The Dotted Line Up: Madrid goes Fisching, Rimas goes home and Roberts eats Turkey.

By: Freaknick/@euro_adventures

D’Or Fischer, Power Forward/Center, Real Madrid (from Maccabi Electra)

Pretend you’re a man. (That might’ve been tougher on some of you than others.) Now pretend you’re a man whose life is more titillating than the Average Joe. Maybe the Average Juan Carlos or the Averae Sergey depending on where you’re reading from. You are the owner of a team, a basketball team, but it’s just any basketball team: it’s Real friggin’ Madrid. So you’re off to a rip-roaring start since signing Europe’s most dazzling young offensive guard in Sergio Llull and then you let Darjus Lavrinovic walk—more like a Quasimoto-like hunch and shuffle—and now you’ve outdone yourself by adding Sergio Rodriguez, long thought to be the world’s next White Chocolate and still a flashy point with superstar potential back in his home country. You’ve got a pair of great young bigs with Pablo Aguilar and Ante Tomic to go with super solid Felipe Reyes already, and then you decide to make one more move: you bring shotblocker extraordinaire and yam artist D’Or Fischer over from Israel because you were tired of watching him embarrass you in two Top 16 meetings last season (13.5 points on 86% (!!!) shooting, 5 rebounds, 2.5 blocks, 2.5 assists). You look down at your roster and see a team that should be able to up, down, run, gun, sling, shoot and all that other stuff Olympiacos did last season. And then you look at your coach and you see a well-respected Italian chap with a championship on his mind, even if it means cutting out some fun to get there. It’s time you and he had a talk. Ettore: you can have your fun and win it, too. Trust me, trust D’Or—Pini Gershon never would for more than a game at a time—and most importantly, trust your guys’ ability to share the ball and play all out on their own accord. You’ve always molded your teams to your agenda; letting your team’s talent mold you might be your toughest coaching challenge yet.

Rimantas Kaukenas, Small Forward, Montepaschi Siena (from Real Madrid)

Outside of a Pete Mickael or a Linas Kleiza—both of whom are happy where they are, thank you very much—finding one man to embody what was lost with Romain Sato is a toilsome task. Luckily the Euroleague, with its 10-man rotations and group mentality, is a perfect place to compile a duo or trio to replace one guy’s contributions. Despite his apparent decline in Madrid last season (10.3 PPG down from 14.8 in 2009 with, yup, Siena), Rimas still has some hoop left, and there’s no better place to find it than home.

And before the Lithuanians comment about Siena not being his ‘home,’ I know. I know…

Lawrence Roberts, Power Forward, Efes Pilsen (from Partizan)

If I had ignored Roberts’ play after the regular season were over and then saw this signing, it would certainly not be featured as highly on The Dotted Line Up as it is tonight. But once he warmed up to the Belgrade Black and found his place, thing started looking up for the former SEC Player of the Year. And boy, did things turn around in a hurry. In each phase from the regular season the quarterfinals, Lawrence improved his rebounding (his 7.8 overall was second in the entire Euroleague) and his 3-point shooting, the latter due to a better idea of Dusko’s system and knowing when it’s OK to pull the trigger. There’s no question that Partizan wouldn’t have made it to Paris without Roberts, who wins the Pick Up the Slack Award for the job he did while Maric was out for Week 10 of the regular season and then three of the Top 16 games. Most impressive was his domination of the vaunted Panathinaikos forntline in the Top 16 opener with a 12-10 double-double. With all the terrific moves they’re making, I’d almost be surprised not to see one of the Turkish teams in the Final Four next season. Both wouldn’t stun me.

Just as our original rankings were altered with the arrivals of Jankunas, McCalebb and Mikhail Torrance, we now try to find homes for our three relocated stars (and they are stars) in our newest Dotted Line Up below. As always, I shuffled everyone else up as well. Some of the lucky ones on the upswing were the big uglies Darjus Lavrinovic and Jeff Foote snd Prokom pointman Krzysztof Szubarga (why do I like him so much?) while Matt Nielsen apparently did something in the past three days to irritate me and fell accordingly.

