says it all about their shape and confidence. They are a very physical team, offensively they try to push immediately in the first seconds, forcing the defenses to collapse in the paint. Nick Calathes, who plays half of all the team's pick and rolls, decides the tempo, so they don't have many calls, but can create many situations for their top players, against which we will have to fight. Defensively - and this is the most important aspect - Panathinaikos defends on the ball with great aggressiveness. We are normally good at spacing the floor, but against their kind of defense it will be more difficult. I think rebounds and transition points will be decisive."
PITINO, RICK
Panathinaikos OPAP Athens
"They are playing great right now, they put Madrid in trouble on the road. They also have James playing like the MVP of the EuroLeague. We have a challenge. We won the game last night playing great basketball, at least in the first half. I showed my players on tape our mistakes in the second half and why Baskonia came back. We learned a lesson, you always want to learn your lessons in victory, not defeat."

Players

MICOV, VLADIMIR
AX Armani Exchange Olimpia Milan
"Every game is decisive in the EuroLeague, this one is obviously a crucial one for both teams in order to make a critical step up in the playoff race."
LANGFORD, KEITH
Panathinaikos OPAP Athens
"We have been mentally prepared for the last five games. The approach to this game is not different. Every game since Gran Canaria is like a final for us, so we intentd to stand like we are."

AX Armani Exchange Olimpia Milan vs. Panathinaikos OPAP Athens

· Panathinaikos is 11-4 against Milan this century, and has won their last two games in Milan. However, in Round 14, Milan edged Panathinaikos in Athens 83-86 benid 20 points plus 8 rebounds from Arturas Gudaitis, who is now out for the season.

· In their last game in Milan, in Round 30 of last season, Milan made a club record 34 free throws before Panathinaikos pulled out a last-second road win, 95-96.

· Milan beat Panathinaikos in the 1997-98 Saporta Cup semifinals. Panathinaikos won Game 1 in Athens 77-58, but Milan took Game 2 by a wider margin, 86-61.

· Panathinaikos guard Keith Langford played for Milan from 2012 to 2014. He won the EuroLeague's Top Scorer Trophy and made the All-EuroLeague First Team in the 2013-14 season, when he was a teammate of Curtis Jerrells.

· Milan guard Mike James played for Panathinaikos the past two seasons. He led the team to back-to-back Greek League titles and one Greek Cup in that time.

· Arturas Gudaitis was a teammate of Panathinaikos guard Lukas Lekavicius at Zalgiris during the 2014-15 season.

· Panathinaikos center Ian Vougioukas was a teammate of Milan's Vladimir Micov at Galatasaray Odeabank Istanbul for part of the 2014-15 season.

· Milan guard Amedeo Della Valle and Panathinaikos forward DeShaun Thomas were college teammates at Ohio State University.

· Milan guard Curtis Jerrells and Panathinaikos forward James Gist were teammates at Partizan Belgrade in the 2010-11 season and at Fenerbahce Istanbul during the next one.

· Jerrells and Panathinaikos guard Keith Langford were teammates at UNICS Kazan during the 2014-15 season.

· Milan playmaker Andrea Cinciarini posted career highs of 20 PIR and 8 rebounds for Milan against Panathinaikos in March, 2017.

· Milan guard Mike James set his career-high with 9 rebounds playing for Baskonia against Panathinaikos in the 2016 EuroLeague Playoffs.

· Thanasis Antetokounmpo matched his career high in steals with 3 in Round 14 loss against Milan.

Thursday, March 21, 2019
Euroleague.net

AX Armani Exchange Olimpia Milan

Roster
Mike James and Vladimir Micov have started in every EuroLeague game for Milan this season.
Streaks
Mike James has scored in double figures in each of his last 34 games and has had a in double-figure PIR in 27 of his last 28 games.
James has collected at least 1 steal in four of his last five games.
James Nunnally has scored in double figures in six of his last seven games.
Rankings
Mike James leads the league in scoring with 20.5 points per game, and in average PIR with 22.0 per game
James is second in assists with 6.7 per game, and fifth in steals with 1.3 per game.
Arturas Gudaitis ranks fourth in average PIR at 18.7 per game.
Gudaitis ranks fourth in rebounding with 7.1 per game and second in offensive rebounding with 3.3 per game
Gudaitis is fifth this season with 1.0 blocks per game.
Records/Milestones
James Nunnally leads all active players and is third on the all-time EuroLeague charts with 49.7% career three-point accuracy.

