With the same balance sheet and similar game board until the end of the season, only the direct fight in Moscow will decide the question of home advantage • The Maccabi-Tel Aviv race for fourth place starting, and this is just the opening of the playoff series
Mike James and Eliza Bryant. They'll meet a lot more this season
In the last round of the Euroleague, one playoff game - Maccabi Tel Aviv vs. CSKA Moscow - was finally finalized. Both will start in a head-to-head race on fourth place and continue it in the playoff series with the big question still open is who will be with the home advantage. The answer to that could be worth a Final Four.
Both overcame a serious mine outside in the previous cycle: the Yellows in Valencia, the Russians in Belgrade, and both stayed in the same balance 8:17.
Panathinaikos, who could have threatened them with a 5-4 battle, lost height after the loss to Real Madrid (in a game already on Monday) and the gap could already grow after that four wins.
Maccabi and CSKA are ahead of the table in Real Madrid and Barcelona in places 3-2. Real three more wins (and a surplus game) and Barca two. Facing the yellows from Tel Aviv, the two Spaniards have an advantage on the internal balance, which is why Maccabi only remains in the battle for fourth place.
A brief glance at the remaining game board for Maccabi and the CSKA can be found in quite a few parallel lines. Panathinaikos, and each of them has some bunker games for them: Wheelerban and Zenit will be in Moscow, and in Asconia and Zenit will be in Tel Aviv.
The ending, too, is similar: Both of them will reach Poto Finish outside their homes, CSKA in three consecutive foreign games, and Maccabi in two. But here, too, there is a certain difference: The Reds will face teams battling for the playoffs, while the Yellows face Wheelerban who has nothing to play.
Everything is almost balanced, so what is likely to be the direct fight between them on March 24, cycle 31, or in other words, the game of the season. Here, too, things balance. CSCA has a home advantage. Maccabi has the 10-point lead from the first-round victory, and it could be a situation that even a loss of less than 10 will lead the Yellows to the goal. At the bottom line, we expect a marathon to the last minute, which will be just the opening playoff series between them.