Hello everybody, this is once again Javier Gancedo of Euroleague.net, ready for yet another SportingBet Euroleague Fantasy Challenge week. There are two more weeks in the Top 16. The good news is that it is being extraordinary. Nobody would have predicted that no teams would be 100% qualified after four weeks and that the only one eliminated from the playoff race would be defending champion Panathinaikos.
More good news … of course, the Quarterfinal Playoff will be fantastic and we are heading to a great, great Final Four. Once again, the perfect combination exists: a great, universally loved city, a first-class basketball event and four very good teams fighting for the ultimate title. The bad news, however, is that we only have two more weeks in the Fantasy Challenge. What will we fantasy players all do in the meantime? It’s a long wait until next October, after all…
Anyway, as for my team, Meet the Boss, I had a so-so week with 144.8 points. Just when I could have reached first place in the BallinEurope Invitational Challenge, I ranked 21st in the private league this week. The private league leader is samwong, who has 53.1 points more than me … but I rank 4th, so it’s going to be tough. Still, of course, I will do my best.
So time for me to look at the trades! Linas Kleiza is questionable against Caja Laboral – even when he may play – so I will take him out of my team. Since Panathinaikos has to chance to advance, I will release Mike Batiste, as it is never easy to play against Slavko Vranes, Aleks Maric and Lawrence Roberts. My final trade is Georgios Printezis, as he didn’t do well last week and will not have it easy against Viktor Khryapa, who naturally stays in my team.
So I have to sign two big guys and a wing player with 216.94 credits. Looks like a lot of money, but I am sure I will be short of it. I believe that Zalgiris is facing its last Euroleague home game of the season, so the Lithuanian giant is going to be highly motivated. And few players put out the intensity that Travis Watson shows in every game, so I will add him right now. Good rebounders normally give good index: You can score 25 points on 5-of-17 two-pointers plus 5-of-13 three-pointers and get a 5 index (not to mention possibly your team chasing you all over the city after the game, too) but hey, 12 rebounds equal 12 index points, guaranteed.
I’m going to add Jamont Gordon because he is on fire lately. I was tempted to get Keith Langford but Gordon was the Top 16 Week 4 MVP and almost had a triple-double in Adriatic League action. As for my final trade, I would like to have Aleks Maric but I am short of money — damn, I told you so — and I will settle with a more modest option. Since Khimki needs to win and he rocked against them in Russia, my pick is Robertas Javtokas: If he gets Dalibor Bagaric into foul trouble, he should have a terrific game.
So my team Meet the Boss will look like this in the next-to-last week. Time is flying this season, huh?
Terrell McIntyre. T-Mc plays much better at home than on the road, but he should be OK against Maccabi.
Milos Teodosic has been unstoppable lately, and without Kleiza, everyone should step up.
Viktor Khryapa. A great rebounder, passing big man right at the prime of his career. A fantasy lock.
Jamont Gordon, who is in outstanding shape lately — and Cibona does not have any other point guard left.
Alan Anderson. Coming off a bad game against Efes, but he should do better in front of his fans.
Ramunas Siskauskas always does well in do-or-die games. And this is certainly one of them.
Robertas Javtokas. Cibona is a bit undersized, so Javtokas may have an advantage under the baskets.
Travis Watson. Here’s hoping he keeps fighting to become the best rebounder in this 2009-10 season.
Darjus Lavrinovic. Madrid needs size against Kaya Peker, Mario Kasun and Ermal Kuqo – hello, Ermal!
Mirza Teletovic. So I kept him, and he rocked. Lior Eliyahu is not 100% fit and Splitter is out, so he stays.
That’s all for me. Remember to choose wisely and enjoy a truly pivotal Euroleague week! See you all – for the last time this season? – next week!