Akilas is another great guy who wrote his second preview for BallinEurope. I guess this season we will read much more of him, since Olympiacos has a promising team with National hero Papaloukas. No, my American friends, it is not Josh Childress – and even is he will average 30 points a game – Papaloukas will be the idol of Greece. Maybe this is why Akilas chose RED as the man color on his great blog. Thanks Akilas!
Overall record prediction: 8-2
Before Euroleague starts Olympiakos Piraeus seems able to return to the Euroleague Basketball Elite.
The financial transactions by the red team and especially the acquisition of Childress surprised not only the fans of the team who bought 9.000 season tickets, but also the NBA. The 9.000 season tickets is an extraordinary number for the Greek basketball and the officials of Olympiakos work hard to satisfy growing interest of the fans for more. The marketing department of the team has prepared a lot of surprises this year for everyone who will be in the Peace and Friendship Stadium.
The fact itself that the total budget of Olympiakos is estimated to be almost 33 million euros (approximately 26 million Euros only for expenses related to players) has raised great expectations but according to “All Star Basket” magazine only 40% of the total budget can be covered by the annual income.
Eight newcomers (Papaloukas, Childress, Erceg, Halperin, Milocevic, Pelekanos, Vujcic and Vougioukas) were signed this year for Olympiacos and together with Greer, Bourousis, Teodosic, Printezis, Vasilopoulos and Schortsanitis form one of the best rosters in Euroleague. The roster of Olympiakos is for a consecutive year a mixture of well-known players and of young players who are going to compose the core of the future team of Olympiakos. The coach Panagiotis Yannakis can now create a team that will reflect his philosophy and if we believe Theodoros Papaloukas the dominant element of Olympiacos will be the tough defense.
We can’t assess the performances of the team during preseason games because a lot of players couldn’t play due to their participation in the Qualifying rounds for the Eurobasket.
At the moment, Olympiakos doesn’t seem to be ready and is obviously affected by its brand new roster and its absences. Fortunately the draw for the regular season was very good for Olympiakos but the fact that Olympiakos is not ready yet, combined with its difficult programme in the beginning of the first round can endanger the lead for Group A.
Nevertheless, in the long run these problems might very well be solved and success be achieved. If Olympiakos fails to participate in the 2009 Final Four in Berlin, the team European will suffer a big blow with unknown consequences.
Final Four participants: CSKA, Olympiacos, Panathinaikos, Real, Barcelona
Final Four winner: CSKA Moscow
written by Akilas