Akun-Purcell joined Loko before the match with Paris NN!

On January 5, the Krasnodar Basket Hall will host the first match in 2023, and it will not just be a game, but a hot, equal battle: Lokomotiv-Kuban will play with the Pari Nizhny Novgorod team, with which it currently shares 5-6 lines in the VTB United League standings.

Let’s start with the good news: American-Trinidadian forward DeVon Akun-Purcell has successfully passed a medical examination at Loko!

– The newcomer successfully passed all the tests, he is in good physical shape, – stated Konstantin Shubin, head of the Loco medical service.

Predicting the outcome of the match “Loko” with “Pari NN” is a task, as the compilers of the Unified State Exam would say, with an asterisk: the teams approached the face–to–face meeting with the same number of wins and losses (10-8) and with identical results in the last two rounds – the red-green made up for the defeat of the army with a victory over PARMA-PARI, and the Nizhny Novgorod residents took revenge on Samara for losing to UNICS.

With such equal pre-launch layouts, any nuances can tip the scales in one direction or another. Let’s try to analyze these nuances.

The composition of Lokomotiv-Kuban looks a little brighter – at least if you rely on statistics. The leaders of Loko outperform their colleagues from Pari NN in all key indicators. Jaylen Barford is the second sniper of the VTB United League (17.4 points on average per match). The opponent’s best is Jermaine Love (15.8), who takes seventh place.

Krasnodar’s Alexander Shcherbenev gives 5.8 assists per match (5th result in the league), and Nizhny Novgorod’s Nikola Rebich – only 4.4 (10th).

Chris Horton is 9th in rebounds (6.5), Andrey Martyuk is 13th (5.9), while the players of “Pari NN” could not climb above the 15th line (Dragan Apic – 5.0).

And even in the “interceptions” column, where until recently the leader of the championship was the captain of “Paris NN” Evgeny Baburin (2.9), he was displaced by Chris Horton, who broke into the league brightly (3.0).

According to all key team statistics, Loko also surpasses Pari NN: 78.8 points on average per match against 74.5; 36.9 rebounds against 31.6; 18.9 assists against 16.8; 8.9 steals against 8.3.

But if you look at the advanced statistics, it becomes clear why Nizhny Novgorod residents are on an equal footing with us in the standings. Firstly, they foul less (21.8 violations per match against our 22.0). Secondly, they throw it more precisely. Moreover, their percentage of hits exceeds Lokomotiv’s very significantly: both with three-point attempts (34.2 vs. 32.6) and with two-point attempts (51.5 vs. 50.2), and Pari NN implements free throws almost 5% more confidently (75.7 vs. 70.9).

In addition, Nizhny Novgorod coach Zoran Lukic uses the bench much more actively: nine players in the Paris NN team spend on average more than 17 minutes on the court (and this is even if you do not take into account Devine Miles, who was injured at the very beginning of the tournament and went to the USA for treatment). Loko has seven such players left after the expulsion of Darral Willis. It is worth recalling, however, that newcomer Chris Horton, who plays in the same position as Willis, played very powerfully on the move: he became the most productive in the team in the match with CSKA and got into the national team of the tour after the victory over PARMA-PARI.

We must not forget that Lukic is a coach with a very extensive experience of playing in the VTB United League. This season is already his 12th season at the head of a team from Nizhny Novgorod. The Serbian specialist turned the first round match with Loko in many ways in his favor precisely with timely coaching decisions.

But the mentor of the red-greens, Alexander Sekulich, has since managed to fill the cones, having learned to keep the right score until the final siren – let’s remember any of the December victories of Lokomotiv-Kuban: over Yenisei (75:71), Samara (80:77) or PARMA-PARI (88:86).

So it is likely that the key to the victory of “Loco” will be the factor of native walls. The stands of the Basket Hall have repeatedly proved that they know how to help the team win (this will be confirmed by anyone who was in the arena on December 22, when Loko pulled out the most intense ending against PARMA-PARI).

That’s why we are waiting for you at the match tomorrow! We are charged with a New Year’s entertainment program and 100% return of the players on the court. With you – hot support! See you at the Basket Hall!

Where to watch:

TV: TK Start, as well as on the website and VTB United League.


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