BallinEurope is previewing all 18 Euroleague Basketball teams over the next 18 days. Yesterday it was the turn of Fenerbahce. Today it’s Ettore Messina and Olimpia Milano, featuring the newly acquired Nikola Mirotic.
Ettore Messina has seen quite a few names of note leave and one big one arrive. Will it be enough for Olimpia Milano to return to the top table of Euroleague Basketball?
Euroleague record: 15-19
Regular season position: 12th
Serie A record: 23-7
Regular season position: 1st
Playoffs: Won finals 4-3 (Virtus Bologna)
Other: Lost Coppa Italia quarter final (Brescia)
Leandro Oneke (Varese), Tommasso Baldasso (Derthona), Deshaun Thomas (Joventut Badalona), Naz Mitrou-Long (Zalgiris), Brandon Davies (Valencia), Davide Alviti (Trento), Shabazz Napier (Crvena Zvezda), Paul Biligha (Trento), Timothé Luwawu-Caborrot (Asvel), Luigi Datome (Retired).
Who is new?
Nikola Mirotic (FC Barcelona), Diego Flaccadori (Trento), Alex Poythress (Maccabi Tel Aviv), Maodo Lo (Alba Berlin), Ismael Kamagate (Paris Basket), Guglielmo Caruso (Varese), Giordano Bortolani (Verona).
Ettore Messina (Coach), Kyle Hines, Giampaolo Ricci, Shavon Shields, Kevin Pangos, Billy Baron, Devon Hall, Stefano Tonut, Nicolo Melli, Johannes Voigtmann.
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Need to know
The big story of the summer, in all of Euroleague basketball, was Nikola Mirotic’s long odyssey as he departed Barcelona. Olimpia Milano ended up being his final destination. The level of inward movement otherwise was more incremental.
The obvious big name departure was the one, the only, Gigi Datome. Having played his last ever game of basketball in an Italy jersey in the summer, it’s going to be a different world for a while.
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What the bookies think
The sportsbooks absolutely love Olimpia Milano. They’re 10/1 to win it all and are 7th overall in Euroleague Basketball betting. This confidence seems heavily fuelled by the Nikola Mirotic signing above all else.
What we think
This is a team that is really tough to trust. Honestly, put these guys and the same coaching staff in any other jersey and I’m going to be more confident. Superstition aside, there’s a lot of miles on the clock all over the court. Over the course of a long season, that might well catch up to Olimpia Milano.
It’s hard to see Olimpia Milano replicating last season’s horrific start. It’s also hard to see them doing all that much with this roster. There’s too many miles on the clock at a couple of key positions. They’ll be better than last year but not enough to make the playoffs in Euroleague Basketball.
Pick: 10th place in the regular season