Game of the Week, Top 16 Game 8: Top 10 questions

Feb 19, 2013 by Print
Game of the Week, Top 16 Game 8: Top 10 questions
Zalgiris Kaunas Zalgiris Kaunas vs. Panathinaikos AthensPanathinaikos Athens

Lost leader?
The number one question for Zalgiris: how will the team handle the sudden loss of Paulius Jankunas to injury. Jankunas, a true frontcourt sentinel, led the team in minutes and had worn a Zalgiris uniform longer than the rest of his teammates combined. Can they rebound (literally and figuratively) without him?
Paulius Jankunas - Zalgiris Kaunas
2 Record man?
Going into Thursday's game, the legendary Dimitris Diamantidis of Panathinaikos is one steal away from setting the Euroleague's all-time record of 328. Will he set the record and will that inspire the Greens to win on the road?
Dimitris Diamantidis - Panathinaikos
3 Board work I?
With 11.9 offensive rebounds per game, Zalgiris ranks third in the Top 16. Substitute forward Mindaugas Kuzminskas leads Zalgiris with 2 per game, while Jankunas was second. If he gets more minutes now, can Kuzminskas clean the offensive glass for two people?
Mindaugas Kuzminskas - Zalgiris Kaunas
4 Board work II?
Panathinaikos lets opponents grab 12.1 offensive rebounds, the worst average in the Top 16. Diamantidis leads the Greens in defensive rebounding (3.6 per game), Stephane Lasme is next, and another guard, Michael Bramos, third. Who in the Panathinaikos frontcourt will help them stop Zalgiris from getting second chances?
Michael Bramos - Panathinaikos Athens
5 Ready to rock?
After sitting out with injury, veteran center Robertas Javtokas played his first minutes of the season last week. Now with Jankunas out, he might match up often with arguably the Euroleague's strongest player, Sofoklis Schortsanitis. Is Javtokas recovered enough to bang with Big Sofo?
Robertas Javtokas - Zalgiris Kaunas
6 Get the groove back?
Although his numbers have fluctuated mildly before this, Sofoklis Schortsanitis, a career 60% two-point shooter over 122 Euroleague games, has seen his efficiency drop to 44% in this Top 16. Can Big Sofo get back to making considerably more shots than he misses?
Sofoklis Schortsanitis - Panathinaikos Athens
7 Pop-a-shot?
Zalgiris guard Marko Popovic ties for the most three-pointers (20) in the Top 16 this season at a higher rate (47.2%) than the other player, leads the competition in two-point acccuracy (82.1%), and downs 89.5% of his foul shots. But Panathinaikos held him to a season-low 6 points in the Top 16 opener. Can the Greens keep Popovic down on his own floor this time?
Marko Popovic - Zalgiris Kaunas
8 Home cookin'?
No Top 16 shooter with a higher three-point percentage (48.5%) has made more three-pointers (17) than Panathinaikos forward Jonas Maciulis, who will play the first game of his seven-year Euroleague career as a visitor in Kaunas, where he was born and raised. Will Zalgirio Arena feel like a home court for Maciulius or will emotions affect his accuracy?
Jonas Maciulis - Panathinaikos Athens
9 Seeing double?
Zalgiris forward Ksistof Lavrinovic is averaging 10 points, 4.5 rebounds and shooting great percentages in the Top 16. His identical twin, Darjus, has 5 points, 2.4 rebounds and low shooting percentages in almost as many minutes. Should Panathinaikos have one defense to deal with each or forget telling them apart and play both the same?
Ksistof and Darjus Lavrinovic - Zalgiris Kaunas
10 Overachiever?
The shortest among them, Stephane Lasme of Panathinaikos has more Top 16 rebounds (46) and blocks (7) than any big man on either roster. Faced with four Zalgiris frontcourt players taller than 2.10 meters - the Lavrinovic twins, Javtokas and Jeff Foote - can the 2.03-meter Lasme keep rising above?
Stephane Lasme - Panathinaikos