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Zalgiris Kaunas tipped off their season two and a half weeks ago but will only play in their first home game tomorrow, facing Zenit St. Petersburg.

2-pointers this season

46%
17,0
Points made: 17,0
Accuracy: 45,9%
Place in standings: 13
Record max: 17
Record min: 17
Most made 2FGs: Lukas Lekavičius

Xavi Pascual's team will continue playing without their injured starting point guard Shabazz Napier, but even without him, Zenit are a strong team, according to Zalgiris head coach Martin Schiller.

"Zenit are obviously a very stacked team despite not having Shabazz Napier with them. I think they are not a dark horse anymore. I think they are a team that is competing for the playoffs and more. In my eyes, the frontcourt is extremely physical with the two fives and Mickey at the four, there's a lot of physicality," Schiller noted.

"There's a lot of shooting on the team, especially with Baron and Frankamp. When they have Shabazz back, it will be a high-quality team in this league, but even without him, they are a really tough team. I am looking forward to the challenge."

The Austrian coach also had high praise for Napier, who, he thinks, has the potential to be dominant in Europe once he is back from injury.

"I think one should be careful and not take away from 11 other guys who are excellent. But Shabazz is really talented, and I think if he figures out Europe, he will be dominant."

When asked about the challenge of stopping Zenit's individually talented players, Schiller emphasized the combination of dedication and analysis.

"Guard them. Guard them with heart and dedication, with knowledge of the strengths of the opponents. I think the one-on-one matchup against Loyd is really tough, but it's the same for everybody in the league.

I think Baron is a tough matchup but easier to analyze, which doesn't make him easier to guard. Same for Frankamp. We have to analyze them extremely diligently to give ourselves a chance and win those one-on-one battles."

Zalgiris' coach talked about Zenit's impressive defensive capabilities and remembered their success on that end of the court last season.

"In the first half of the season last year, Zenit was extremely strong defensively as well. They dropped numbers-wise a little bit, but as we all know, they finished the season unbelievably strong, almost making it to the Final Four.

I think the biggest thing on their end defensively is they have a lot of length and strength, especially at the big positions. And then, they are always very well prepared, so I think those two things go hand in hand."

In their first Turkish Airlines EuroLeague game this season, Zenit only scored 70 points, barely edging out UNICS Kazan. However, Schiller doesn't believe one game reflects on the team's offensive potential.

"Offensively, I don't know if they're struggling. We haven't got a lot of games, so there's not enough evidence to say that. Shabazz Napier, again, opens up lanes, but the group is very talented without him, so they'll figure out ways to score, hopefully not tomorrow."

Coach Schiller didn't have any updates regarding the availability of Lukas Lekavicius, Janis Strelnieks, and Paulius Jankunas. The coach said that the team would have the answers after the evening practice.

Jankunas injured his calf at the end of September. Lekavicius and Strelnieks both suffered injuries during Zalgiris' game against LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne. Lekavicius suffered a back muscle injury while Strelnieks injured his hip.

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Zalgiris Kaunas
Zenit St Petersburg
44%
8 Position
Field goals
44%
9 Position
26,00
16 Position
Rebounds
40,00
6 Position
14,00
11 Position
Assists
11,00
15 Position
6,00
8 Position
Steals
5,00
11 Position

Teams leaders

Janis  Strelnieks
21,0 PTS
67% 2P%
67% 3P%
Conner  Frankamp
18,0 PTS
50% 2P%
38% 3P%
Niels  Giffey
7,0 REB
4,0 DREB
3,0 OREB
Andrey  Zubkov
7,0 REB
3,0 DREB
4,0 OREB
Tyler  Cavanaugh
3,0 As
1,0 TO
20 MIN
Mateusz  Ponitka
4,0 As
4,0 TO
23 MIN