Panathinaikos OPAP Athens

Roster
Panathinaikos has started 13 different players this season. Nick Calathes is the only player to start every game.
Evangelos Sakellariou is set to make his EuroLeague debut.
Streaks
Nick Calathes has collected at least 1 steal in 13 of his last 14 games.
Calathes has dished at least 5 assists in 14 straight games.
Calathes has scored at least 10 points in five straight and seven of his last eight games.
Calathes has posted a performance index rating in double figures in 16 of his last 17 games.
DeShaun Thomas has scored in double figures in eight straight EuroLeague games.
Rankings
Nick Calathes leads the league in assists with 8.6 per game and in steals with 1.7 per game.
Georgios Papagiannis leads the league in two-point accuracy, at 76.0%. Thanasis Antetokounmpo is third at 72.88%.
Records/Milestones
Calathes is tied for fifth all-time with 256 steals, the same as Rudy Fernandez 256 steals. Gianluca Basile is fourth with 261.
Calathes ranks eighth all-time with 950 assists. Theo Papaloukas is seventh with 977.
Gist needs 36 more points to reach 2,000 for his career.
Keith Langford needs 2 more offensive rebounds to reach 100 for his EuroLeague career.

Thursday, March 21, 2019
Euroleague.net

Head-to-head records

Home team Away team
4 - 11
AX Armani Exchange Olimpia Milan Panathinaikos OPAP Athens
* overall record in EuroLeague since 2000
AX Armani Exchange Olimpia Milan
Home record vs. Panathinaikos OPAP Athens: 2-5
Away record vs. Panathinaikos OPAP Athens: 2-6
Panathinaikos OPAP Athens
Home record vs. AX Armani Exchange Olimpia Milan: 6-2
Away record vs. AX Armani Exchange Olimpia Milan: 5-2

Results

Season Date Phase Home Result Away
2018-19 21 December 2018 Regular Season Panathinaikos OPAP Athens 83 - 86 AX Armani Exchange Olimpia Milan
2017-18 05 April 2018 Regular Season AX Armani Exchange Olimpia Milan 95 - 96 Panathinaikos Superfoods Athens
2017-18 15 December 2017 Regular Season Panathinaikos Superfoods Athens 80 - 72 AX Armani Exchange Olimpia Milan
2016-17 21 March 2017 Regular Season Panathinaikos Superfoods Athens 74 - 61 EA7 Emporio Armani Milan
2016-17 21 December 2016 Regular Season EA7 Emporio Armani Milan 72 - 86 Panathinaikos Superfoods Athens
2014-15 11 December 2014 Regular Season EA7 Emporio Armani Milan 66 - 64 Panathinaikos Athens
2014-15 07 November 2014 Regular Season Panathinaikos Athens 90 - 63 EA7 Emporio Armani Milan
2013-14 27 February 2014 Top 16 EA7 Emporio Armani Milan 77 - 75 Panathinaikos Athens
2013-14 02 January 2014 Top 16 Panathinaikos Athens 73 - 57 EA7 Emporio Armani Milan
2011-12 23 February 2012 Top 16 Panathinaikos Athens 58 - 67 EA7 Emporio Armani
2011-12 19 January 2012 Top 16 EA7 Emporio Armani 57 - 78 Panathinaikos Athens
2010-11 22 December 2010 Regular Season Panathinaikos Athens 93 - 62 Armani Jeans Milano
2010-11 18 November 2010 Regular Season Armani Jeans Milano 71 - 81 Panathinaikos Athens
2009-10 03 December 2009 Regular Season Panathinaikos 80 - 68 Armani Jeans Milano
2009-10 22 October 2009 Regular Season Armani Jeans Milano 67 - 75 Panathinaikos