Round 29 of the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague saw four road teams claim victories to create some separation around the two teams tied with 15 wins in eighth and ninth place in the standings: Cazoo Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz and Zalgiris Kaunas. It also created a sense of urgency for the defending champions, Anadolu Efes Istanbul, who find themselves sitting a one win behind that pair.
With five games remaining for most teams, there is still time for several teams to make a move. Valencia has 14 wins, as well; Virtus Segafredo Bologna is in the mix with 13; and Maccabi Playtika Tel Aviv and Partizan Mozzart Bet Belgrade sit just above the fray with 16 each. Looking towards the end of the playoff race, it will be fascinating to see not just who claims the final spots, but how they managed to do it.
Perhaps the things that stands out as the biggest differentiator between the teams currently in the thick of things is age. Efes, unsurprisingly, is this season's oldest team as gauged by the average age of the players that the back-to-back champs have had on the floor across every game so far this season. They have kept much of their core intact and added several veterans to the mix as well. Elijah Bryant and Ante Zizic are the team's only major contributors under 31, so the average age of the Efes roster of major contributors sits at 31.5 as a result.