By: Slam

Last Week: 7-5

Overall Record: 20-16

My picks were not posted in time last week so instead I locked them in a chamber of secrets and prayed for the best.  With no more undefeated teams left we see that the Euroleague is littered with parity and it is so nice to see.  Every group’s race to the Top 16 is wide open and Week 6 marks the reversing of schedules so all games that were played in Week 1 now get played on the other teams home court.

Wednesday’s Games

Asseco Prokom vs. BC Khimki This was a great game this 1st time around and it looked like 2 even teams who could make some noise in Group A.  Since then Asseco hasn’t won a game and besides beating Asseco, Khimki only has 1 more win.  I really want to pick Asseco this week but after their give-up performance against Maccabi last week (99-58) I just can’t bring myself to do that.  Expect a J.R. Giddens vs. Keith Langford battle for the scoring leader of this game.  BC Khimki

Lietuvos Rytas vs. FB Ulker

Jonas Valanciunas had a little bit of a coming out party last week with 15 points, 9 rebounds, and 2 blocks in Rytas’s 1st win.  This week brings a much tougher task with a team fighting for the title of “Best Euroleague Team” coming to town.  Rytas is going to need to find someone to stay in front of Roko Ukic if they don’t want this getting out of hand.  Former North Carolina Tar Heel and NCAA Tournament Most Outstanding Player Sean May comes across the pond to fill in Gasper Vidmar’s roll on Ulker and he won’t be as good.  FB Ulker

Cholet Basket vs. Montepaschi Siena

Riding a 3 game winning streak and the scoring wizardry of Sammy Mejia, Cholet is rolling right now.  They will need everything they can get against Siena who steamrolled them at home in their 1st meeting 76-44.  This is a very different Cholet team now but I really don’t see Siena losing with Bo McCalebb playing the way he is.  He has put in 18 points against FB Ulker and then 21 in a great win vs. Barcelona, this looks like a trend to me.  Siena

AJ Milano vs. CSKA Moscow

CSKA Moscow has to win this game, they just have to.  They can’t lose and potentially break their 1,928 Final Fours in a row streak, that can’t happen.  Jamont Gordon has been an absolute juggernaut on offense this year but it also leads to a lot of ball domination on his part.  With Victor Kryhapa back and just maybe Trajan Langdon regaining that beautiful jump shot form, they might just stumble upon a win.  Also Milano is dead last in the Euroleague in rebounding and I think Kryhapa might go for 15 to 20 in Italy. CSKA Moscow

Thursday’s Games

Cibona vs. Regal Barcelona

This could be a Cibona’s chance to grab their 1st victory with Barcelona having injuries to Pete Mickeal and Juan Carlos Navarro.  The newly signed Joe Ingles will have to step up and have a big game for Barcelona on the wing.  Bojan Bogdanovic and Leon Radosevic are really molding themselves into fine offensive weapons, but Barcelona just doesn’t lose 2 games in a row. Barcelona

Panathinaikos vs. Valencia

Valencia shoots bad from inside the arc, bad from outside the arc, and has the 2nd most turnovers in the Euroleague.  That is not a recipe for many wins and either is playing Panathinaikos.  In the 1st match Panathinaikos won by 16 in Spain, but Valencia was without maybe their best scorer in Nando de Colo.  Nando is back but it really won’t matter too much because Dimitris Diamantidis is having an All-Euroleague type of season and he won’t let this team lose. Panathinaikos

Efes Pilsen vs. Union Olimpija

Union still keeps winning games, how do they do it? What’s the secret?  They have been in a nice groove all season but Igor Rakocevic has been shooting lights out this season as well and whatever number he needs to score to pick up the W, he will.  My prediction, he drops 30. Efes Pilsen

Brose Baskets vs. Lottomatica Roma

This game has huge Top 16 ramifications and very likely will be the deciding game for both teams advancing.  Both teams are coming off loses, but the big difference here are the strides Brose Baskets has taken as a team since their week 1 loss to Lottomatica.  Kyle Hines has blossomed into a legitimate threat for the scoring title and role players (Casey Jacobsen, Rey Terry) are starting to fit in nicely around him.  In their past 4 games they have either won or lost by less than 5.  Brose Baskets

Spirou Charleroi vs. Unicaja Spirou shocked the basketball world last week by hanging a 22 point differential on Real Madrid in their 1st win of the season.  Spirou put a strong defensive front up against Madrid and luckily Brian Greene was able to put home a few buckets to top off the win.  Their big problem is that they haven’t been able to get to 80 points all season in a game and Unicaja put 83 on them in the 1st week of the season.  Coming off 2 straight wins without Terrel McIntyre is Unicaja, who is being lead by the beastly inside presence of Joel Freeland.  If some shooters can knock down some outside jumpers and keep that lane nice and open for Joel, he can put on a post playing clinic.  Unicaja

Partizan vs. Zalgiris Partizan doesn’t really lose at home and Zalgiris doesn’t really lose in general.  Marty Pocius had a field day in their 1st match-up (Zalgiris win) but that was a Partizan team without James Gist.  Gist has become a godsend to Partizan and should make a Lawrence Roberts type difference to this team the rest of the way.  Now Partizan just needs to find their own Aleks Maric and Bo McCalebb clones and they can get back to the Final Four.  Partizan

Maccabi Electra vs. Caja Laboral Maccabi hasn’t lost a game since the last time they faced Caja Laboral.  Caja Laboral has won 1 game since they took down Maccabi in week 1.  I tend to lean towards the momentum, especially when that involves Big Sofo running forward.  This could become the best game of the week so don’t be surprised by any outcome.  When the game is on the line though the player I want is Chuck Edison creating and Maccabi has him.  Maccabi Electra

Real Madrid vs. Olympiacos This is a straight revenge game for Real Madrid after getting embarrassed in the 1st Euroleague game of the year.  Madrid has been more inconstant than a Ettore Messina lineup this year (those aren’t related) and got thrashed by a mediocre Spirou team last week.  This game is a battle of the best rebounding team (Madrid) against the top scoring team (Olympiacos) and hopefully will be a much closer affair.  For my money Madrid can’t sleep at night with another Olympiacos loss on their hands, so lets see big days from an angry Sergio Llull and a furious Ante Tomic. Real Madrid