Game of the week - Filou Oostende vs SIG Strasbourg
MIES (Switzerland) - With the first round of the Regular Season complete and the standings starting to take shape, we have reached the summit of the season and begin the (rapid) descent toward the Play-Offs. With each team having played each other once and head-to-head records deciding who qualifies for the off-season, games start to mean a bit more. For that reason, we will start picking a game of the week to preview each week.
Filou Oostende vs SIG Strasbourg
For Gameday 8, there could only be one choice, Filou Oostende vs SIG Strasbourg. The corresponding fixture between these two last season was the kind of pure, drama that the Basketball Champions League has become known for. Dario Gjergja's Oostende went into that game having won 6 of the last 7 and looked to be flying into the Play-Offs for the first time. They only needed to win their last game of the Regular Season to be guaranteed a spot. In their way stood Vincent Collet's SIG Strasbourg. Strasbourg had only won 1 of their last 4 games and needed a miracle chain of results to qualify.
Things looked to be on track with Oostende up 3 and the seconds counting down. With results also not going the way for Strasbourg to qualify, everything looked set for Oostende...., then this happened:
The guy hitting that clutch shot for Strasbourg to send the game to overtime, was none other than Quentin Serron, a man raised by Oostende as a player and a man that probably bleeds Oostende yellow when he's cut. Then of course in OT, Strasbourg won the game and neither team made the Play-Offs.
This time around the drama hasn't been preserved for Gameday 14 but again, the distance separating the two teams couldn't be closer. Both teams have an identical record at 3-4. Strasbourg, however, have a clear advantage from the home tie after winning by 13 points in Strasbourg.
The two clubs are also holders of very similar statistical profiles. Oostende score almost exactly 1 point per possession with an Offensive Rating of 100.1. Strasbourg hold the advantage offensively scoring nearly 4 points more per 100 possessions at 103.8. On the defensive end, Oostende have allowed 106 points per 100, with Strasbourg allowing 105. Both clubs have a rebound percentage of 51%. In terms of shooting, they are identical again with both teams shooting an Effective Field Goal Percentage* of 49%.
*eFG% is a way of measuring shooting that accounts for the added value of 3-point shooting.
Perhaps the statistic that could point us to the difference between the two teams is the way both clubs force and take advantage of turnovers. The fact that both teams are so close in this area possibly points to the key battleground. Dario Gjergja's Oostende score an impressive 1.7 points per possession from turnovers but Collet's Strasbourg better that by cashing in 1.8 points per possession from opponents' mistakes, Strasbourg, in fact, not only score more from live-ball turnovers, they force more of them as well.
📊 Entering Gameday 8 with the same record (3-4), there's no space for mistakes for either @FILOU_Oostende or @SIGStrasbourg - especially as both teams score double-digit points from their opponent's turnovers in their games! #BasketballCL pic.twitter.com/kgFbFTj8PG— Basketball Champions League (@BasketballCL) December 11, 2019
If we dive a little deeper and look at where each team commits turnovers we may get a better idea of where Oostende may be able to tip the balance back in their favor. SIG Strasbourg (black line in the radar chart below) are turning the ball over on 27% of the possessions when they throw it in the post to score, and 19% of their possessions with ball handler creating from the pick-and-roll. The second of those figures could be especially alarming for a team like Strasbourg that relies so heavily on the talent of the guys in their backcourt - think Gabe York and Travis Trice. However, the addition of Scottie Reynolds will no doubt have already started to make a positive difference to the efficiency of pick-and-roll play for the French club. Regardless of the arrival of Reynolds, Oostende will no doubt be looking to their high-energy, aggressive pick-and-roll coverages to create transition opportunities.
Filou Oostende - Braian Angola
For Oostende, the danger man has to be Braian Angola. The 6'5" (1.96) Colombian is having a breakout season in the Basketball Champions League, averaging 16.7 points, 4.3 rebounds and 2.4 assists, and 2.3 steals per game. The steal and dunk to win the game for Oostende vs Lietkabelis is one of the main reasons Oostende are still in the hunt for the Play-Offs.
SIG Strasbourg - Gabe York
Gabe York was signed to be the danger man for SIG Strasbourg and he has been delivering. 17.7 points per game on 54.8% shooting is the kind of production we have grown to expect from Gabe York. The fact that he is only shooting 32.8% from behind the arc is below his normal standards but a lot of those shots have been tough, self-created shots with a hand in his face. The arrival of Scottie Reynolds will also, no doubt, make York even more of a threat and we can expect that 3-point shooting percentage to start climbing back to the same percentages we saw with medi Bayreuth.
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This is BCL game number 50 for Oostende and they will no doubt be extra motivated to exact some revenge for last season. Also, given that Strasbourg have already beaten them and they are both fighting for fourth place in the group, this is a game Oostende can ill-afford to lose. For SIG Strasbourg and Vincent Collet, this will be about continuing the momentum they have been building.
Results in the French Jeep Elite have picked up and they pulled off a huge win against Turk Telekom last week. Another win and they are more than likely in the top 4 and well on the way to making the Play-Offs. Many people looked at this roster as one that could finally deliver a deep run in the Play-Offs for Vincent Collet in the BCL. The outcome of this game may well give us a clearer indication of how likely that is.