Turkish Airlines Euroleague
May 22, 2013
bwin Euroleague Fantasy Challenge
Tel Aviv 2004
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Extraordinary week ahead
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!
The 2011-12 Turkish Airlines Euroleague Top 16 has started with a truly extraordinary coincidence. All eight winners in Top 16 Game 1 will play against each other next week! That's right, CSKA - Anadolu Efes, Real Madrid - Montepaschi, Panathinaikos - Unics and Maccabi Electra - FC Barcelona Regal are four showdowns between undefeated teams this week - one per group. Naturally, all eight losers will fight for their first win against a team that also went down to 0-1. The mathematical chance for that to happen - all eight winners playing each other in Game 2 - was one out of 256. As such, it is safe to say that after two Top 16 games, one win will lead with a 2-0 record, two of them will tie for second place at 1-1 and another one will have a 0-2 record, in all four groups.
In terms of the bwin Euroleague Fantasy Challenge, it means that all teams will have the chance to fight for big goals already, in what promises to be a pivotal, very exciting Euroleague week. As for my team, even when
of Zalgiris registered a -8 performance index ranking - sinking many Fantasy Challenge teams in the process -, I think I did fine and keep improving early in the second phase of our beloved game. Meet the Boss got 152.3 points and moved up to the 5,304th place. I would have gone up to 175 points or so if I didn't change my mind, replacing Luca Zoric with Mike Batiste. Another last-second genius decision, based on some friends' comments. Wrong.
My best player this week was
of Anadolu Efes, who had 16 points and 17 rebounds against Galatasaray Medical Park for a 34.1 performance. Well, he is the first player I am going to sell this week. Why, I hear you ask? Well, it is not easy to face CSKA in Moscow, and even when Savanovic is a terrific player, I don't see how he will be able to perform well against Andrei Kirilenko, back in action and ready to keep rolling. I am also selling Weems because his next three games - on the road against Bennet Cantu and twice against FCB Regal - are against very good defensive teams. My third trade is a forced one, as
of EA7 Emporio Armani - Milano is questionable. I think I would have traded him, anyway.
It is time to make some radical decisions and the first one will be buying
of Unicaja. Gescrap BB may be without Janis Blums, so Fitch has a good chance to shine against Kostas Vasileadis and Josh Fisher. Unicaja is having troubles at both wings, with Alex Abrines sidelined and Mark Payne questionable, so Fitch will need to play a lot of minutes. He also played well against Gescrap in the Spanish League some weeks ago. My first idea was buying Real Madrid star Nikola Mirotic, but he sprained an ankle and left a Spanish League game as I was writing this lines, so I will go with
of CSKA - underpriced, a mismatch at small forward, in good shape and playing at home. I have a lot of credits for my last trade, so I will buy the best player available,
of Olympiacos. Seeing Spanoulis playing back-to-back underwhelming games would be complicated, so I expect good things from him this week.
So Meet The Boss looks like this in Top 16 Game 2:
- A safe bet at point guard, always productive and ready to play hard, even on the road against Madrid.
- Will stay in my team as long as Roko Ukic stays sidelined. Jerrells should bounce back at home, too.
SHOOTING GUARDS AND SMALL FORWARDS
- Plays against the best defensive team in Europe, but Langford has been unstoppable lately.
- Juan Carlos Navarro returned to action. One will probably replace the other next week.
- This week's big gamble. Could be a good fit at just 35 credits, despite playing on the road.
- Olympiacos' very own leader, his team needs a good game from him to beat Galatasaray MP.
POWER FORWARDS AND CENTERS
- Playing with a lot of confidence lately, Khryapa can be a decisive factor against Efes.
- Panathinaikos plays at home, Batiste is playing better and will get closer to his All-Euroleague level.
- Efes has a lot of options at center, but Krstic has been sensational until now, with great determination.
- His post skills and deep range, added to his good shape, turn Andersen into a must-have player.
That's all I can tell you this week. Of course, keep in mind that the trading deadline is
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 25 at 17:00 CET
, 15 minutes before CSKA meet Anadolu Efes in Moscow. It will be a very decisive week really early in the Top 16. Enjoy the bwin Fantasy Challenge , watch the games and feel the Turkish Airlines Euroleague week in a different, exciting way. See you next week, have a good time!
JAVI GANCEDO - EUROLEAGUE.NET
Monday, January 23, 2012
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