As always, we take a look at what happened in the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague last week. There was only one road win, which confirms what everybody says: nothing is more important in the regular season than protecting your home court. FC Barcelona was the only road warrior, downing Zenit St Petersburg behind an inspired Kyle Kuric, who had 24 points against his former team. Real Madrid needed a clutch three-point shot by Jaycee Carroll to down Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv, 86-85, in one of the best games in the young season. Speaking of outstanding games, Anadolu Efes Istanbul topped ALBA Berlin 106-105 in the season's first overtime, and needed Shane Larkin and Vasilije Micic each to reach PIRs of 30-plus to survive against a young, ambition squad. LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne rallied in the final 2 minutes to beat Panathinaikos OPAP Athens; Khimki Moscow Region relied on Jeremy Evans to make the difference against KIROLBET Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz; CSKA Moscow got a convincing win against FC Bayern Munich; AX Armani Exchange Milan and Olympiacos Piraeus registered their first wins; so did Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade, which limited mighty Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul to 56 points in the Serbian capital. A little bit of everything – thrillers, upsets, outstanding plays – and we're just two rounds into the season!
There were a lot of brilliant performances in Round 2, but nobody shined brighter than Micic, who earned MVP honors with a PIR of 32. As for EuroLeague Fantasy Challenge, we are focusing on players who had back-to-back solid performances and whose values should go up easily in Round 3:
Nikola Milutinov, Olympiacos Piraeus (2.03 million) – Milutinov had a strong 2018-19 season and is doing even better now, getting two double-doubles in as many rounds. He comes off a monster performance – 17 points, 14 rebounds – against Valencia Basket and ranks fourth in the PIR standings (23.5 per game).
Peyton Siva, ALBA Berlin (1.45 million) – After missing ALBA's opener due to injury, Siva is back ready to make the difference. In his first-ever EuroLeague game, Siva got a PIR of 8 despite hitting just 1-of-8 shots from downtown. Expect him to shoot much better and get a much higher PIR from now on.
Jordan Mickey, Real Madrid (1.66 million) – Mickey came off the bench against Maccabi to rescue Real, getting 16 points and 11 rebounds in 20 minutes. His PIR of 30 was the third-highest in Round 2 with limited playing time. Mickey should play a big role for Real in difficult Zalgirio Arena.
Tonye Jekiri, LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne (1.56 million) – One of the most pleasant surprises in the 2019-20 EuroLeague. He has led ASVEL to a 2-0 record, averaging 14.0 points and 11.0 rebounds in less than 24 minutes per game. Right now, he is third in PIR per game (25), which is outstanding.
Greg Monroe, FC Bayern Munich (1.64 million) – Despite facing CSKA, the reigning champs, Monroe did really well, with 17 points, 10 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 blocks. His adjustment has been really quick and Monroe is ready to get even better numbers in his team's home game against ASVEL.