By: Sam Meyerkopf & Nick Gibson
Neither of us saw Wednesday’s Panathinaikos debacle coming and that tricky Group F did a number on us as well, but we both found ways to finish 4-2 in yesterday’s picks.
Just two games today, and they should be good ‘uns.
Galatasaray (0-1) vs. Olympiacos (0-1)
Sam: In 2-3 weeks Olympiacos will be rolling once they figure out how to totally integrate all of their new parts. For now, Galatasaray is going to make them play ugly, slow-it-down basketball, and that is going to tear the Reds apart. Galatasaray.
Nick: I need to see Galatasaray beat a legitimate Euroleague team (See: Not Union Olimpija or Asseco Prokom) before I buy in. Against an Olympiacos squad whose toughness can be underrated, I think the Turks will have a difficult time imposing their will. The crowd noise is Galatasaray’s greatest advantage, clearly, but Vassilis Spanoulis has played—and excelled—in more raucous conditions. Olympiacos.
Maccabi Electra (1-0) vs. Barcelona Regal (1-0)
Sam: This one is sure to be a dousy and might have serious implications on who will finish first in the group. Teams have started to figure out Barcelona a bit, and the team is secretly craving some Juan Carlos Navarro shooting wizardry as soon as possible. With Navarro supposedly playing, the Maccabi guards will have to take an even bigger step up; but Demond Mallet already looks real comfy and Maccabi has the bigs to throw at Barcelona. Maccabi Electra.
Nick: Last week against Cantu, Barcelona delivered its ugliest performance of the year outside their fourth quarter collapse in Siena in week nine. They’re too good to duplicate such mediocrity, even in a hostile environment like Nokia Arena. Mallet and Langford have as much as offensive firepower as any backcourt left in the Top 16, but they need more time to cuddle up. Barcelona Regal.