Hello again, Vilnius calling! As you might have noticed, The Lithuanian Perspective has been re-born and things are finally moving again. I’ve just introduced two new categories to the blog – ‘Early Morning Hiccups’ which is a short round-up of the news about Lithuanian basketball on the net and the ‘Euroleague Fantasy Challenge’ section where I’m going to discuss my fantasy team…
However, that’s not all. Not just yet. I want to present you with a new feature – ‘The Wisemen Know’! The title tells it all – basketball experts are going to tell you what they think of the Lithuanian team chances in the upcoming Euroleague games as well as a weekly question about European hoops in general. The panel will consist of well-respected coaches (Luka Bassin and Tane Spasev), scouts (Alejandro Gonzalez and Rafael Uehara) and many different basketball writers (Arkadios Chasirides, Christophe Ney, Nick Gibson, Sebastian Komianos, Simon Jatsch) and even a pro basketball player Milan Prodanovic. I can assure you that thse clever minds will all surely have something interesting to share.
To make it even more interesting, there’s a catch involved as each of the experts had only one limitation in the process – the thoughts had to fit in a tweet (140 characters). A big THANK YOU to the guys involved! Let’s check out the results and see what’ve got – enjoy!
A WIN IN BASKONIA WOULD BE A BIG UPSET
Alejandro Gonzalez: Caja Laboral is too strong @ home, Zalgiris will have a tough night in Vitoria. They need to be very consistent in order to stay in the game.
Arkadios Chasirides: Although Zalgiris got things going for them lately, like Brown and Capin absences, the Basques are virtually unbeatable at home.
Christophe Ney: Zalgiris.
Luka Bassin: Caja Laboral will win 95%, but it won’t be an easy win. Zalgiris will have many problems in the paint and defensive transition.
Milan Prodanovic: I believe that Mirza Teletovic and David Logan lead a tough and well disciplined Caja Laboral team to a win over Zalgiris. Prediction: 89-80.
Nick Gibson: Zalgiris plays tough, fast, fierce. The most fouls drawn but also most turnovers. ‘Assertive’ can unravel into ‘reckless’ on the road. Caja.
Rafael Uehara: Caja Laboral. The game is in Baskonia and their young frontcourt is starting to come together as life after Splitter takes place.
Sebastian Komianos: Zalgiris needs to work wonders in order to escape with a win from Fernando Buesa Arena and the absences of Brown and Capin make it harder..
Simon Jatsch: I’m going with Caja Laboral – they find it easier to get into transition at home and this is where they should hurt Zalgiris most
Tane Spasev: Having watched Caja, they looked really strong. Zalgiris has been playing well the last two games. Still, I‘d go with Caja.
BARCA TOO STRONG FOR RYTAS
Alejandro Gonzalez: Not the best rival for a winless Lietuvos Rytas. Barcelona is not on its finest but should win this one. Valanciunas vs. Barcelona’s towers.
Arkadios Chasirides: Unless Mindaugas and his horse will somehow appear in Rytas squad, Barcelona will stomp all over them, like Batiste did with Ozbolt.
Christophe Ney: Barcelona.
Luka Bassin: Barca will win. Quality, home court, coach, current standing… everything is on Barca’s side. One home loss in season for Barca is enough.
Milan Prodanovic: I pick the upset! Rytas over Barca 79-78! (Disclaimer) I am a big Rytas fan!
Nick Gibson: Barcelona is allowed one massive screw up at home per year. That happened last week. Speaking of massive screw ups…Rytas’ entire season.
Rafael Uehara: Barça. Tough to imagine the most dominant force in Europe losing 3 out of five games, two straight in EuroLeague play. Too deep for Rytas.
Sebastian Komianos: Rytas is facing the best TEAM of the tournament, but whose performances are not that convincing lately. It will be a surprise if Rytas wins.
Simon Jatsch: Barca will win, eager not to fall back to 2-2 after last week’s loss to Fenerbahce. Rytas has to get the points against someone else.
Tane Spasev: Barca is way too strong for Rytas. LR can try to throw some punches early in the game, but I think this game is for compiling experience.
QUESTION OF THE WEEK
Alejandro Gonzalez: Batiste should be suspended for more than one game. He apologized but Euroleague needs to send a message and punish these actions.
Arkadios Chasirides: Definitely. He should also have been made to pick trash in Athens centre as punishment, and believe me, it’s a lot of trash.
Christophe Ney: Batiste should be suspended for several games.
Luka Bassin: Mike Batiste should be suspended at least one game. It was ugly and more important on purpose. End of story!
Milan Prodanovic: Batiste should be punished for the intentional attack. Obradovic was right to force Batiste to apologize. He should be punished for 3 games.
Nick Gibson: One game, maybe two. If I were Batiste I’d be more worried about Goran Jagodnik’s elbow dislocating my jaw on December 9th. Laimbeer style.
Rafael Uehara: Suspended? He should be arrested. He stepped into the dude’s head. Without any object, how much more danger can you cause than this?
Sebastian Komianos: As for Batiste, DISGRACEFUL. I just don’t get it why he wasn’t disqualified by the referees and what is taking Euroleague so long to ban him.
Simon Jatsch: Yes, clearly. And longer. But I’m not so sure the rules allow that after the ref awarded only an unsportmanlike foul, no disqualification.
Tane Spasev: Yes, Batiste deserves it. I hope he learns his lesson and never acts un-sportsmanlike again. Even Obradovic asked him to apologize.