Round 23 will see a number of significant showdowns in the race for the playoffs, including three games between teams separated by just one win. Here's your guide to Thursday and Friday's games.
After suffering a narrow defeat at Valencia on Tuesday, Bayern (9-13) will complete its week in eastern Spain by travelling up the coast to face third-placed Barcelona (14-8). Bayern will be led by in-form guard Cassius Winston, who has averaged 15.8 points and 4.8 assists over the last five games. Barca gained confidence with a hard-earned home win over Maccabi two days ago, and Sarunas Jasikevicius will now demand consistency from his players in what will surely be a physical game.
Milan (7-15) will look to keep climbing the standings by making it two wins in three days with a visit from Zvezda (10-12), which needs to revive its playoffs push after losing three in a row. Versatile big man Johannes Voigtmann was key to Milan's victory over Baskonia on Tuesday, scoring in double digits (16 points) for the first time this season and also grabbing 8 rebounds, while Zvezda needs to boost its offense after averaging just 72 points during its three-game losing run.
A crucial clash in the race for the playoffs takes place at La Fonteta on Thursday, when eighth-placed Valencia (12-10) welcomes one of the teams immediately below in the standings, Maccabi (11-11). The Israeli team won the first meeting between the teams with a blowout, 84-68, so Valencia is unlikely to claim the head-to-head advantage. But the host – which is the hottest team in the league with five straight wins – knows that another victory would secure a two-game margin and its place in the top eight.
On paper, rock-bottom ALBA (6-16) would appear to be the ideal opponent for Fenerbahce (13-9) to snap its two-game losing run in Friday's opening tip-off. But this EuroLeague season is more competitive than ever before and no outcome can really be regarded as a "shock", so there's no room for complacency from Dimitris Itoudis's team against an ALBA squad which has lost four straight. Fener will be desperate to find early offensive fluency after losing the first quarter 12-25 and 10-24 in respective recent losses to ASVEL and Olympiacos.
Zalgiris (12-10) is in danger of dropping out of the playoffs places after losing its last two games, and will be overtaken by direct rival Partizan (11-11) if the Serbian team can end the host's four-game winning streak in Kaunas. Partizan won the Round 5 meeting between the teams in Belgrade, 87-76, behind 26 points from Kevin Punter, who also hit 22 points to down ASVEL earlier this week. His shooting will be a key factor in determining the outcome on Friday.