Euroleague Preview, Week 8
Leon Radosevic wants Cibona to show him the money.
Unicaja (4-3) vs. Olympiacos (5-2)
As Joel Freeland keeps splattering paint across his masterpiece of a season, Unicaja forgets more and more about the injury to one of Europe’s most reliable performers, Terrell McIntyre. Though Joel plays the post and TMac runs the point, it’s Joel’s assumption of McIntyre’s leadership role that’s most impressed the fans this season. And with rumors swirling about Georgios Printezis’ possible loan or release, I’ve got an idea: Play the man. He brings too much activity to rot on a bench for 24 minutes each game. Put him in against his old club and watch him light it up. Unicaja.
Real Madrid (4-3) vs. Virtus Roma (4-3)
Roma’s 20-year-old Nihad Djedovic followed last week’s 16-point, 5-rebound, 4-assist, 3-steal explosion with 27 points in the Italian League over the weekend. And to think, all year I had been imploring Charles Smith to get his act together on the wing. Not even Nihad and his super cool mustache will be enough to hit the boards with Madrid’s painted stable of Ante Tomic, Felipe Reyes and D’Or Fischer. Real Madrid.
Spirou Charleroi (2-5) vs. Brose Baskets (2-5)
In this furious race up Group B’s basement steps, Spirou’s only positional advantage comes at point guard, where Demond Mallet has outplayed Anton Gavel. But what Gavel’s conservative numbers hide is how well Bamberg’s Slovakian guard feeds his teammates both when and where they need the ball do to some damage. He’s got Casey Jacobsen in the corner, Brian Roberts getting his feet set somewhere (anywhere), Kyle Hines looking to face up from 12 feet out and Tibor Pleiss waiting for the lob inside. Mallet doesn’t have that same set of luxuries. Brose Baskets.
*Maccabi Electra (6-2) vs. Partizan (4-3)
Two summers ago, Sofoklis Schortsanitis shed dozens of pounds. This year, we’re finally getting to see what he does with significant minutes at the highest level: shreds defenders. He warmed up for Round 2 of Sofo vs. Jawai by pounding on Paulius Jankunas, Travis Watson and Mirza Begic of Zalgiris last week, finishing with 22 points and 6 rebounds. Even if Jawai wins the battle, Maccabi’s supporting cast is too good not to win the war. Maccabi Electra.
Caja Laboral (2-5) vs. BC Khimki (4-3)
This week on Caja Laboral: will David Logan remember how to make shots? Will Mirza Teletovic finally discover that rebounding doesn’t go into slumps? Will Stanko Barac call the Spurs and demand twice what Splitter’s making? Tune in to find out. Caja Laboral.
Asseco Prokom (2-5) vs. Zalgiris (4-3)
In the two games since Asseco Prokom waived Bobby Brown, Daniel Ewing has reversed his 1:4 assist/turnover ratio to 4:1 and increased his average RKG from 10 to 15. Also noteworthy: Both of those games were Asseco wins, something which had occurred exactly never in the season’s first five weeks. Now, Asseco Prokom is back in the thick of things and ready to spring an upset. Zalgiris is too tough to let that happen. Zalgiris.