By: Nick Gibson / @euro_adventures
Jean-Baptiste Adolphe Michel is a sage and patient soul, but even he couldn’t understand why this JBAM Game of the Week feature was entering its third week and still—still—we’d had no sight of the namesake.
This is the week JBAM takes his game back. (He’s already taken over our banner.)
It’s Elan Chalon Sur-Saone (1-3) vs. Unicaja Malaga (3-1) this Thursday at 19:30 CET, or 2:30 PM EST if you’re watching from the Blue Shores of Durham, North Carolina.
Why JBAM’s Watching
Even if Elan Chalon win this Thursday, they’d need Maccabi to beat Alba Berlin in Germany (very do-able) and Asseco Prokom to beat Siena in Poland (harder, still do-able) to move themselves into the fourth position in Group B.
But if they lose to Unicaja and Prokom beats Siena, Chalon drops to last. And if they lose and Siena beats Prokom, then they’re an even more distant fifth than the week began. If Chalon wants to throw themselves into the second half scrum, they’ve got to strap on their helmets this week.
Who JBAM’s Watching
Sharing JBAM’s spotlight in a painted area only yay wide should be difficult; yet Shelden Williams has countered with brilliance of his own, and refracted just enough of that light toward the Euroleague’s rebounding lead.
There, he sits alone in second at 9.75, just a quarter of a board away from Aron Baynes’ 10, and nobody has grabbed more offensive rebounds per game than Shelden (5).
Last week’s 28 points (on 10-of-13 shooting) and 13 rebounds kept Elan Chalon in the game last week against Unicaja, but the former Duke Blue Devil fouled out after tying the game up in the final minute and the Siena Bobby Browns prevailed, 93-90.
Will Luka Zoric, Fran Vazquez and former Maryland rival James Gist make a concerted effort to get Shelden in foul trouble early? They should. Since this is Unicaja we’re talking about, all that’s ever meant is that they probably won’t.
Shelden Williams’ Duke Blue Devils beat James Gist’s Maryland Terrapins 76-52 on January 11, 2006 in Durham, NC. Gist backed up Nigerian center Ekene Ibekwe and registered seven points and a rebound in 22 minutes.
Williams went for 19 points, 11 boards and 10 blocks. It’s one of just three triple doubles in Duke history; Gene Banks (13, 12 and 11 in 1978) and the late Art Heyman (21, 18 and 10 in 1963) have the other two.
You will find in the box score of Shelden’s masterpiece that then, as now, he was surrounded by Euroleaguers: Nik Caner-Medley (Maccabi), D.J. Strawberry (played six games with Lietuvos Rytas in 2011, now with Cibona) and Gist from Maryland. Martynas Pocius (Real Madrid) and DeMarcus Nelson (Cholet in 2010v and BC Donetsk during a failed run in the 2011-12 qualifying run) from his Dukies.
JBAM’s Autocorrect All-Stars
Krunoslav Simon = Kaun’s Plan Simon
Txemi Urtasun = Teeming Irradiance
Zoran Dragic = Soren Dragon
Ulysse Adjagba = Ulysses Ashgabat
I’ve got Elan JBAM-Sur-Saone gobbling up Unicalloway Malaga 84-82.
Sam Meyerkopf thinks Elan Chalon gets it done 80-70. (And JBAM cools off with 13 of his own.)
Rob Scott says Chalon 71 Unicaja 82 and a healthy dosage of nine for JBAM.