RankPlayerTeamHe's here because...Last Line Up
1Terrell McIntyreUnicajaEL's streakiest team picks up EL's most consistent PG. Viva Malaga.1
2Romain SatoPanathinaikosThe 'D' Pana needs at the 3 w/o the lack of 'O' they're used to.2
3Marko TomasFenerbahçeF**k Jacob & Edward. I'm #TeamMarko.3
4Bo McCalebbMontepaschiWith the season he had last year for Partizan, one could argue McCalebb vs. McIntyre is a push.4
5Vassilis SpanoulisOlympiacosI just hope this doesn't turn Teodosic into a pure jumpshooter.5
6David LoganCaja LaboralWith Tiago gone, the ACB champs will run. And run and run and...6
7Ali TraoreLottomatica RomaHis lefty hook is second only to Navarro's runner as far as trademarked shots go.7
8D'Or FischerReal MadridThis team is dying to be exciting. With enough talent, maybe Messina will let Llull/Rodriguez/D'Or do their thing.-
9Andrew WisniewskiEfes PilsenHe should be able to run the point, unimpeded. Now he'll have a new toy in Roberts.8
10Brad NewleyLietuvos RytasA huge reason I think Australia could medal in Turkey.9
11Lawrence RobertsEfes PilsenIt's clear Efes Pilsen wants to do it big this year. This addition makes sense in a million ways.-
12Robertas JavtokasValenciaDropping down a slot as better bigs populate the list, but still think he's a great fit.10
13Richard HendrixMaccabiFischer signing with Madrid reminds me of the defense they'll lose with Hendrix in there.11
14Omar CookValenciaIt remains to be seen how de Colo will adjust to off-ball scenarios. If he's still in Valencia at all...12
15Sergio RodriguezReal MadridHe'll love throwing it up to Fischer. Lavrinovic/Reyes not exactly "flyers" for 09-10 squad.15
16Krzysztof SzubargaAsseco ProkomHe just keeps moving up. Don't know what I like him about so much...yet.16
17Paulius JankunasZalgirisThank the Lithuanian Lord. Now pray that he regains his '08-'09 form.14
18Matt NielsenOlympiacosWe're in a fight, me and Matt. It should blow over.13
19Jamont GordonCSKA MoscowWhile Kaukenas only makes Siena better, Gordon might be a difference maker on a championship team.17
20Rimantas KaukenasMontepaschi SienaExactly what they needed (scoring SF) but he's still 33 years old. That's good for a small slide.-
21Pietro AradoriMontepaschiInflated role should get him 12+ per game. Now he'll learn under Kaukenas.18
22Dusko SavanovicValenciaBeautiful complement to Javtokas down low. And to everyone else, everywhere else really.19
23Kaya PekerFenerbahçeExtra points for stealing him away from rival Efes.21
24Miroslav RaduljicaEfes PilsenWith Fischer around he'll be brought along more slowly. Hopefully not too slowly.20
25Engin AtsurFenerbahçeGentlemen, start your Engins. Calling it now: breakout year.22
26Kosta PerovicBarcelonaHe'd be a great pickup for anyone else. For Barca he's just another guy.23
27Darjus LavrinovicFenerbahçeAfter a couple weeks in timeout, it's time to give him his due. He adds another dimension to the FB bigs.30
28Mikhail TorranceMaccabiLove when teams capitalize on potential NBA draftees who slipped through the cracks. Keeps 'em hungry.24
29Elishay KadirMaccabiAlways important to lock up homegrown talent.25
30Luc-Arthur VebobeCholetMay end up on my All-Beastly team.26
31Milovan RakovicMontepaschiDoes the EL test for steroids?27
32Sergey BykovCSKAI really need to see how the CSKA backcourt shakes out before I rank him appropriately.28
33Clay TuckerReal MadridShould see plenty of good looks with Rodriguez/Prigioni runnin' thangs.29
34Cenk AkyolEfes PilsenHawks draft pick. Holler back.31
35Omar SamhanZalgirisSamhan is a great 3rd or 4th big now that Jankunas is back in town.34
36Arvydas SiskniusLietuvos RytasLooked great when I saw him play, so maybe I'm biased.33
37Erwin DudleyEfes PilsenGive him 20 minutes and he'll grab you 6 or 7 rebounds.32
38Jerry JohnsonLietuvos RytasWith Newley and Kelys on board, Rytas should play much faster next year.35
39Kostas KaimakoglouPanathinaikosA definite offensive upgrade over Stratos Perperoglou.36
40Ian VougioukasPanathinaikosI'm liking this pick up more every day. Will look good next to Batiste (who wouldn't?).37
41Zydrunas KelysLietuvos RytasThe world will soon know Speedster Kelys.38
42Jure LalicCibonaNot great when your team's best signing is this low.39
43Jaka KlobucarPartizanIt would be great if he could spell Bozic/Kecman.40
44Jeff FooteMaccabiUntil they sign someone else down low (they have to) I'll keep him slightly higher. Congrats, Jeff.45
45Romain DuportCholetHe'll block some shots. So that's cool.41
46Pablo AguilarReal MadridJust pray he doesn't get stuck on the bench a la Vlad Dasic.42
47Dragan MilosavljevicPartizanIf it's not Klobucar who steps up on the wing, it better be Dragan.43
48Nicolo MelliAJ MilanoThis signing will look terrific in two years.44
49Tal BursteinMaccabiIt must seem like I'm hating on the veterans pretty hard. Sorry.46
50Andrea MicheloriMontepaschiPart of a bulk signing to make MPS feel good about their interior D.47
51Giedrius StaniulisLietuvos RytasHe and Valanciunas should have some fun practices.48
52Rasko KaticPartizanLord have mercy on the man who's expected to fill in for a 7'6" behemoth.49
53Cemal NalgaLietuvos RytasIs Rytas going to have enough jerseys to go around?50
54Eimantas BendziusLietuvos RytasWell Rytas certainly has options on the perimeter. Good ones? Not sure yet.51
55Meredis HoumounouCholetHe doesn't need to buy a vowel.52
56Drago PasalicCibonaThinking of donating the contents of my piggy bank to CIbona.53
57Paulius DambrauskasLietuvos RytasCouldn't let him rot at the bottom of the list forever.55
58Gustavo BarreraUnicajaHad to give someone else a shot in the cellar.54
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