Pete Mickeal against Brose Baskets / PHOTO: ARXIU FCB

The Euroleague is back at the Palau this Thursday evening (20.45, Esport3), with a real treat for basketball fans as Barça Regal host Besiktas in a fascinating clash of styles. The Turkish team play an all-out attacking game, whilst Barça have based their success on squeezing their opponents with a ferocious defence. Both teams are unbeaten so far and the Palau looks like it is in for another magical European night when they come together on Thursday.

All-out attack against a dream defence

Xavi Pascual’s men overcame Brose Baskets in their first game and Lietuvos Rytas in the second, conceding just 60 and 49 points in each game to set themselves up as the team with the best defensive record in the competition. For their part, Beskitas beat Partizan and Brose Baskets, but their defence averages 68 points a game conceded.

The situation is reversed if we look at the teams’ attacking prowess, with Barça averaging 69.5 points to Beskitas’ 83.5 – the fourth best in Europe, behind Ulker, Andalou Efes and Real Madrid.

Jerrels – Cristopher a lethal pairing

One of Beskitas’ principal threats is the 25-year-old Curtis Jerrels, a typical US “playmaker”, who is a monster scorer with 15 and 27 points in his two games so far to put him as the third highest scorer of the competition. He’s not alone though, with his fellow American, guard Patrick Cristopher alongside him, averaging 17 points and with an astonishing 6 from 8 in three pointers to give him more than half of all his points so far and an accuracy that makes him a constant danger for opponents.

Defence and counter attack

On Thursday, Barça Regal will have to maintain their excellent defensive solidity based on their ability to capture rebounds, with a total of 79 so far that has been key to their counter attacking strategy to release players such as Juan Carlos Navarro or Pete Mickeal. Those two will no doubt be relishing having a go at the Turks’ defence, which is not perhaps their strongest area