|A direct fight to get to the upper part of Group D is set to take place in Russia, where BC Khimki Moscow Region welcomes EWE Baskets Oldenburg on Wednesday evening. Both teams are part of a four-way tie for second place in Group D at 1-1, right behind undefeated leader and defending Euroleague champion Panathinaikos. Oldenburg is still without injured playmaker Jason Gardner, leaving Je’Kel Foster as his team's floor general, with Josh Carter and Daniel Hein ready to see extended playing time at guard in coach Predrag Krunic's eight-men rotation. Foster has an interesting matchup against experienced playmakers Carlos Cabezas and Raul Lopez. Cabezas offers defense and clutch play and thrives in five-on-five offenses, while Lopez provides creativity and court sense. Khimki's main concern will be stopping Rickey Paulding, but it seems to have the right man to do it in Kelly McCarty, in what could be the star matchup in this game. Both players are silent leaders with great determination. Paulding has better physical skills, but McCarty is much more experienced. Carter is set to battle against Vitaliy Fridzon and Keith Langford, who is ready to step up as the natural-born scorer he is. The battle in the paint will be equally interesting, as Khimki features Timofey Mozgov, one of the best young centers at any level. Mozgov is ready to test his determination, quick hands and power against Ruben Boumtje-Boumtje, a well-rounded defensive big man with great timing and shot blocking skills. Oldenburg can put out a very versatile lineup with Milan Majstorovic and Jasmin Perkovic together on court. Marko Skecic offers shooting range and instant offense for head coach Predrag Krunic. Skecic has an important matchup against Robertas Javtokas. Oldenburg must open the court as much as possible to get Javtokas out of the key. Paulius Jankunas can play a critical role in this game due to his intensity, rebounding skills and soft touch. Khimki must try to run the floor and get fast break points to win the game. Oldenburg must rely on Boumtje-Boumtje to stop Mozgov and get Foster and Paulding involved. Expect a very interesting game in what could be a pivotal game for both teams.
REFEREES: Leonidas Spyridonos, Tomas Jasevicius, Tolga Sahin
BC Khimki Moscow Region
Guard Carlos Cabezas is just 6 points away from reaching the 1,000-point plateau for his Euroleague career.
Point guard Lopez has a streak of 17 consecutive made free throws dating back to last season.
EWE Baskets Oldenburg
Rickey Paulding and Khimki guard Keith Langford were opponents for three years between 2001 and 2004 in one of college basketball’s hottest rivalries. Paulding played for the University of Missouri and Langford for the University of Kansas.
Tuesday, November 03, 2009