Unicaja v Bilbao live streaming basketball preview is available on Thursday from the Euroleague Top 16.
Gescrap BB has the chance to make it to the Turkish Airlines Euroleague Playoffs in its first season in the competition when it faces Unicaja in Malaga, Spain on Thursday. Gescrap (3-2) will advance if it wins – unless Madrid beats Montepaschi by more than 32 points and less than 37 – or if Madrid loses. Unicaja (0-5) has been eliminated but will try to give its home fans a grand finale to the Euroleague season. Unicaja has a 5-3 home record against Gescrap in the Spanish League, including a win in Malaga earlier this season. It will be a special game for Kostas Vasileadis, who helped Unicaja reach the 2007 Final Four and goes back to Malaga to try to take Gescrap to the Playoffs.
Joel Freeland and Jorge Garbajosa were sidelined last week but returned to action in the Spanish League this weekend. Garbajosa, however, could not finish that game due to a leg problem and is out again. Unicaja has no chance to advance, so it may use a different rotation in this game. Gescrap has no injury problems.
Unicaja has to try to prevent Gescrap from running the floor and playing up-tempo. Playmakers E.J. Rowland and Kristaps Valters will have a critical role in that mission, not only by imposing their own rhythm on the game but also by slowing down lightning-quick point guard Aaron Jackson. Raul Lopez, who hit the game-winning shot against Montepaschi last week, will come off the bench to offer court vision and clutch play. Gescrap needs a good performance from streak shooters Vasileadis and Janis Blums to improve its chances to win. Vasileadis needs to be aggressive against Berni Rodriguez, a defensive stopper who knows him well.
Meanwhile, Blums will not have it easy on defense against a good scorer like Gerald Fitch. The matchup at small forward between Tremmell Darden and Alex Mumbru will also be critical in this game. Darden is more athletic and a better slasher on the drive, but Mumbru is a better ball handler and can work more in the low post. Both players will have plenty of help off the bench, as Unicaja relies on Hrvoje Peric for toughness and range while Roger Grimau brings experience and defense. Gescrap must find a way to stop Freeland, who leads a deep frontcourt that includes Garbajosa, rock-solid power forward Luka Zoric and big men Augusto Cesar Lima and Nedzad Sinanovic. Freeland will face a tough test against defensive center D'or Fischer, in great form recently. Meanwhile, Zoric and Lima are ready to battle hard against Marko Banic, who can score on mid-range shots and backdoor layups. Dimitrios Mavroeidis and Axel Hervelle offer offensive rebounds and a winning mentality. This is a must-win for Gescrap, but expect Unicaja to give its all in front of its home crowd.