In early January, Lokomotiv dared to defeat CSKA in Moscow. Our team not only made CSKA lose their first game in the VTB United League season (the Moscow team hasn’t lost a game for 2 years at home), but also didn’t let them take the lead during the whole game.
The win over CSKA in Moscow allowed Lokomotiv to knock the Army Men out of 1st place and created a huge buzz around Sasa Obradovic’s club. The team was playing terrific basketball, boasted a ridiculous winning streak, and enjoyed one of the best home-court advantages in the League. No arguing with that. The loss to Avtodor, however, brought Lokomotiv quickly back down to earth, and also dropped the Railwaymen out of 1st place.
In the rematch with CSKA, Loko will try to protect its reputation as the trendiest team in the League. As for winning the regular season? This game has huge implications on the final standings and home-court advantage in the postseason.
Watch Dmitry Kulagin. The ex-CSKA guard dominated the game in Moscow, showing he’s much more than a role player for Lokomotiv. On Wednesday, one of Russian basketball’s most intriguing talents will try to do something few have accomplished: Make CSKA’s defense look bad twice in a row.
Lokomotiv has been CSKA’s toughest opponent in the VTB League. Moscow even lost twice to Krasnodar in the 2014-15 season. They don’t want that to happen again. The Red-Blues in Krasnodar is a guarantee for a Basket Hall sellout and crazy atmosphere, but CSKA has one goal in mind for the trip south: revenge. The stakes are huge for both clubs.
Watch Nando De Colo. The Frenchman is playing at a high level (no surprise) and Dimitris Itoudis is unlikely to give him much rest in such an important game. You don’t want to miss a chance to see Nando De Colo put it all on the line.