Final Four predictions: EuroLeague Players

May 17, 2018 by Euroleague.net Print
Final Four predictions: EuroLeague Players

EuroLeague.net asked the players whose teams faced CSKA Moscow, Fenerbahce Dogus Istanbul, Real Madrid and Zalgiris Kaunas earlier this season to give their take on the possible outcomes of the Final Four games. Here are their answers:

Deshaun Thomas, Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv Louis Olinde, Brose Bamberg Vladimir Stimac, Anadolu Efes Istanbul Andrea Cinciarini, AX Armani Exchange Olimpia Milan
Deshaun Thomas - Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv Media Day 2017 - EB17
Louis Olinde - Brose Bamberg Media Day 2017
Vladimir Stimac - Anadolu Efes Istanbul Media Day 2017
Andrea Cinciarini - AX Armani Exchange Olimpia Milan Media Day 2017
Which team will win the first semifinal on May 18 between Fenerbahce Dogus Istanbul and Zalgiris Kaunas, and why?
"Personally, I think Fener will win because they play very well together. They play great defense, they have the upper hand at the guard position a little bit with Wanamaker and Sloukas. They are the defending champs, but it's not going to be easy. Zalgiris is well-coached and they play hard." "I'll take Fenerbahce. I like the way they play a lot. And, of course, I would like to see Nicolo, from whom I learned a lot last season, win the trophy. I think they are a very physical team. For sure, Zalgiris comes in a good moment. But I think that talent-wise Fener is the better team, with a great coach." "Fenerbahce Dogus. Because they have a stronger roster." "Fenerbahce is the most experienced team and will prevail. Its players know how to win these games."
Which team will win the second semifinal on May 18 between CSKA Moscow and Real Madrid, and why?
"I think it will be another tough matchup, but I think that Madrid will come up with the win because they have some guys back and they will come with firepower and they have more healthy players. CSKA might have injury problems with De Colo." "It's tough. The question is, if De Colo and Hines will be back strong. Then CSKA is the favorite. If not, anything can happen. But I think that the two will play, and so I choose CSKA. Because in the end they are the more physical team and, what is really important, they have the experience from many finals." "CSKA Moscow. Because they are performing better on defense." "Should De Colo play at his normal level, CSKA will win at the end of a very exciting battle. But I feel uncomfortable predicting a Sergio Llull loss."
Between your two semifinals winners, which will win the title game on May 20 and become EuroLeague champion, and why?
"This would be a tough matchup, but I think Madrid is the hottest team now. I think they can win. They have all the pieces, they have guys that are on a roll and healthy. They play the hottest basketball right now. But Fener won't back down. However, I see Madrid with more firepower." "Fenerbahce will take the title back to back. They are gonna win it again. They deserve to win the EuroLeague, because they played a very solid season so far. And, as I said in the first statement, I would like to see Nicolo lift the trophy." "Fenerbahce Dogus. Because they have a deeper bench than CSKA." "Fenerbahce has many core players who won the EuroLeague last year and are ready to do it a second time."
Which player will become the Final Four MVP, and why?
"The Final MVP will be the young fella, Luka Doncic. Have you looked at that team? He runs the show. Maybe if Llull had been healthy from the beginning it would have been different, but as it goes, Doncic is leading the show. He got a slow start last year with a couple fouls, but I think he is gonna redeem himself." "Jan Vesely. He's a high-energy guy. I like him a lot. And he will be one of the key players in the final." "Jan Vesely. He is doing everything." "Gigi Datome, my friend, is ready to take over in crucial situations. But watch out for the other Italian guy, Nicolo Melli."

Adam Hanga, FC Barcelona Lassa Nemanja Nedovic, Unicaja Malaga Bojan Dubljevic, Valencia Basket Branko Lazic, Crvena Zvezda
Adam Hanga - FC Barcelona Lassa Media Day 2017
Nemanja Nedovic - Unicaja Malaga Media Day 2017
Bojan Dubljevic - Valencia Basket Media Day 2017
Branko Lazic - Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade Media day 2017
Which team will win the first semifinal on May 18 between Fenerbahce Dogus Istanbul and Zalgiris Kaunas, and why?
"I think it will be a tight game to be honest. Zalgiris deserves to be in the Final Four, but Fener has a great team, like any other year. I think they will have to work hard, but they will win." "Fenerbahce. They are more experienced than Zalgiris." "Fenerbahce. Because of their coach, because they are the defending champs and because they have lots of experience." "In the first semifinal, I will give a slight advantage to Fenerbahce Dogus. First because of Coach Obradovic. When you have that type of leader with so much experience on this level of competition, this is huge. Of course, on the other hand, you must have players to transform these ideas on the court. This season they are healthy, with a full roster: Vesely, Wanamaker, Meli, Datome... and my former teamates Kalinic and Guduric. But never underestimate this season one of the best TEAMS in the EuroLeague, Zalgiris!"
Which team will win the second semifinal on May 18 between CSKA Moscow and Real Madrid, and why?
"In my opinion this is a really tough one, because both teams will depend on their percentages that certain day. In my opinion it will be Madrid." "CSKA. Because they are at their highest level of the season in just the most important moment." "CSKA. They have an unbelievable roster, they are always playing the Final Four, and they know how to face these games." "In the second semifinal it's completely different. Two powerhouses but with many injured and important players. If both teams play with full rosters (De Colo, Hines, Llull...) then I will give a small advantage to CSKA."
Between your two semifinals winners, which will win the title game on May 20 and become EuroLeague champion, and why?
"This is difficult to say 100 percent. It's just one game, anything can happen but Fener has the character and experience in these games. I think they will go all the way." "This is more difficult to know. If I have to say one I will say Fenerbahce because I have more friends there :)" "Fenerbahce would be my pick." "It's always difficult to predict a final game, especially because small things. One player having a good day can make a big difference. But my favorite – when you count rosters, the experience of the players, coaches, support from the stands – is Fenerbahce."
Which player will become the Final Four MVP, and why?
"With Fenerbahce lifting the trophy I think that the MVP of the final will be Kostas Sloukas." "Kostas Sloukas. He's playing really good." "I think the MVP would go to Kostas Sloukas." "If Fenerbahce wins based on how they play, the MVP will be probablly Jan Vesely or Brad Wanamaker, I also expect a lot from Sloukas... Very difficult to predict with a team with a full roster and so many great players. On the other hand, in CSKA, the MVP could be Will Clyburn, Nando de Colo or Kyle Hines."

