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Joventut Badalona - Partizan    (won)

Eurocup, group stage, R1

For me the best game today on the Eurocup offer. Joventut Badalona against Partizan Belgrade, two former Euroleague champions. Currently both are far from being among best European teams, both have had financial trouble and are already for a while out of Euroleague. But in recent years, situation was visibly better (financially) and both are currently IMO among best teams in this second ranked European competition, Eurocup. 
Partizan specifically was very close to get back to Euroleague after six years, they were last season the best team in ABA league as well in Eurocup (title in ABA or finals in Eurocup would secure them Euroleague visa), but Covid 19 crises ruined everything cause neither of those two competition ended. So, they are again here in Eurocup but this time IMO even with stronger roster. 
Partizan has remained without Corey Walden who left the team and joined hateful rival, Crvena zvezda. Partizan's fans took this very painfully, not much because Walden left but because he left for Cz. But, if they are aware how good his replacement is (Codi Miller-McIntyre), they would be very happy with this change. I would give up easily Walden for bringing McIntyre cause he is in my eyes way better while in the same time with much lower salary than
Walden now has in Cz. Partizan also gave up of Birčević while they brought former Crvena zvezda player, Nemanja Dangubić. Again plus IMO, cause, they gave up of veteran player to bring 4 years younger guy who played many years in Euroleague. Partizan was strong in the paint but they were missing some really tall guy, so they brought also center Eric Mika from Sacramento Kings (was mainly in their affiliate club, Stockton Kings). Also they brought back center Stefan Janković who was on loan in Greek AEK. 
Overall, obviously Partizan with few changes did good job and should be stronger. Not to talk that young guys like Jaramaz and Trifunović who already last season were great, are going to explode now. 
Of course, it should be mentioned that there is one thing I don't like. It's a fact Partizan couldn't keep the coach Andrea Trinchieri. The Italian was by far the best coach Partizan had in this period since they are not in EL. But his leaving shouldn't be too big problem. Namely, now in charge is his longtime assistant, Vlado Šćepanović who is by the way also former Partizan very successful player. As said, he was Trinchieri's assistant everywhere but also had for one short period experience of a head coach, in Budućnost Podgorica. In any case, I believe Trinchieri's basketball philosophy will continue with Šćepanović on the bench. Not to talk, Partizan saved a lot in the budget cause Trinchieri's final year was supposed to be around 400 to 500 K while Šćepanović is definitely here for 4 or 5 times less. 

Unlike Partizan, Joventut Badalona has changed the roster a lot compared with last season. And for me that's always red flag, even if the arrivals are good, cause you always need time to fit everything. Firstly, they lost main player, the member of Slovenian national team, Klemen Prepelič who wanted bigger challenge, wanted to play Euroleague so he moved to Valencia. And now when you look their starting five, Ferran Bassas, Pau Ribas, Shawn Dawson, Vladimir Brodziansky, Ante Tomić, you would see that it's a completely new starting five except of Shawn Dawson. 
About these new guys, Ferran Bassas - the playmaker, interesting player but too short, I think Joventut is in big disadvantage here cause Partizan has on this position Codi Miller-McIntyre and Nemanja Gordić. Gordić by the way season ago in many games was even better than Walden. Pau Ribas and Ante Tomić, both of course arrived from Barcelona after spending there 5 and 8 years respectively. But you should know these are now two veterans we are talking about, both 33 y.o. Barcelona got rid of them cause they are not good anymore, simple as that. Tomić with his 2.18 could be problem for Partizan in defending pick and roll, but also Partizan offense should be able to exploit Tomić's defensive weakness in pick and roll. Of course, all this is in theory while we'll see what the game will show. One thing is sure, the host force transition game while Partizan have plans to slow it down. But the problem for Joventut is to play fast pace when Tomić is on the floor. 
It should be mentioned that unlike ABA, Spanish ACB already started and Joventut has played three games. They won against Unicaja at home (Unicaja is pretty weakened) and Betis on the road, before have been crashed here at home during the weekend by Real Madrid with 23 pts difference (was even 30 at one time). Of course Real Madrid is one of European best but still, Joventut looked pretty modest. 
We can talk about their advantage in fact they played few official games while Partizan only friendlies and without too strong opponent. But, this could be looked also from different angle. Partizan had nice chance for scouting while the hosts mainly need to lean on what they know about Partizan from last season. 
The bottom line, Joventut Badalona is favourite and their win wouldn't be surprising. Have in mind season ago they had 5-0 at home during first group stage and 3-0 at home during Top 16. But in most of those games didn't cover. Also, failed to reach quarterfinals due to all road losses (0-5 and then 0-3). Being at home here today, gives them advantage but not too much cause only limited number of fans are allowed. I guess few hundred, one thousand top. 
Joventut is probably going to win but it should be very close, so I'll take the points with underdog. 
Published: 30-09-2020, 04:38 CET Pick: Partizan +8.5
Odds: 1.67 at 10bet

Category: European basketball
Date: 30-09-2020
Option: Asian Handicap
Stake: 10 (tipster's average: 10)

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