Zalgiris at Real Madrid
Time: 9:00 PM CET
Two teams on winning streaks will square off when Zalgiris heads to Spain to take on Real Madrid in Round 18. While the Lithuanian team has won two straight after dropping nine in a row, the Spanish squad has ripped off a staggering 12 straight wins and has not lost a EuroLeague game since October. Madrid will be short-handed due to a number of injuries, but that did not slow them down last week against ASVEL. Plus, they will still have the benefit of playing at home, where they have not lost all season. Zalgiris is almost back at full strength, but is still without top guard Marius Grigonis, so they will need to be on top of their game to have a shot at the upset.
Gabriel Deck - GTD - Knee
1/8 10:01 PM IST - Deck (knee) did not practice Wednesday, according to Planetacb. Deck has not been ruled out for Round 18 just yet, but with him unable to practice just one day before tip-off, it seems likely he will miss a second straight EuroLeague game.
Sergio Llull - OUT - Thigh
1/8 10:00 PM IST - Llull (thigh) will not play Thursday against Zalgiris, according to Planetacb. Llull remains unable to practice, and given how much time he has missed, he will have to get in some sort of work on the practice court before he takes the court again.
Anthony Randolph - OUT - Calf
1/3 9:46 PM IST - Randolph (calf) is expected to be out at least 2-to-3 weeks, according to AS.com. The calf injury Randolph suffered this week will prevent him from taking the court in Round 17 and will likely cost him at least one more game, even if his recovery goes as planned. Randolph's absence will open up some playing time for the likes of Trey Thompkins and Usman Garuba.
Felipe Reyes - GTD - Thigh
1/8 10:05 PM IST - Reyes (thigh) has resumed practicing, according to Planetacb. It's not clear how much work Reyes was able to get in since his last absence in Round 17, but with him back on the practice court, he should have a chance to suit up Thursday against Zalgiris for the first time since Round 3.
Marius Grigonis - OUT - Ankle
12/3 11:42 PM IST - Grigonis will undergo surgery on his injured ankle and is expected to be out about three months, according to Zalgiris' official website. Grigonis was able to play through the pain for some time, but he was unable to overcome the injury, so it was ultimately decided to send him under the knife. Grigonis is second on his team in scoring in EuroLeague play, so Zalgiris will be without one of its top players for several months. KC Rivers and Thomas Walkup are the favorites to fill the void until Grigonis returns.
Zalgiris Probable Starters
Real Madrid Probable Starters
(C) Facundo Campazzo, MAD - Campazzo scored in double figures just once over his last six EuroLeague games, but he has remained a fantasy force by averaging 3.0 rebounds, 9.3 assists, and 1.3 steals over that span. He is still averaging 10.4 ppg on the season, so one way or another, expect him to pile up plenty of numbers once again.
Thomas Walkup, ZAL - Walkup did not have the best results his last time out, but he turned the ball over six times and the game was a low-scoring affair. He's gotten the job done more often than not the last few weeks and proved in Round 16 he is capable of putting up a double-double.
Jordan Mickey, MAD - With fellow forwards Anthony Randolph and Gabriel Deck out last week Mickey received his first start in EuroLeague action since joining Madrid. He responded by putting up a season-high 18 points and grabbing seven rebounds. With Randolph sidelined Thursday and Deck likely joining him, Mickey should have plenty of opportunities once again.
Trey Thompkins, MAD - The last paragraph can be copied and pasted for Thompkins almost word-for-word, with the only difference being Thompkins set season highs in rebounds as well as points. It's looking like he, like Mickey, will play an expanded role again in Round 18.
Grand League Combination
Campazzo, Walkup, Mickey, Thompkins
Small League Combination
Campazzo, Walkup, LeDay, Tavares