The logo for the 2018 Euroleague Final Four in Belgrade has been revealed. Emmet Ryan casts an aesthetic eye over the new logo plus looks at the state of play in the playoff race during a rare off-week from the big show
It’s grand. That’s the long and short of it with this logo. The turret is a nice nod to Kalemegdan which has a massive role in Belgrade, and Europe’s, basketball history. The fortress features strongly in the movie We Will Be World Champions (speaking of, Serbian buddies…is there a version with English subtitles?) and definitely fits with the city theme. Unfortunately the design of Kalemegdan, while pretty, is really subtle and hard to convey clearly in a logo. Lobbing a basketball in the middle might be the real issue. Yes, this is a basketball tournament, but the NFL manages to convey what it’s doing without lobbing a football into every logo. For next year, maybe it’s worth thinking of designs that don’t require a ball.
Still, I like it and more about what logo reveal day…which may not actually be a thing…usually means. It’s a sign that we’ve reached that point in the calendar where business is about to pick up. If you are rolling the dice on who makes the post-season, well you’re going to find more information here about how to strike it rich than you will guessing on the final shake up for home court advantage.
With 8 games to go, the only safe pick right now is CSKA Moscow. They’re 17-5, a 2 game lead at the top of the standings and 4 clear of fifth place right now. They are on the inside looking out, even their recent injury woes won’t be enough for them to plausibly drop that kind of a lead on the run-in.
The teams occupying second through third have nowhere near that level of comfort. Olympiacos (15-7), Fenerbahce (15-7), and Panathinaikos (14-8) control their own destinies but it’s going to be a thrill ride. Real Madrid (13-9) still aren’t all the way there yet but nobody wants them in a best of five, not even Panathinaikos with their perfect home record, and they are in good stead to mount a big run down the tail end of the regular season. Zalgiris and Khimki each have 13-9 records too and the expectations on both vary wildly. The Kaunas club is good but the consensus view is that they won’t get enough Ws to finish in the top half. Of course, that also flies in the face of Zalgiris proving at every turn this season that we should expect nothing with them. Khimki looked like a team that could stroll to a home court situation, then one that had no hope, now it’s in a sweet spot where this side is ready to pounce. This is not exactly a dream match-up for anyone in the post-season.
It’s too much to see Maccabi Tel Aviv (12-10) making a run to the top half but their business like displays when necessary spell bad news for Baskonia. While picking the end of season top four is tough, it’s really hard to see anybody cracking the current top eight. Baskonia (10-12) are only two games behind but they travel to CSKA after the Copa del Rey while Maccabi have a chance to put some real room between the sides if they can knock off Unicaja on the road.
The real business gets under way next week. Enjoy cup week everybody.
Oh, and, yeah, the logo is solid.