Anthony Gill, Khimki Moscow Region Marcelinho Huertas, Baskonia Ioannis Papapetrou, Olympiacos Piraeus Lucas Lekavicius, Panathinaikos
Anthony Gill - Khimki Moscow Region Media Day 2017
Marcelinho Huertas - Baskonia Vitoria Gasteiz Media Day 2017
Ioannis Papapetrou - Olympiacos Piraeus Media day 2017
Lukas Lekavicius - Panathinaikos Superfoods Athens Media Day 2017
Which team will win the first semifinal on May 18 between Fenerbahce Dogus Istanbul and Zalgiris Kaunas, and why?
"I don't know who is gonna win but I know they are two really good teams. These are the last four teams left in the EuroLeague, so it's gonna be a great game. Zalgiris played hard every game but Fenerbahce continues to be successful. So you can never count them out. It will be the toughest game." "Fenerbahce, because it's the more experienced team in this kind of competition, but Zalgiris will play without pressure and in just one game they can win. They have a coach who has shown he is good tactically and he can prepare a lot of traps for Fenerbahce." "I think Zalgiris is a very tough, very well-organized team and proved that all year, but I would say Fenerbahce will win. My friend Kostas Sloukas plays there and I think that, overall, they are the better team and more experienced in a Final Four game." "I think Zalgiris is going to win. There are just two games and usually the teams that are the favorite from the beginning, they win. But not always. these are 50-50 games and it's my ex-team, so I hope that Zalgiris will win."
Which team will win the second semifinal on May 18 between CSKA Moscow and Real Madrid, and why?
"I don't know who is going to win this game, either, but I know it will be a good game. CSKA has a great team, especially if they are healthy. Madrid has great players on their team as well. So it's gonna be a tough game, as well." "CSKA Moscow. They have a complete roster overall, if some injuried players come back, and they are also experienced in this kind of competition and they probably will win this semifinal." "Oh, this is going to be a very tough game, I think, between two very good teams which are at their best level right now. I am sure most people think CSKA will win. It is hard to say, but I will go with CSKA. Both groups of guys have been to the Final Four but CSKA might be a little bit tougher. They know what it takes to win and I think CSKA can make it to the final." "In the other game, I think Real Madrid. I think that they have a very good team in every position and Sergio Llull came back and he was in good shape against us. And it's the Final Four, everyone can win."
Between your two semifinals winners, which will win the title game on May 20 and become EuroLeague champion, and why?
"Whoever wins the final game, he will deserve it. It's hard to win the EuroLeague. Whatever team does win, I will be happy for everybody." "I don't know because maybe I have not guessed the semifinal winners right, so it's difficult to say. Probably Fenerbahce." "I think CSKA will win the EuroLeague championship. I want Fenerbahce to win because of Sloukas, but I think CSKA will win. It is their time to do it – they played well all year long and proved it by being first in the regular season. It is time for them to win again." "In the final I will bet on Zalgiris for being my ex-team. I wish them luck and I hope they can do it."
Which player will become the Final Four MVP, and why?
"I'll answer for each team. If Fenerbahce wins, Vesely will be MVP; if Zalgiris wins, Pangos will be MVP; if CSKA wins, Rodriguez will be MVP; if Real Madrid wins, it will be Doncic." "If Fenerbahce wins the title, I'd say Jan Vesely." "It will be tough because it depends on a lot of things, but if CSKA wins, it will be one of their two star guards, Nando De Colo or Sergio Rodriguez." "I think the MVP is going to be Kevin Pangos. All season he has played well. He's stable every game. He's the leader of the team, and it's my guess that he's going to be the MVP."