The Milan of basketball is preparing to learn the truth about its European destiny. In or out. Or at the Final Four in Cologne (May 28-30), or to mull over a verdict that would not cancel when done well in the 2020-2021 continental campaign but that would unquestionably brand the AX Exchange season in the Euroleague as unfinished. Tonight at the Assago Forum (8.45 pm, live streaming on Eurosport Player and Discovery +), the match with no return is played between Olimpia and Bayern Munich coached by the Milanese Andrea Trinchieri, a play-off that promises to be exciting given the progress and results of the previous four comparisons. The AX and Bayern are in fact on 2-2 after having danced on the edge of balance (magically reappeared even when one of the two teams seemed to have taken over), individual feats and protagonists that have changed from time to time. After game 5 there will be room for only one of the two teams, respectively the fourth and fifth of the regular phase. The other will have, as Julio Velasco used to say, the fate of the defeated: that of having to explain. Here are 5 possible themes of the super-challenge.
The (non) field factor
The first reflection that Milan has on its side the home factor in game 5, but that this element has a relative value in a year in which it was played behind closed doors. Among other things, while the AX has conquered the Bavarian field (right in the first match of the tournament), Bayern have not yet won in Milan. time for this to happen, said Paul Zipser, one of the match-winners of race 4, with a deliberately destabilizing phrase because this will also be a psychological and nervous duel. Like it or not, however, Olimpia will also have to mark the law of large numbers so as not to make a basket.
Night for veterans
Olimpia indicated by many, if not all, like stronger than Bayern. How true is the statement? Let’s say that it is true in direct proportion to the talent and experience of some of its players. We are talking above all about veterans like Gigi Datome, Sergio Chacho Rodriguez, Kyle Hines, all three victorious at least once in the Euroleague (even 4 Hines titles), called to give everything and more in this battle. For them it must also be a shock: Rodriguez maybe just back from the worst game since in Milan; Datome not in a great time of form; Hines in this series has so far not given the expected contribution in terms of malice and physicality. The first appeal, therefore, for the three of them.
The battle of the centimeters
The tonnage and the centimeters, in fact. In this, Bayern have more and what they put on the field in Game 5 will help to understand more clearly whether Milan’s choice not to resort to a big man in the long section was paying on the most coveted stage. era, Gudaitis, was not confirmed; in the cup the only spire Kaleb Tarczewski, a 2.11 more dynamic than powerful). Physical containment of the opponent will be one of the mandatory steps of the AX, a tactical situation that rhymes with great defense.
The decisive exteriors
However, there are those who argue that Milan, if it wins, will eventually do so with its outsiders: there is and in any case evident that the offensive factor will have its impact. Therefore it is important that the darts of Delaney (in race 4 direction machine, but also points), Rodriguez, Punter o di Leday, long who loves the perimeter shot, have the gps well tuned to the target. Basketball, despite the importance of defense, is still a game in which you win if you score one point more than the opponent.
The infinite weapons of Bayern
The curious, and disturbing, aspect of the Bayern that in every match has always found a different protagonist: the last in order of time were Lucic e Zipser. In theory, there should be no more surprises, the jokers in the deck seem exhausted and the only one that remains could be the play Baldwin, in case he proposes himself for what he doesn’t, or one with an infallible aim from a distance. Though it is conceivable that Trinchieri’s team plays with the lightness of those who know they have already done a lot, indeed a lot.
The specter of 2014
Instead, Milan, having reached this point after a season with an Italian’s record of victories in the Euroleague, has some more legitimate ambitions: missing Cologne would bring back the sorrow of 2014, when Luca Banchi’s Olimpia did not hit the Final Four (hosted by the Forum that year) because Maccabi Tel Aviv, future champion, eliminated her in the playoff of the quarterfinals. In short, chasing away the impending pressure and bad memories will be as decisive as a good attack and a solid defense.
May 4, 2021 (change May 4, 2021 | 11:13 am)
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