Finishing the regular season in style
Euroleague.net's editor, Javier Gancedo, has worked for Euroleague Basketball since 2003, writing, interviewing players and doing all kinds of features about his favorite sport. Among several initiatives, he created every Euroleague fan's favorite on-line game, bwin Euroleague Fantasy Challenge. As the Euroleague season unfolds, Javier blog about Fantasy Challenge, giving you tips and valuable advice about the game, but most of all, sharing his basketball devotion with all of you, the Turkish Airlines Euroleague fans!
Well, the 2011-12 Turkish Airlines Euroleague regular season is almost in the books with four Top 16 spots up for grabs going into Week 10. Looking around, Group D is completely set, as everyone knows his final position already. Same goes with Group C other than finding out if Partizan mt:s or EA7 Emporio Armani makes it to the next round. CSKA and Panathinaikos are first and second, respectively, in Group B. Things are a bit more complicated in Group A, in which only Sluc Nancy is completely out of the Top 16. Why am I saying all this? Because it will have a major impact in the bwin Euroleague Fantasy Challenge. The more goals a team can reach this week, the more convential its rotation will be.
All fantasy players should be aware of that - and keep in mind that unlimited trading is coming up after next week. In order to get rid of all eliminated players, we will open unlimited trading from the end of the regular season until the start of the Top 16, when we will be back to three trades per week. If you ever thought about having a player just for a specific game, this is the right moment to do it, as you will be able to sell everyone starting next Thursday. So it all started with players trying to make money, then trying to scout opponents and take advantage of bargains in the player market, and now it goes down to finding out who will compete for big goals. Fantasy Challenge, indeed, is a changing, exciting game.
My team Meet The Boss is doing better and better. I had 151.4 points last week and rank 8,246th overall, increasing my budget to 558 credits. (By the way, my startup Week 9 team had 168 points despite a -7 by Julius Jenkins, which proves competitive teams can be built from scratch at any time.) My first priority for Meet the Boss is selling players whose teams know where it will rank at the end of this phase. Six players in my team - Milos Teodosic, Nick Calathes, Keith Langford, Dusko Savanovic, Donatas Motiejunas and Jaka Lakovic - are in this situation and just three trades are allowed. Savanovic is Anadolu Efes' only power forward and his team plays at home against Real Madrid, so I am keeping him. Langford is seeing a lot of playing time, too. I am also keeping Calathes because I cannot even imagine head coach Zeljko Obradovic sitting out one of his best players just like that. It won't happen. So Teodosic, Motiejunas and Lakovic are discarded this week.
My priority is picking the best players in the most critical games this week. The Basque derby Gescrap BB - Caja Laboral is one of the top games in this round - and there is an All-Euroleague first team player in it. Fernando San Emeterio is my first buy this week, not that he has overcome his injuries. Partizan mt:s - EA7 Emporio Armani is nothing but a make-or-break showdown for both teams. I can't go wrong with Milan Macvan, who has scored in double digits in all games so far and had 20+ index in his last three home games. That leaves me with virtually no money for my final trade - but I really want to have these two players. So I am going with Victor Sada of FC Barcelona Regal, as he may see extended playing time against Galatasaray Medical Park. Sada always delivers and is a perfect choice for games like this one. Juan Carlos Navarro is having foot problems, too, so Sada may see extended playing time for this reason.
So Meet the Boss looks like this in regular season Week 10.
Victor Sada.- A top defensive stopper and a Euroleague winner at just 12.7 credits. Too good to believe.
Nick Calathes.- He is playing really well lately. More and more important in Panathinaikos's system.
SHOOTING GUARDS AND SMALL FORWARDS
Keith Langford.- Maccabi Electra will be second in Group C but Langford has a good chance to keep doing well.
Fernando San Emeterio.- Caja Laboral plays an almost do-or-die game in Bilbao. San Emeterio is as needed as he can be.
Sonny Weems.- Zalgiris holds its destiny in its hands. Weems has been sensational so far this season.
Krunoslav Simon.- He has averaged 18 points and 6 rebounds in the last 5 games. Zagreb CO retains some chances to advance, too.
POWER FORWARDS AND CENTERS
Dusko Savanovic.- Well, Madrid made him lose the chance to play a Final Four. I guess he will be very motivated!
Joel Freeland.- Unicaja plays to finish third in Group B and Freeland is its franchise player. And a personal favorite.
Milan Macvan.- Partizan plays at home to stay alive in the competition. Macvan has been unstoppable so far.
Mirza Teletovic.- He is the Euroleague's top scorer, playing in a critical game. No way I can trade Mirza this week.
So, that's all from me this week. I would like to take the opportunity to wish happy holidays to all bwin Fantasy Challenge players. Enjoy this week's games and unlimited trading after that - for a limited time only! See you all in 2012!
JAVIER GANCEDO - EUROLEAGUE.NET
Monday, December 19, 2011