I think Week 3 wasn’t as bad as the previous two. But I hope that no one of you had picked one of Hutson, Woods, Wright and Nicholas last week and even in case you did I still hope you had the time to change your line ups.
So where does this leave us? The first things that comes to my mind is that the remaining Efes players will be getting much more playing time but they will be also more tired and have big foul troubles at some point, thus their opponents will look to take advantage of this fact.
It is getting harder to pick players, especially from the Shooting Guards/ Small forwards category day by day. And now one of the most reliable players of this category is gone, Nicholas that is.
Will Solomon: I will make an exception to my rule of try not to spend big amount of credits on a point guard, but I honestly believe that Will Solomon will be worth every little credit spent on him. He has been leading Fenerbahce Ulker in a great fashion all season long and he is definitely one of the best players of the Euroleague, so far. He has been scoring an amazing average of 23 ranking points per game in Top16 and registering 32 minutes of playing time. Plus he will have an extra motive to beat Aris who is non-other than his ‘old pal’ Kalaitzis. This duo is famous for their antique fights on and off the arenas in the past 4-5 years.
Will Bynum: I admit that this might sound as a risky choice but I’m confident that Bynum will continue his form against Olympiakos. So, two Wills as point guards… are certainly better than no Will at all. I can’t think of any real Euroleague coach who would want this duo at his team, but fortunately for us, this is only Euroleaue Fantasy. So why Bynum? Olympiakos point guards are not in their best shape lately and Bynum will be too fast for them. This and of course the one hell of an atmosphere in the ‘Yad’ where I do not expect Olympiakos to put much resistance against Maccabi.
Shooting Guards/ Small Forwards:
Vassilis Spanoulis: Pretty much the same case as in Week 2. Plus he will have to face two players less, Nicholas and Wright. He will upset Efes’ defense with his drives and earn us some easy ranking points with his amazing ability to draw easy fouls on him.
Bootsy Thornton: For how long can we ignore the Euroleague MVP for February? He has been more than excellent fo Siena in Top16 scoring 17,13 and 20 ranking points in a row. So in Bootsy we trust then.
Jonas Maciulis: I will insist on this talented young player. So, he didn’t do as well as expected in Piraeus, but this time he will playing at home and Zalgiris is not joking at home. He did great against Real Madrid front court in Madrid, so why can’t he repeat it in Kaunas?
Trajan Langdon: With Smodis and Khryapa out of the squad rotation and Papaloukas still looking for his consistency Langdon has been leading CSKA all the way to the Fianl Four since the season start. He is CSKA’s leader by far and with an average of 17 ranking points per 33 minutes he can not anything but a safe bet.
Power Forwards/ Centers:
Nikola Pekovic: The guy is nothing but gold for the whole season and produced 27.5 ranking points last week when we picked him, so why would we want to drop him? No way… Nikola is staying. Another team with short front line players will suffer in Hala Pionir by the hand(s) of Pekovic.
Jeremiah Massey: Massey has been the only Aris player who has kept his performance over average in the Top16 and he is their leader, no questions asked. In hid last visit to Abdi Ipekci he scored 25.5 ranking points against Efes while he has scored 16, 19 and 25.5 ranking points in the last three games between Aris and Fenerbahce Ulker. And the best part is that he scores more away games than home. I bet that Fenerbahce Ulker will miss Turkcan in this particular game.
Terrense Morris: We hit a jackpot with this guy last week and I hope his luck hasn’t worn off by now. Rumour has it that Maccabi has offered him a 2-years contract extension, so he must be seriously motivated in order to prove his value to Maccabi management and coach. He scored 3 ranking points in the last game vs Real Madrid and 24.5 vs Olympiakos in the first round. Olympiakos’ front line is simply too slow and stiff for this guy.
Will McDonald: Yet another Will this week. As we all know Rytas has had some really serious problems with their front line recently after losing their best two big guys, Petravicius and Nielsen. TAU and McDonald will aim to hit Rytas hard in the paint and McDonalds will keep up his good form after scoring 25.5 ranking points against another team with short front line, Aris.
Good luck. Arkadios.