What would we do without Jonas? Without Jonas, we would not have been able to give our shirt of our EuroGuy vs. Ramunas Siskauskas (see the logo) to Ramunas himself at the Final Four in Madrid this past summer. Jonas has always been a true friend to BallinEurope and has sent in many reports and previews from Lithuania. We are very happy to call Jonas and basketnews.lt our friend.
Once again, he will give his view on Zalgiris Kaunas.
Overall record prediction: 5-5
Zalgiris Kaunas made some strong movements in players market this summer. They resigned Jonas Maciulis and Paulius Jankunas for contract extensions that were highly unlikely after last season. Both players were said to be too expensive for Zalgiris, but team gave players what they wanted. Maciulis (800k euro per season) became all time best paid Lithuanian league player. Huge amount of money (750k euro) was spent for Loren Woods, who came back from NBA to sign a two year contract. Kaunas lost its most charismatic player in DeJuan Collins and signed former ULEB Cup scoring machine Willie Deane. The game pace with new point guard changes dramatically. Willie is athletic guard who promises to show some Top10 worth dunks. Marcus Brown stays after last season, but at the moment he is the only 2 guard in Zalgiris. Marko Popovic left and no one is still found to replace him. Mantas Kalnietis was supposed to take his place, but got injured and will be out until mid-November.
Zalgiris seems to be extremely strong in the paint, with Ratko Varda and Eurelijus Zukauskas coming of the bench and Woods playing in starting 5. But one (or more) guards should be added as soon as possible in order to compete in Euroleague.
Final Four participants: Montepaschi, CSKA, Olympiakos, Barcelona.
Final Four winner: Montepaschi Siena
written by Jonas Mikolvas