FC Bayern Munich fought for what would have been its maiden Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Playoff berth until the penultimate round last season and this season Coach Dejan Radonjic's men aim to finally accomplish that goal. Here's a look at five key games for the German champs this season.
Round 4: Former Bayern stars come for a visit
Bayern swept Khimki Moscow Region last season and two of the player who helped the German champs to those successes have switched sides. Big man Devin Booker and point guard Stefan Jovic signed for Khimki over the summer and three and two seasons, respectively, in Munich. This will be their first time back with their new team. What's more, with Bayern opening the season with four home games from its first five contests, it must pile up those early-season victories to strengthen its playoff resume.
Round 7: Following a 2OT victory over Fenerbahce
The last time these teams met, Bayern scored a highlight-filled double-overtime win over Fenerbahce last season. Bayern had never defeated Fenerbahce before this 90-86 triumph, having lost their first five head-to-head clashes. This game had everything, including the suspense that the game would go another five minutes longer – twice. Coach Zeljko Obradovic's troops will certainly want to avoid the same outcome, but let's hope some drama carries over in their first duel this season. It will also be the team's first time playing against Derrick Williams, who shined in his EuroLeague debut with Bayern last season.
Round 15: Barcelona and a Pesic family reunion
Father and son moments are always great, so for that reason alone, it is fun when Bayern with general manager Marko Pesic welcomes Barcelona with his father Svetislav Pesic as head coach. Coach Pesic also spent three seasons as Bayern's head coach and led the team to a historic German League title in 2014 - the club's first in 69 years. Then there is last season, when Barcelona - battling for playoff home-court advantage, came into Munich only for Bayern to win 73-71 on a buzzer-beating jumper by Petteri Koponen, another former Barcelona player. It will surely be a fun night in Audi Dome when Barcelona pays a visit.
Round 17: Radonjic visits Belgrade
Bayern head coach Dejan Radonjic returns to the Serbian capital to face Crvena Zvezda for the first time since leaving its bench after the 2016-17 season. Last season Radonjic had a homecoming when he returned to his hometown of Podgorica to face Buducnost, but now he arrives at a place where he left a fresh mark. Zvezda under Radonjic became a powerhouse and returned to the EuroLeague for the first time this century, reached the EuroCup Semifinals and finally the EuroLeague Playoffs in 2016 for the first time in club history. Several Zvezda players had great success playing under Radonjic, including Branko Lazic, Ognjen Kuzmic and Charles Jenkins.
Round 31: The German League classic
The greatest rivalry in German basketball today is between Bayern and ALBA. These two teams, which have played in the German League finals in each of the last two seasons, finally meet for the first time in the EuroLeague, which should take the rivalry to yet another level. This is the first time two German teams face off in the competition since ALBA and Brose Bamberg played each other in 2012-13 Top 16. It will be a basketball fest in Germany and a night to expect the unexpected.