Let’s start with new regulations of the championship. The best-of-five quarterfinal series will have 1-2-2 format. Let’s look into it.
The scheme works perfectly for the lower part of the play-off standings, for example, for VEF. Two games against the best team of the regular season are guaranteed to Riga audience. No wait! There’s something wrong in here…
…UNICS that takes the second place in the standings plays in Nizhny Novgorod two games.
At the end of the VTB League season, Khimki didn’t look good. They failed to pull themselves together and fight for the Top-5 of the championship. Avtodor turned out to be stronger. At the last but one game of the regular season, Khimki could have been hammered by Loko (-29 ahead of the last quarter).
In the last game ahead of play-offs, Khimki defeated Enisey on the road without leaders. It didn’t influence the standings. They maintained the sixth place. Welcome to the South!
As for Loko, the team fulfilled its minimal goal in the season and remained in Top-3 of the VTB United League. Ambitions of Krasnodar are much higher than the current result but it can help Loko to fight for the title successfully. The third place let us avoid the semifinal game against mad CSKA that lost both games in Euroleague Final Four.
Loko ended the regular season in Nizhny Novgorod where it was beaten by the Volga team. Fortunately, the game didn’t influence anying – the Khimki series had been already guaranteed.
Khimki brings the best shooter of Euroleague to Krasnodar, Alexey Shved. He averages 21.8 points in the European championship. In the VTB United League, the Russian guard averages 22.3 points and heads Top-scorer standings of the League. The next top scorer of Khimki is James Anderson who shoots 10.1 points in average.
Loko still has the best defense in the championship. Krasnodar allows 73.1 points in average. Two players of Lokomotiv apply for the best defending player of the VTB United League.
Dima Kulagin averages 10.2 points, 3.4 assists, and 1.3 steals. With his stats, Dima is one of contenders for sixth man of the year.
Elegar averages 12 points and 6.1 rebounds. Frank is also one of jokers of the team. And he is also one of leading contenders in the nomination.
Lokomotiv Kuban and Khimki meet in the first play-off game in Krasnodar on May 23rd at 7:00 p.m.
Previously on the VTB United League
That’s how the Khimki game in the first half of the season took place in Basket Hall. Let’s do it again Lokomafily!