We are in the middle of the season’s second double-round week, and a lot already happened in Round 6. It was pretty exciting, but the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague doesn’t stop and we have more games coming up. FC Barcelona, now the only undefeated team in the competition, faces a tough road game against Maccabi Playtika Tel Aviv, which comes off a convincing home victory against Zalgiris Kaunas. A last-second-off-balance shot by Nikola Mirotic allowed Barcelona to beat Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul as one of just two road warriors in Round 6. The other, Real Madrid, downed Zenit St Petersburg 68-75 thanks to a great team effort. Rudy Fernandez went scoreless but still had a PIR of 10, which speaks volumes about the impact he had in the game. Only two teams grabbed double-digit wins. UNICS Kazan used a great first half to blast Bitci Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz 83-69 and Panathinaikos OPAP Athens got a 26-point victory against defending champion Anadolu Efes Istanbul. That meant a lot of EuroLeague Fantasy Challenge points for their respective coaches, Velimir Perasovic and Dimitris Priftis.
It was not the best round for my team, Gancedato. Yes, Mirotic scored the game-winner, but had a PIR of 9 and he was my team captain. Since he played in the first turn, I sent him to the bench, making Will Clyburn of CSKA Moscow my new team captain. Clyburn then had a lower PIR, 5, as CSKA lost at LDLC ASVEL villeurbanne, so the move was not good at all. Taking into account that my bench players almost did not score and my choices for captain didn’t work out, I finished Round 6 with a season-low score of 84.15. My team still ranks 2,915th out of 55,313 but I know I can do much better, and I have to bounce back right away.
Three trades are allowed before each round and I need everything I can get. Before that, I am switching coaches. I had Zvezdan Mitrovic of AS Monaco, but since his team plays against mighty CSKA, coming off a loss in nearby Villeurbanne, I had better replace him. Since Panathinaikos plays back-to-back home games and its Round 7 opponent, LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne has to travel to Athens, I am adding Coach Priftis. I am selling Luka Mitrovic of Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade because he saw very limited playing time in Round 6, just 9 minutes. Ognjen Kuzmic is playing great lately, so I don’t expect Mitrovic to see a lot of minutes. I am also selling his teammate Ognjen Dobric. He came off a really solid game in the Adriatic League, but struggled in the EuroLeague with a PIR of 1. Finally, I am parting ways with Iffe Lundberg of CSKA. His PIR is up and down, and I’ve had the rare ability to include him on my team for the lows, not the highs.
So, I need to buy three players. My first new player is Daryl Macon of Panathinaikos, who comes off an outstanding game against Efes. Macon had a PIR of 38, scoring 34 points on 9-for-12 three-point efficiency. He is not a one-hit wonder, either. Macon has scored in double digits in all six games until now. His off-the-charts shooting percentages (77.8% 2FG, 52.6% 3FG, 90.9% FT) have convinced me. That leaves me with limited credits for the other two players, but Macon is a must-have player right now. I am buying Marco Spissu of UNICS Kazan, who did really well against Baskonia, getting 6 rebounds and 8 assists for a PIR of 15. His price, 6.0 credits, allows me to get him. Finally, I have to choose between two Zalgiris Kaunas players, the legendary Paulius Jankunas and Niels Giffey. Zalgiris is without Joffrey Lauvergne and Tyler Cavanaugh could not play the last game, so Jankunas and Giffey should see extended playing time. I am going to go with Giffey just based on the fact that he is starting, and that he averaged 10.0 points and 6.0 rebounds in the last couple of games.
So Gancedato looks like this before Round 7, and as always, I am starting players in the first turn on Thursday, because that allows me to shuffle the team before the second turn on Friday.
Maodo Lo, ALBA Berlin (8.8 credits) – Round 7 brings the German derby, and Lo used to play for FC Bayern Munich. Both teams know each other really well but Lo is in a good moment and should have a solid game.
Daryl Macon, Panathinaikos OPAP Athens (11.3 credits) – Macon is red-hot right now and shows no signs on slowing down. On the contrary, he had a PIR of 38 against Efes. The man of the moment.
Oscar Da Silva, ALBA Berlin (7.5 credits) – Well, not everyone is well-known in the German derby. Oscar Da Silva faces Bayern for the first time and hopes to keep his fantastic momentum going.
Nikola Mirotic, FC Barcelona (16.0 credits) – He didn’t have a high PIR against Fenerbahce, and that is a good reason to keep Mirotic. I am sure he should be ready to have a monster game in Round 7.
Josh Nebo, Zalgiris Kaunas (10.7 credits) – Nebo has been my main Fantasy Challenge pillar, getting a PIR of 14 or better in each of his last five games. I don’t see any reason why I should trade him.
Chris Jones, LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne (9.3 credits) – Jones had season-lows of 9 points and 12 PIR against CSKA. I expect a high-rhythm game at OAKA, in which Jones should have a good performance. My sixth man.
Will Clyburn, CSKA Moscow (14.0 credits) – Only keeping him on the bench because he plays on Friday, in case Da Silva has a huge game on Thursday. Clyburn should bounce back in Monaco, so I kept him.
Marek Blazevic, Zalgiris Kaunas (4.0 credits) – I thought of selling him but let’s face it, he is the cheapest center, sees significant playing time and had more good games than bad games. Staying.
Niels Giffey, Zalgiris Kaunas (7.3 credits) – He did really well in the last couple of games even when he hit just 3 of 8 three-pointers. Giffey can do much better, and should do better right away.
Marco Spissu, UNICS Kazan (6.0 credits) – Spissu had a really good game against Baskonia, getting 25 minutes off the bench. With him on court, UNICS played the best minutes of the season.
That’s all I have right now. Enjoy Round 7 and don’t forget to make moves in the EuroLeague Fantasy Challenge. Who knows? You could be our next winner!
Seen at: Euroleague.net