By: Slam

We’re in Week 3 of the Top 16 and a few teams that were supposed to contend for 1st place in their group, are still looking for their first win.  After this week the Euroleague goes into a bye week for domestic league cups.  This makes these  games all the more important because you will have 14 days to think over the mistakes you did or did not make.  Take in some weekly picks with some analysis to chew on.

Group E

Maroussi BC vs. Partizan

Two teams that are on a roll right now collide in Greece.  Maroussi is coming off an impressive wins at home over Panathinaikos in the Euroleague and Olympiacos in the Greek League.  Partizan is the only 2-0 team in the group and has the title of ¨best win this year¨ for their 1 point victory over a previously undefeated Barcelona team last week.  Because both teams are playing so well, I will give the advantage to the team with home court. Maroussi BC

Regal Barcelona vs. Panathinaikos

Playing for 1st place in their group, Barcelona and Panathinaikos are primed to give us one of the best games in the year.  That is the line that most people would be expecting to read right now, but the truth is a lot different than what predictions might have been before the Top 16.  What we have is Barcelona and Panathinaikos fighting to not be in last place in Group E.  Pana is 0-2 and dangerously close to ending their title repeat hopes.  Barca is coming off their first loss of the season at Partizan.  Both teams really need this game and I just can not see Barcelona losing 2 in a  row especially at home.  JC Navarro was on a fire before last weeks game and I expect him to pick up that MVP form again. Regal Barcelona

Group F

Maccabi Electra vs. Efes Pilsen

Every team is Group F is 1-1 and no one would expect anything different.  This could easily be the matchups of the Final Four in Paris, but instead its just a unbelievably good group.  Alan Anderson is finally, finally started playing the way I thought he would before the season started when I picked him to win the scoring title.  If Anderson and Chuck Eidson can get rolling at the same time, then Maccabi’s permieter scoring might be unstoppable.  In this game they are going to have to stay with Efes Pilsen’s big man arsenal if they want to win.  A good sign is D’or Fischer finally starting to put up scoring numbers like he had last season. Maccabi Electra

Montepaschi Siena vs. Real Madrid

In this group it might end up being the home team who wins every game because these teams are so evenly matched, except in this matchup.  Madrid got a big step-up game from Ante Tomic, who finally looks comfortable in the Real offense.  If he continues to get minutes he could produce big numbers with his talent and length.  Siena really just doesn’t have much depth to stay with a Madrid team that easily goes 12 deep and likes to play fast. Real Madrid

Group G

CSKA Moscow vs Asseco Prokom

Group G gives us the only group with 2 undefeated teams, and here they are.  CSKA Moscow was expected to be doing this well, but Asseco Prokom has been an anomaly.  Asseco beat Unicaja and Zalgiris by over 20 points each with a complete team effort.  Ronnie Burrell has increased his level of play ever since Ratko Varda came onboard, giving Asseco an interior presence to go with their balanced outside game.  The question is when are David Logan´s legs going to fall off  (he hasn´t played less than 32 minutes in any game this year), but he should be ridden for as long as he can go. Moscow hasn´t lost a game a Euroleague game since Novemeber 5th though. CSKA Moscow

Unicaja vs. Zalgiris

The two defeated teams of this group are basically battling it out to escape elimination.  Unciaja has a team of individuals but at least Joel Freeland and Juan Dixon are providing scoring whenever necessary.  There is no one on Zalgiris I could say the same thing about. Unicaja

Group H

Olympiacos vs. Cibona

Cibona’s play the 2nd half of the season has been a shocking, heart warming story.  The Marko Tomas explosion has been great to watch, as we finally see him using all of his potential.  It’s just too tall of task to ask them to go into Olympiacos and win. Olympiacos

Caja Laboral vs. BC Khimki

This is not an elimination game by any means, but whoever comes out victorious has a much better shot of reach the playoffs.  With Tiago Splitter still out injured this is the game BC Khimki has to have, but won’t.  With a healthy Walter Herrmann to go along with a tough offense combo of Lior Eliyahu and Fernando San Emeterio, Caja Laboral has enough weapons to overcome the Splitter loss. Caja Laboral