The Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Championship Game is a collision between FC Barcelona’s league-best defense and Anadolu Efes Istanbul’s potent offense. The two teams battling for the EuroLeague crown on Sunday in Cologne, Germany, play – and win – with much different styles of basketball.
When the Efes offense is rolling, it has proven to be unstoppable. Coach Ergin Ataman’s men have scored at least 80 points 23 times this season – including most recently on Friday night in the semifinal against CSKA Moscow.
Efes, which has averaged the second-most points, 84.2 per game, this season, is undefeated in those games. Conversely, Efes is 3-14 when it has failed to reach the 80-point mark.
The last time Efes won without scoring 80 was in Round 25 in mid-February when it bested Olympiacos Piraeus 76-53 in Round 25. What’s more, Efes is 1-8 this season what it has been held below 80 outside of Istanbul.
Barcelona, on the other hand, has the best defense in the competition. It has allowed just 73.4 points per game and held opponents to only 49.2% two-point and 34.4% three-point shooting – all league-low marks this season in the EuroLeague.
Likewise, Barcelona has held opponents to less than 80 points in 75 percent of its games so far. Those 30 games represent the most of any team in the competition. In those games, Barcelona has 25 wins and its winning percentage of 83.3% is third-best in the league.
However, in the 10 games in which Barcelona’s opponents have reached the 80-point mark, Coach Sarunas Jasikevicius’s men have lost seven times, including twice against Efes.
It is safe to say that percentages are with Barcelona in the championship game if it keeps Efes under 80 points, and they flip the other way if Efes scores 80 or more.