EuroLeague 2023 Final Four Analysis
The celebration of European basketball begins today in Kaunas, Lithuania, where the final four of the Euroleague will be hosted until Sunday. The four best teams of this year's Euroleague will try to reach the top of the competition, however one of Olympiacos Piraeus, Monaco, Barcelona, Real Madrid will celebrate the trophy.
Olympiacos is in Kaunas and after an excellent season in the regular season of the competition where they finished first and qualified for the final four with 3-2 against Fenerbahce, they want to defeat Monaco in the first semi-final of the competition and find themselves in Sunday's final . Olympiacos may have finished first, but Monaco is just one of two teams that could not beat them in the regular season. On the positive side for the Piraeus team is that there are no competition problems and everyone is available for coach Giorgos Bartzokas, while 4,000 friends of the team are in the city of Lithuania where they are expected to give a thunderous presence during the final four.
The basketball fate seems to keep leading Olympiakos to Monaco on the road to the top. Last season, Monaco was eliminated in the playoffs by Piraeus, while this year, after qualifying against Maccabi Tel Aviv, they meet Olympiakos in the semifinals. It is the first participation of Monaco in the final four of the Euroleague, however, this season it counts two out of two against Olympiakos and today it wants to make it three... good and find itself in the final of the competition. In terms of competition, the team's coach Saša Obradović does not face any problem.
Without having much difficulty, Barcelona found themselves in Kaunas, as in the playoffs of the competition they faced the weakest Zalgiris and without difficulty won 3-0 in the series. The Catalans are in excellent condition, as they count 11 wins in a row in all competitions, while in their last match in the Spanish ACB they "locked" the lead in the regular season. Opposite them will be Real Madrid, where in the last final four they have two consecutive qualifiers against the Catalans, something that the team's coach Sarunas Jasikevicius wants to avoid this year. In this, his ally will be the presence of all available players.
Real Madrid is in the final four, but the playoff series against Partizan will go down in the history of the competition for many reasons. The first is of course what happened in the second game, where almost all players from both teams were sent off due to the scuffles between the players at the end of the match. In addition, Real Madrid became the first team to turn the series from 0-2 down which had never happened before. In terms of competition, the Madrid players have not been unaffected by the punishments against Pritzan, as the center Yabuzele will be missing due to suspension as well as the injured Deck, Poirier, resulting in problems under the racket. The Madrilenians may seem like outsiders, however, they showed that it is difficult for anyone to underestimate them.
Final four appearances
Olympiakos Piraeus: 11 ((1994, 1995, 1997, 1999, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2017, 2022)
Barcelona: 16 (1989, 1990, 1991, 1994, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2021, 2022)
Real Madrid: 12 (1967, 1993, 1995, 1996, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2022)
First semi-final: Olympiacos Piraeus-Monaco, 18:00
Second semi-final: Barcelona-Real Madrid, 21:00
Sunday, May 21
Short final, 17:00