We are in the middle of the third two-round week of the season. Round 10 left us with three teams leading the table, each with an 8-2 record. UNICS Kazan made the most of its defense and physicality to beat AX Armani Exchange Milan 97-71. John Brown was UNICS's floor general on defense and led the way with a PIR of 27. Milan was outrebounded 39-18 and only had 2 offensive rebounds. In another great game, FC Barcelona defeated CSKA Moscow 81-73. The second half was thrilling: CSKA was at its best in the third quarter when it sank 8 three-point shots and outscored Barcelona 13-33. Nikola Mirotic stepped up in the fourth quarter and led Barcelona to an important victory. Only one team won on the road: Real Madrid, which defeated LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne 74-87 behind 25 points from Fabien Causeur in just 18 minutes. Real should have Anthony Randolph and Trey Thompkins back soon to be even more competitive. Zalgiris Kaunas recorded its first win, and five other teams – Bitci Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz, FC Bayern Munich, Zenit St Petersburg, Anadolu Efes Istanbul and Maccabi Playtika Tel Aviv – won at home.
Two-round weeks are always interesting in the EuroLeague Fantasy Challenge. My team Gancedato had a good performance, scoring 184.4 points, ranking 1,647th in Round 10 and climbing to the 959th spot in the overall standings. Signing Guerschon Yabusele of Real was a very good move, but selling Marco Spissu of UNICS was a terrible mistake. I had Neven Spahija of Baskonia as head coach, who gave me good points this week. I have two new rules in this game: first, buy the coach who you think will have the best chances to win a game. And two, analyze each round, guess who will be the MVP, buy him and make him captain. If you guess it, you will succeed every week. Unfortunately, the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague is anything but predictable, and it is hard to do what I just said.
Three trades are allowed before each round. Additionally, you can change your coach and that is the first thing I will do. Baskonia hosts CSKA and it shouldn't be an easy game. I am buying the coach with the best chances to win, and that should be, in my opinion, Velimir Perasovic of UNICS. His team plays at home again, comes off a very good win and ALBA is on a long road trip, even though it finally has a full roster and may bounce back. You never know, but that's my decision. I am selling Walter Tavares of Real Madrid because I need to get money for other players. That is because I am selling my cheapest player, Denis Zakharov of Zenit, and also Tadas Sedekerskis of Baskonia. The idea behind it is buying two competitive players.
For that, I need to add a cheap center, and that will be Steven Enoch of Baskonia, who has amassed a PIR of 67 in the last two games combined, 35 against Barcelona, 32 against Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade. I doubt he will be near those numbers against CSKA, but he should have a good score and the new players should balance the team, too. I am also buying Rokas Jokubaitis of Barcelona because his teammate Nick Calathes was injured against CSKA. If he sits out, Jokubaitis should start against ASVEL and he is full of confidence after a good game in Round 10. That leaves me with good money to buy a forward, and that will be Vladimir Lucic of Bayern. I like his chances against Panathinaikos OPAP Athens even though his matchup with Ioannis Papapetrou should not be the most comfortable one.
So with all that, and with a lineup including several players with games on Thursday – so that I can always change them – Gancedato looks like this before Round 11.
Elie Okobo, LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne (11.9 credits) – A solid choice. If Calathes does not play against ASVEL, Okobo should have even better chances to keep doing well.
Ognjen Dobric, Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade (6.4 credits) – I'm only starting him because he plays on Thursday. But with Nate Wolters out, it might be a big night for him.
Guerschon Yabusele, Real Madrid (12.4 credits) – Making him team captain because I can switch to Mirotic if he doesn't play well. But he should have a great game in Round 11.
Nikola Mirotic, FC Barcelona (16.8 credits) – He is my first choice of captain, just not chronologically. He is playing some of his best basketball right now.
Steven Enoch, Bitci Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz (8.0 credits) – It is a bit of a gamble because I sold Tavares, but seeing his numbers in the last two games, Enoch is a solid choice.
Vladimir Lucic, FC Bayern Munich (11.7 credits) – Lucic had a strong game in Round 10 and after his injury, it is a big test for him to stay solid in a double week.
Oscar Da Silva, ALBA Berlin (7.9 credits) – Da Silva did not play well in St Petersburg. ALBA needs to play physical in Kazan and that is what he does best. Still keeping him.
Marek Blazevic, Zalgiris Kaunas (4.4 credits) – Still the biggest bargain in the game, a center with solid playing time who keeps growing as a player. Not selling him.
Rokas Jokubaitis, FC Barcelona (6.7 credits) – If Calathes doesn't play, Jokubaitis is a very interesting choice. And even if Calathes plays, Rokas should have a good game.
Chris Jones, LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne (10.0 credits) – He has been playing great all season, so I don't see any reason to sell him. Will he start this week? Well. It depends.
So that is all I have for you before Round 11. Enjoy the games and keep in mind that the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague season ALWAYS gets better by playing the EuroLeague Fantasy Challenge!