Here comes the final round of the first half of the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Regular Season. We come off a double-round week in which as many as seven teams – Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul, FC Barcelona, Anadolu Efes Istanbul, Real Madrid, UNICS Kazan, Zenit St Petersburg and Olympiacos Piraeus – registered back-to-back victories to take significant steps forwards in the standings. Zenit and Barcelona managed to get consecutive road victories, which is always a plus in such a competitive time of the season.
Two players stood out in this double round, leading their respective teams to consecutive wins with outstanding individual performances. Shane Larkin of Efes had a PIR of 25 in Round 16 against former team Bitci Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz and collected a PIR of 37 in his team’s road victory against Maccabi Playtika Tel Aviv. Nando De Colo of Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul faced the same teams in Round 15 and 16, Baskonia and Maccabi, getting a PIR of 25 and 26, respectively. These two players should keep rolling in Round 17, too.
As always, we are recommending to you players who can give you an edge in Round 17, which marks the regular season’s halfway point. From a All-EuroLeague First Team selection with the right rhythm, to a well-rounded EuroLeague scoring guards, to two newcomers who have adjusted to the competition faster than most, to a superstar in very good shape, we have some options to enhance your EuroLeague Fantasy Challenge teams.
So, this is our choice of players to consider in the EuroLeague Fantasy Challenge for Round 17 of the regular season.
Vladimir Lucic, FC Bayern Munich (12.0 credits) – Lucic made it to the All-EuroLeague First Team last season and struggled with injuries at the start of this one, but he is back to his previous level, if not better. In the last four games, Lucic has averaged 16.3 points, 6.8 rebounds and a PIR of 21.3. He had a PIR of 20 or higher six times in 12 games.
Nikola Kalinic, Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade (11.3 credits) – In Zvezda’s last three games, all played at home, Kalinic averaged 20.0 points, 4.3 rebounds, 3.7 assists and a PIR of 20.0, picking up just 5 turnovers in almost 98 minutes on the court. Fantastic numbers for a really solid player in a leading role. Going back to Istanbul and facing Efes should inspire him, too.
Jordan Loyd, Zenit St Petersburg (12.4 credits) – Zenit is one of the deepest teams in the competition, and anyone can step up at any given time to do well. Loyd has been doing this more often than anyone else on the team, and has been rolling lately, getting a PIR of 19 or higher in his team’s last three games. Expect him to keep rolling.
Maodo Lo, ALBA Berlin (9.3 credits) – ALBA brought back Luke Sikma this weekend, who makes everyone around him better. This is good news for Lo, who has been carrying the team on his shoulders in recent games. Lo comes off a stellar performance in Round 16 against CSKA Moscow: 26 points on 6-for-7 shooting from beyond the arc, 7 assists and a PIR of 34.
Keenan Evans, Maccabi Playtika Tel Aviv (9.2 credits) – Maccabi is on a six-game losing streak but some of its players are stepping up big. Evans comes off a strong double-round week in which he averaged 12.5 points, 3.5 rebounds, 8.0 assists and a PIR of 20.5. It is always key to find good players under the 10-credit mark, and Evans is a good choice.