EUROLEAGUE: “Traditionally, the reigning Eurocup champion follows up with a really strong Turkish Airlines Euroleague season. Three Eurocup winners – Dynamo Moscow in 2006-07, Valencia Basket in 2010-11 and Unics Kazan last season – reached the playoffs but did not reach the Final Four. Now, Khimki Moscow Region, the 2011-12 Eurocup winner, is in a good position to challenge for the playoffs, too. Part of  a three-way tie for fourth place in Top 16 Group E at 6-5, Khimki just one win away from second place. It also has the advantage of playing the next two weeks at home, where it has been nearly indestructible, losing just once in 10 Euroleague games. One of its main pillars has been center Paul Davis, who leads the Euroleague in performance index ranking (PIR) per 40 minutes (33.3 per game) on the strength of his fantastic Top 16 so far. Despite averaging just 21 minutes, Davis ranks second in PIR (20.8), sixth in scoring (15.7 ppg.) and fourth in rebounds (6.6 rpg.). On a per-40-minutes basis during the Top 16, Davis is first in PIR (38.7) and scoring (29.2), second in rebounds (12.4). Ambitious, productive and entering the prime of his career, Davis wants Khimki to focus exclusively on the next two home games to get to the promised land of the playoffs. “We need these next two home games against Fenerbahce and Caja Laboral to give us the best chance of going forward to the playoffs,” Davis told “We don’t want to come down to the last game and have to win that to guarantee a spot. We hope that we can do it before that last game.”

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