Euroleague Final Four preview- Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv


Euroleague Final Four 2014 logo

Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv is making its 12th Euroleague Final Four appearance this weekend, but they will almost seem like strangers crashing the party, as they are the only squad that did not make it to last season’s Final Four. This will also be Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv’s first Final Four appearance since 2011, when they lost to Panathinaikos Athens in the championship game.

Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv is the only team in this year’s Final Four to win a playoff round series without having home-court advantage, and their series win included one of the greatest comebacks in Euroleague history.

In Game One of their best-of-5 series against EA7 Emporio Armani Milan, Tel Aviv trailed by 12 points with two minutes left in the game. But a miraculous comeback allowed them to tie the game and force overtime, where they secured a stunning 101-99 road victory. They went on to win Games Three and Four at home in becoming the surprising fourth entrant in the Final Four.

ricky hickman

Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv is led in scoring by Second-Team All-Euroleague performer Ricky Hickman, whose 12.1 points per game average in Euroleague games made him the team’s only double-digit scorer. David Blu, Devin Smith and Sofoklis Schortsanitis all averaged 9.8 points in support of Hickman, as did seldom-used Shawn James, who only played in 10 of the team’s 28 Euroleague contests.

maccabi electra tel aviv

Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv enters this year’s Final Four as the decided underdogs among the four powerhouse participants, and their 19-9 record in Euroleague games is easily the worst among the teams. But they have ridden their late-season hot streak this far, and nobody will be counting them out in Milan.

Don Ellis started covering sports professionally when he was 15. He attended Ball State University, and some of his past credits include InsideHoops (columnist) and ESPN Florida (The Florida Sports Reporters, SportsCenter anchor) . In addition to running and writing for The Sports Bank and ChicagoNow (Bullsville), he is also a KHSAA baseball umpire. He’s a 3rd-generation Cubs fan, a Bulls fan since the days of Van Lier and Sloan, and a life-long New England Patriots fan. Follow Don on Twitter @Bullsville.

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