By: Slam

Weekly picks are back in style so let’s get to picking.  Home teams went 10-2 last week but Slam foresees a new trend emerging this time around.

Wednesday’s Games

Lietuvos Rytas vs. Montepaschi Siena Siena is coming off of an impressive 32 point shellacking of Cholet Basket, while Rytas couldn’t get all of their new parts on the same page in a lose to Fenerbahce Ulker.   Bo McCalebb fit nicely into the vacant point guard spot left by Terrell McIntyre, with a 12 point 5 assist performance.  The key matchup today will be to see if Rytas’s newly signed UConn grad Khalid El-Amin can contain McCalebb.  If El-Amin can run the offense efficiently in his 1st Euroleague game and super-prospect Jonas Valanciunas can continue to hit the boards hard look for Rytas to make this a game at home. Rytas

Efes Pilsen vs. Power Electronics Valencia Pilsen is coming off the most exciting Euroleague game of the week in a 2OT loss to Union Olimpija.  Valencia managed to put up only 56 points in a home lose to a stingy Panathinaikos team.  Playing without Nando De Colo and James Augustine, Valencia will have trouble getting consistent offense.  Pilsen’s only trouble was an inability to get a stop late in the game, meaning we have 2 teams with very different problems on our hands.  With Omar Cook still getting adjusted to running this Valencia team, Pilsen should look to run and run some more.  Igor Rakocevic finally looks comfortable in his 2nd season in Istanbul and can be one of the best scorers in Europe when he’s firing from distance.Efes Pilsen

Asseco Prokom vs. Caja Laboral Welcome to the Euroleague J.R. Giddens (20 points and 10 rebounds).  Asseco Prokom barely lost to BC Khimki in Moscow and Caja put a beat down on Maccabi in Vitoria last week.  Except an offensive showcase up until the very end, with David Logan and Giddens going blow for blow throughout the game.  At this point in the season though Caja has more depth and better outside shooting.Caja Laboral

Brose Baskets vs. Olympiacos Yes the game is in Germany and yes Casey Jacobsen got a confidence boost this week with his own segment in the Euroleague TV Magazine, but they will not with this week.  Olympiacos looked dominant vs. Real Madrid and Vassilis Spanoulis was an absolute wizard at getting to the basket with his new team. Olympiacos

Partizan vs. BC Khimki Partizan doesn’t have the go-to easy buckets they had last year with Aleks Maric and Bo McCalebb.  Jan Vesely needs to step up into a more assertive role if this team has Top 16 aspirations.  BC Khimki looked impressive offensively at times last week against Prokom and Keith Langford seems like he’ll be the guy with the ball in his hands if they need a basket.  Khimki is much more advanced offensively at this point and even though it is close to impossible Belgrade, Khimki escapes with a win.  BC Khimki

Cholet Basket vs. Regal FC Barcelona Cholet lost by 32 to Siena last week and Barcelona is the reigning Euroleague Champion.  If Ricky Rubio can play like an All-Euroleague point and produces these type of scoring numbers, look out.  There isn’t a weak spot in this Barcelona team and Pete Mickeal didn’t play last week.  Look for Barcelona to slip up at some point to an unsuspecting opponent, but not this week. Barcelona

Spirou Charleroi vs. Virtus Roma Brian Greene and Joseph Gomis handled the scoring load last week (35 points combined) in an 11 point loss to Unicaja last week.  For Roma they will counter with backcourt of Darius Washington and Charles Smith (29 points combined) in a 23 point win over Brose.  Roma shot 50% from beyond the arc last week and it will be hard to replicate that number away from home. Spirou Charleroi

Thursday’s Games

Cibona vs. Fenerbahce Ulker

Cibona is going to surprise people in a few games, but last week against Barcelona they were just out-talented.  FB Ulker had a solid week by taking down Rytas pretty handily with a great game from their big men.  Bojan Bogdanovic showed he could be something special offensively for Cibona and on his shoulders they get their first win in Zagreb today. Cibona

Real Madrid vs. Unicaja

2 Spanish league teams going after each other in Madrid will be very fun to watch.  One of the new guys played well (Carlos Suarez) for Madrid against Olympiacos but it wasn’t enough, while Unicaja beat Spirou by 11.  Joel Freeland and Guillem Rubio were extremely productive in the post against Spirou, but the Madrid bigs should do a better job of containing them.  With another week to get used to the new additions and Sergio Llull becoming the face of this team in front of our eyes, Madrid should play better.  Real Madrid

Panathinaikos vs. CSKA Moscow

CSKA got dropped by AJ Milano, at home.  That does not happen very often and with a Sasha Kaun injury to add on to the others, we have problems.  Panathinaikos looked strong vs. Valencia last week and Mike Batiste should be able to hold court this week, with CSKA so banged up in the post. Panathinaikos

Maccabi Electra vs. Zalgiris

Even though Chuck Edison won Week 1 MVP, it was all for nothing in a lose to Caja Laboral.  Zalgiris started off the season strong against Partizan, but this Maccabi team should be much improved this week.  If some one else can put up consistent offense this week along with Edison, then Maccabi should cruise to a W.  Maccabi Electra

AJ Milano vs. Union Olimpija

Both of these teams are riding high after some of the most surprising upsets of week 1.  With Oleksiy Pecherov possible out for this game, someone else for Milano will have to pick up the offensive reins.  If Pecherov plays Milano could win big, without him we could see more of a grind it out game.  Even though Kevinn Pinkney blew-up last week for Union, I trust Mo Finley more.  AJ Milano