Maccabi at ALBA
Time: 8:00 PM CET
Round 18 kicks off with a bang, as two of the more exciting teams in the league square off in Berlin. An ALBA team that has either scored or allowed 100 points nine times this season will take on a Maccabi team that has lost just four times since Round 3 and scored 104 points last time these two clubs met in Round 7. Maccabi's injury woes finally caught up with them the last couple weeks, as they dropped their last two EuroLeague games. However, they'll be as healthy as they have been since December with Scottie Wilbekin and Othello Hunter back in action. ALBA will counter with some talented players of its own, the most notable being Luke Sikma, who is finding success all over the box score. A healthy Maccabi will be tough to beat, but ALBA's roster is as healthy as it has been in a while, too, and they will not be an easy out on their home court.
Stefan Peno - OUT - Knee
11/12 11:23 PM IST - Peno (knee) is on track to resume practicing in early 2020, according to rbb24.de. Peno has already missed nine months since dislocating his kneecap in February, and it's going to be at least several more before he is ready to return to action. If all goes well in the coming weeks, though, Peno should be able to make it back at some point during the second half of the EuroLeague season.
Peyton Siva - GTD - Thigh
1/7 11:22 PM IST - Siva (thigh) could return to action Thursday against Maccabi Tel Aviv, according to Morgenpost. Siva is planning to take part in team drills Tuesday and Wednesday, and if all goes well he is hoping to take the court in Round 18. He did add his main goal is to play Sunday, so even if he suits up Thursday his minutes could be limited. Either way, it won't be long before he is back in the swing of things for ALBA.
Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv
Tarik Black - OUT - Knee
12/26 12:13 AM IST - Black (knee) could be out anywhere from six more weeks to three more months, according to teamscout.net. It was announced earlier Wednesday that Black would miss another month of action, but Black himself revealed that he will be out longer than that. Othello Hunter will presumably serve as Maccabi's top center in Black's absence, and given the length of Black's absence, the team could pursue another player to provide more depth down low.
Omri Casspi - OUT - Knee
12/25 8:12 PM IST - Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv announced Wednesday that Casspi (knee) will remain sidelined for at least one more month, Eurohoops.net reports. Both Casspi and Tarik Black will be shut down through late January with neither player showing much improvement in his recovery from a knee injury. The loss of Casspi – who will continue to undergo physical therapy before being re-evaluated in four weeks – is especially crushing, as the 31-year-old had been averaging 10.3 points, 4.6 rebounds and 1.1 steals in 17.9 minutes per game through his first seven EuroLeague outings.
John Dibartolomeo - OUT - Pectoral
12/6 9:04 PM IST - Dibartolomeo is expected to miss up to six months with a torn mectoral muscle suffered in Thursday's victory over Bayern Munich, according to Maccabi's official website. Dibartolomeo's timeline all but rules him out for the season, and will leave Maccabi without its captain and dependable guard off the bench. His absence – coupled with that of fellow guard Nate Wolters (hip) – figures to open up opportunities for youngsters Yovel Zoosman, Elijah Bryant, and Deni Avdija.
Nate Wolters - OUT - Hip
1/2 9:02 PM IST - Wolters (hip) has resumed taking jump shots, according to Maccabi's official Twitter account. Wolters will not play in Round 17 and is expected to miss another couple weeks, but it appears his recovery is progressing as planned.
Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv Probable Starters
ALBA Berlin Probable Starters
(C) Luke Sikma, BER - Sikma scored just four points last week, but that did not stop him from having another productive day, as he matched or surpassed that total in all of the rebounds, assists, and steals categories. The well-rounded contributor makes for a safe captain's pick in this contest.
Scottie Wilbekin, MTA - A healthy Wilbekin is always a good pick for the captain's spot, but he has been banged up a bit of late and was a bit rusty in a domestic league game earlier this week. His upside still earns him a spot in just about any lineup.
Othello Hunter, MTA - Like Wilbekin, a healthy Hunter is generally a good option to head up a fantasy lineup. He missed a couple games over the last couple weeks, so it remains to be seen if he will handle a full workload in Round 18. He did score 15 points over 18 minutes Sunday, though, so there's reason to believe he will get the job done.
Tyler Dorsey, MTA - Dorsey is one of just three Maccabi players to appear in all 17 EuroLeague games the club has played this season, and his health has helped him secure a more prominent spot in Maccabi's rotation. Over his last four games Dorsey put up 14.8 points, 3.0 rebounds, 3.5 assists, and 2.3 steals per game.
Grand League Combination
Sikma, Wilbekin, Giedraitis, Dorsey
Small League Combination
Sikma, Wilbekin, Hunter, Nnoko