Panathinaikos (2-6) is currently on a four-game losing streak and hopes to put an end to it at OAKA. Nemanja Nedovic (14.0 ppg.), Ioannis Papapetrou (13.0 ppg.) and Shelvin Mack (11.7 ppg.) have been its top scorers so far this season. Bayern (7-3) is off to its best start in the EuroLeague despite coming off a home loss against CSKA Moscow. Vladimir Lucic (14.3 ppg., 4.9 rpg.), Wade Baldwin IV (13.9 ppg., 4.1 apg.) and Jalen Reynolds (12.7 ppg., 6.7 rpg.) have been its pillars until now.
Lucic has been sensational so far this season, ranking third in PIR at 19.5 per night. He is playing with great aggressiveness and efficiency plus outstanding shooting percentages (66.7% 2FG, 53.8% 3FG, 90.6% FT). Panathinaikos will turn to Papapetrou to stop Lucic and give him plenty of trouble on defense with his high basketball IQ, character and all-around skills. Both of them are experienced and at the prime of their respective careers, so expect a great matchup.
Panathinaikos has a 4-2 record against Bayern and beat the German powerhouse twice last season. Panathinaikos defeated Bayern 75-87 in November as DeShaun Thomas led six Panathinaikos scorers in double digits with 14 points. It was the Greens' first road win against Bayern. Panathinaikos also prevailed at home, 98-83. Once again, it had six scorers in double digits with Thomas leading everyone with 18 points. Greg Monroe posted 17 points and 9 rebounds for Bayern.
Keys to victory: Panathinaikos
Panathinaikos has a size advantage in the paint with Georgios Papagiannis and Dinos Mitoglou down low and must make the most of it. The Greens can rely on Papapetrou and Howard Sant-Roos not only to stop Lucic, but to generate advantages on offense with their one-on-one skills. Panathinaikos has a lot of firepower with players like Nedovic, Mack and Marcus Foster, but ranks 11th assists at just 16.5 per night. If the Greens can control the game tempo, the offense will come, as the team is full of great shooters.
Keys to victory: Bayern
Bayern has excelled on three-point defense, allowing scorers to make just 31.0% of their shots from downtown. If the German powerhouse can keep Panathinaikos close to that number, it will be on the right path. Bayern ranks 13th in fouls drawn (19.7) but fifth in free throws attempted (18.9), which says a lot about the team's basketball IQ and overall aggressiveness. As always, getting Baldwin and Lucic involved on offense is critical for Coach Andrea Trinchieri's team.