We come off a solid Round 20 in the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Regular Season and head into the final 10 games with a lot left to decide. Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul is all but mathematically into the playoffs, while Real Madrid and CSKA Moscow are in the driver's seat not only to keep competing, but to get the home court advantage in the next round. Three other teams – Anadolu Efes Istanbul, Olympiacos Piraeus and FC Barcelona Lassa – seem to be in control of their own destinies, but a losing streak could send any of them toward a danger zone. The admirable FC Bayern Munich ranks seventh, and after that five teams within one win of each other are crowded around the eighth spot. Get ready for some exciting games, because the fight to reach the playoffs and get the best spot in the standings will be nothing but epic.
Bayern and CSKA were the only teams to win on the road last week. Bayern downed Khimki Moscow Region 60-71 in a pivotal game for both teams and CSKA defeated Barcelona 76-84 at Palau Blaugrana behind an unstoppable Nando De Colo, who fired in 7 three-point shots for the first time in his EuroLeague career. Two of the bottom-ranked teams, Darussafaka Tekfen Istanbul and Buducnost VOLI Podgorica, won at home, proving no team will give up in this competition. Fenerbahce topped Olympiacos in a hard-fought game, Madrid downed Efes on Sergio Llull's late heroics, Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv conquered its fourth consecutive win – for its best winning streak since the 2014-15 season – by downing Panathinaikos OPAP Athens. And AX Armani Exchange Olimpia Milan bested Zalgiris Kaunas behind another all-around game from Mike James. As always, they were very interesting results, and like I said, the most important games are still to come!.
Wondering who to sign in the EuroLeague Fantasy Challenge? Well, as always, we have some ideas. Here are our five suggestions this week.
1 – Anthony Randolph, Real Madrid (1.69 million) – He has been playing very well lately and comes off a really solid game against Efes. Randolph downed 5-of-6 three-point shots on his way to 24 points and a PIR of 28. When on fire, Randolph is a mismatch for every team out there.
2 – Nando De Colo, CSKA Moscow (1.62 million) – He has been up and down in terms of PIR this season, but De Colo really shined against Barcelona, dominating the game as the top scorer in Round 20 with 25 points. He had a PIR of 16 in 11 minutes in a VTB League game this weekend, too. A superstar at a nice price.
3 – Nikola Milutinov, Olympiacos Piraeus (2.59 million) – I know, one of the most expensive players in the game, but he is a must this week. When he played against Barcelona at Palau Blaugrana, Milutinov dominated to the tune of 18 points, 14 rebounds and a PIR of 36. Every game is different but Milutinov has the potential to have another monster game.
4 – Toney Douglas, Darussafaka Tekfen Istanbul (1.14 million) – His all-around performance against KIROLBET Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz – 21 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists and 5 steals – did not go unnoticed. Even though Darussafaka faces difficult Real Madrid, its best chance rests in running the offense through this star playmaker.
5 – Malcolm Thomas, Khimki Moscow Region (1.04 million) – Thomas seems to have a bigger role with a new coach and Anthony Gill's absence. Indeed, he had a great game against Bayern last week: 13 points, 10 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 steasl, 2 blocks, 25 PIR. This seems to be a very convenient moment to buy him.