Olimpia approaches its first EuroLeague playoff series since 2014 on its home court, but this is a season in which the home-court advantage has had very little impact. Olimpia finished the regular season with a 11-6 record at home and was 10-7 on the road, two very similar paces. Bayern have won eight times on the road but have compiled the same record as Milan through a better home-court pace, 13-4. One of these defeats came against Olimpia, during the EuroLeague very first round.
MUNICH, OCTOBER 2, 2020: BAYERN-OLIMPIA 79-81
A 7-0 Olimpia run at the start of the fourth quarter kicked off a series of runs and counter-runs that propelled Bayern up by three before Kyle Hines, scoring five points in a row, put Olimpia back on top with 4:30 remaining in the game. With Bayern up 70-68, after a three by Vladimir Lucic, Sergio Rodriguez tied the game on a drive. No one scored any more in regulation. Malcolm Delaney tried to carry the team into overtime, but Wade Baldwin responded and Nick Weiler-Babb from the line made it 79-78 Bayern. With nine seconds left, Shavon Shields, receiving a kick-out from Delaney made what proved to be the winning three. Olimpia defense denied Baldwin’s last attempt at the buzzer. For Olimpia, 17 points came from Delaney and 16 from Hines; 18 points were scored for Bayern by Baldwin, 14 each by Dedovic and Reynolds.
MILAN, 21 JANUARY 2021: OLYMPIA-BAYERN 75-51
The Milan game proved to be a no-contest. Olimpia immediately produced a 16-2 run and never allowed Bayern to get close. At half-time Olimpia was 22 points ahead, then the lead reached 29. Four men scored in double digits led by Kevin Punter’s 14 points. Jalen Reynolds scored 12 points for Bayern.
There have been eight previous games between these two teams in the EuroLeague, and all in the last few years. Olimpia is leading the all-time series 5-3, 3-1 in Milan, while it’s 2-2 in Munich. Olimpia won the two games played during the 2014/15 season and lost the two played during the 2018/19 season. In 2014/15 in Munich, Olimpia won 81-74 with 16 points each from Joe Ragland and Daniel Hackett. The latter was the hero in the second leg at the Mediolanum Forum when Olimpia won 83-81. Hackett scored 25 points including the winning long jumper with two seconds left. In the 2018/19 game in Milan, Bayern won 80-78 by coming back from four points behind in the last minute. Last season, in Munich, Olimpia lost by 14, because of a ice-cold 6-for-20 night from three. Luis Scola scored 17 points, Sergio Rodriguez scored 14 and has six assists. In the return game, Olimpia won 79-78, coming back from 13 points behind in the fourth quarter and 20 down in the second half. Vlado Micov had 16 points. During that game Sergio Rodriguez scored nine points, but he added 10 assists. In the first leg this year, Olimpia won after an overtime 81-78. Malcolm Delaney had 18 points and eight assists, 16 points with 5-for-5 from the field were scored by Kyle Hines. In the second leg Olimpia won 75-51.
THE BAYERN CONNECTION
Leon Radosevic played in Milan for two seasons, in 2011/12 when Olimpia reached the Top 16 Round of the EuroLeague and the Italian league championship series, and in 2012/13 when he returned to Milan after a short break at Alba Berlin. Malcolm Delaney played for Bayern Munich during the 2013/14 season when he made his EuroLeague debut averaging 13.9 points per game with 5.1 assists. With Bayern he also won the German championship that season. Bayern coach Andrea Trinchieri is from Milan and has coached at Olimpia both at a youth level and as an assistant with the first team and has coached Kyle Hines, Jeff Brooks, Vlado Micov and Andrea Cinciarini throughout their careers. Gigi Datome and Nihad Dedovic were teammates in Rome.