Zalgiris Kaunas (6-4) takes on Panathinaikos Athens (4-6) at Zalgirio Arena on Friday night, with the hosts having an 100% record on its home floor while the Greens are coming off back-to-back wins in the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague double-round week.
Zalgiris out to protect home court vs. improving Panathinaikos
Coming into this game, Zalgiris is 4-1 in its last five games and 4-0 at Zalgirio Arena on the season as a whole. First-year head coach Kazys Maksvytis has instilled a never-say-die attitude in his players, which has made Zalgiris a very dangerous proposition in this year's EuroLeague. The likes of Keenan Evans, Rolands Smits and team captain Edgaras Ulanovas have all played key roles in the last few games, and they will be keen to keep Zalgiris's unbeaten home record intact when Panathinaikos comes to town.
Panathinaikos, meanwhile, has started to turn things around since the arrival of forward Dwayne Bacon. The 27-year-old played in his first game for the Greens in Round 6, and since then the team has had a 3-2 record after going 1-4 in its first five fixtures. Bacon has averaged 18.4 points, 3.2 rebounds, 1.8 assists and a PIR of 16.0 in his first five games, but against LCLC ASVEL Villeurbanne in Round 10, he had a couple of career-highs with 25 points and a PIR of 26. Panathinaikos will expect Bacon to play a key role in any success that it has at Zalgirio Arena on Friday night.