Yet another Euroleague Fantasy Challenge has come to an end. Another year of rookie surprises, injury disappointments, a few correct picks, many unlucky ones and a lot of time spent on building a team (or teams). All in all it was fun and a nice little side dish to the Euroleague main course itself. Let’s proceed to this week’s picks.
Will Bynum: He didn’t produce the goods the last time I picked him but I expect him to bounce back and justify my selection. Maccabi needs to win to secure the top spot of their Group and I believe they will do it in a fashionable way against a disappointed Zalgiris who has been a ghost of itself lately.
Demetris Diamantides: The greatest battle of both Panathinaikos and Partizan in the past few years. This is one those games where you don’t have the slightest idea of what will happen. As the title says, do or die! Diamantides literally lives for this kind of games and he is the man of the last moment. If there is one player who will lead Panathinaikos to the quarter finals by the hand, it is him.
Shooting Guards/ Small Forwards:
Trajan Langdon: We’ve been over this for many times. Langdon leads CSKA this season. He will do it once more against Barcelona. This will be a good chance for Langdon to shine in front of his possible future employers as Barcelona is one of the teams rumored to be interested in signing him. This Barcelona is too weak for this CSKA.
Bootsie Thornton: The Euroleague February MVP comes back to my lineup after a week. Siena must beat Efes in order to secure the top spot of their group and avoid TAU in the quarter finals. Does anyone believe that Efes can upset Siena? Neither do I.
Vassilis Spanoulis: I know I’m risking here. Spanoulis will either thrive or make a huge mess. As they say, you can’t drink champagne if you don’t risk. He has a pretty good tradition against Partizan, I hope this doesn’t change.
Chuck Eidson: Rytas just have to win their game against Aris if they want to hope to make it to the next round. Aris has been disappointing in the Top16 and I don’t think that even the players believe that they can beat Rytas by a 31 points margin to have slim hopes to qualify for the quarter finals. Aris perimeter defense isn’t considered one of the best and Eidson is a great shooter. A nice combination I would say.
Power Forwards/ Centers:
Nikola Pekovic: Partizan is the best rebounding team of the Euroleague. Pekovic is Paritzan’s top rebounder. Panathinaikos has one of the shortest front lines of the Euroleague and has been hit by injuries of important players such as Tsartsaris and Tomasevic while players such as Zizic never really justified their signing. You do the maths.
Mike Batiste: I picked Batiste based solely on his terrific form lately. 20, 25, 24 and 20 ranking points in his last four Euroleague games. I certainly hope he keeps this up.
Daniel Santiago: Another player who has been on a terrific form. 26, 14 and 17 ranking points in his last three games. He will be one of Unicaja’s main offensive weapons against Roma, especially now that Cabezas has been knocked out.
Omer Asik: This young and versatile youngster has impressed me since he joined Fenerbahce Ulker and Euroleague in mid-season. He is doing an extraordinary job at home games and he will be extra motivated as Fenerbahce Ulker will make the quarter finals with a simple win.