A little bit too late to adjust your teams, but here we go for Javi’s article about the Euroleague Fantasy Challenge.
Hello everybody, this is Javier Gancedo, as always from Euroleague Basketball. Well, the Top 16 is about to start with big games all over the continent. The NIKEiD Fantasy Challenge took a break, too, opening trades for everybody until Wednesday afternoon at 17:30 CET. It came at the right time for me, because my team has sucked in the last couple of weeks, in which I had terrible scores.
The open trade situation gave the chance to change it completely, from head to foot. Actually, the one and only reason I didn’t publish this article before was the big number of doubts I had. I had an elite number of 30 players for this week and having the possibility of including any of them was too much for me.
Anyway, even if I had the chance to do so, Tiago Splitter, who was in all my teams this morning, got injured and will not play against Asseco Prokom, so I had to make too many chances right before the deadline. Check out the new players, too, like Tyrone Brazelton, Hollis Price, Maurice Taylor – back on court after a year retired – or Qyntel Woods, among several others. I didn’t pick any of them because I want to play safe and finish in the Top 10 in the BallinEurope private league. My first against Ermal Kuqo is virtually lost – six games to go and a 120-point deficit, even after erasing 50 in the final regular season date – and of course, I cannot win any other prizes elsewhere.
So let’s see what happens, but the chance of winning the league are lower than that of seeing Terrell McIntyre dunk in traffic. No offense to T-Mac, the best point guard in the league and an outstanding guy, too.
It makes no sense saying which trades I made: I removed all players and started from scratch, basically. A new start, even when some players have stayed in the end. Here’s my team for Week 11 – out of 16, get ready, because this is the final rush!
Sergio Llull – Raul Lopez is half-injured and there are rumours of Madrid trading Pepe Sanchez. Time for Llull to take over against a tough opponent like Regal FC Barcelona. The super-classic!
Terrell McIntyre – See what I meant? He has a tough matchup against Earl Calloway – one of the most pleasant surprises in the Euroleague this season – but T-Mac should have a big game in Zagreb.
Alan Anderson – I had too many doubts at shooting guard and small forward. Anderson has been solid in his two games with Cibona, so I decided to give him a chance.
Juan Carlos Navarro – Not only he is the heart and soul of Regal FCB, he is a diehard ‘culé’. Having said that, he played against Real Madrid… nobody will be more motivated.
Igor Rakocevic – Splitter sidelined, Mirza Teletovic coming off an injury… and Rakocevic playing at a career-best level. The safest bet of them all. A must-have.
Vassilis Spanoulis – He led Panathinaikos in a tough overtime win in the Greek Cup semifinals. The tough games are coming and Spanoulis rarely disappoints.
Ksistof Lavrinovic – A nightmare matchup for anybody. His consistency and power make me a top choice this week, especially without Splitter around.
Felipe Reyes – Felipe always plays well at home, and if the opponent is Barcelona, that is a plus. Expect him to power the boards and hit mid-range shots. He gets better every year.
Nikola Pekovic – Well, it’s Panathinaikos – Partizan and Pekovic will face his former team for the first time. Anything can happen. Let’s hope he steps up for the occasion.
Lior Eliyahu – I was tempted to put Will McDonald in. Basically, it was Eliyahu or D’or Fischer instead of Splitter. And I have no money for Fischer, so it was a no-brainer.
That’s it for this week. Enjoy the Top 16, each and every game, and good luck in the NIKEiD Fantasy Challenge all the way from the Euroleague Basketball Headquarters!