Crvena Zvezda at Barcelona
Time: 9:00 PM CET
Thursday's game at Palau Blaugrana features a high-powered matchup between a Barcelona team sitting in a three-way tie for third place and a Crvena Zvezda squad fighting tooth and nail for a playoff spot. Barcelona will be looking for another win after snapping a three-game losing streak by topping Fenerbahce in Round 20. The Spanish squad is led by Nikola Mirotic, who has been one of the best players in the EuroLeague this season and is excelling all over the court. Mirotic is flanked by a supporting cast that includes Cory Higgins and Brandon Davies, who are both averaging double figures. Malcolm Delaney is driving the show, dishing out a team-leading 5.9 assists per game while nearly scoring in double digits himself. While Barcelona's calling card is its offense, their opponent, Red Star, is powered by the top defense in the league. Anchoring things for the Serbian squad are a pair of guards in Lorenzo Brown, who has been on fire since Round 5, and sharpshooter Billy Baron, who's averaging 12.1 ppg. A pair of midseason additions have given Red Star a notable boost, as center Vladimir Stimac and guard Kevin Punter have both filled up the box score since joining the team. Crvena Zvezda will be without several key players in this one, but they still have plenty to lean on. In the previous matchup between these teams in Round 4, Barcelona triumphed, scoring a hard-fought 73-65 victory. They'll have the advantage Thursday playing at home, but they'll be facing a Red Star team that will bring something different to the table this time around.
FC Barcelona Lassa
Thomas Heurtel - GTD - Knee
1/22 1:50 AM IST - Heurtel (knee) practiced Tuesday for the first time this season, according to eurohoops.net. Heurtel has been sidelined since undergoing knee surgery in August, but he has now reached the final stage of his recovery. It's not clear when Heurtel will be ready for his season debut, but he will at least have a chance to play in Barcelona's next EuroLeague game Thursday against Crvena Zvezda.
Kevin Pangos - OUT - Toe
1/9 11:08 PM IST - Pangos is in the final stretch of his recovery from a toe injury, according to Mundo Deportivo. Pangos is still dealing some soreness in his toe, but he has gradually been improving, and could be ready to play again before January comes to a close.
Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade
Derrick Brown - OUT - Coach's Decision
12/26 8:14 AM IST - Brown is no longer part of Crvenza Zvezda's EuroLeague roster, according to euroleague.net. The team has not announced anything in regards to Brown's status, according to Mozzart Sport, but with him being replaced on the roster by Kevin Punter, he will not see action in Round 16 and may not play for Crvenza Zvezda again.
Filip Covic - OUT - Leg
1/22 10:30 PM IST - Covic (leg) will not play Thursday against Barcelona, according to Crvena Zvezda's official website. Thursday's game will be the fifth in a row Covic has been unable to participate in. A target date for his return has not been revealed.
Dejan Davidovac - OUT - Ankle
1/22 10:25 PM IST - Davidovac (ankle) will not play Thursday against Barcelona, according to Crvena Zvezda's official website. Davidovac's injury will prevent him from taking the court for a third game in a row. It's uncertain when he will play next, but he will have one more chance in Round 22 to see EuroLeague action before January comes to a close.
Mouhammad Faye - OUT - Coach's Decision
12/26 8:15 AM IST - Faye is no longer part of Crvenza Zvezda's EuroLeague roster, according to euroleague.net. The team has not made an announcement about Faye's status, according to Mozzart Sport, but with him ceding his roster spot to Vladimir Stimac, he will not see action in Round 16 and may not play for Crvenza Zvezda again.
Marko Jagodic-Kuridza - OUT - Achilles
1/22 10:29 PM IST - Jagodic-Kuridza (Achilles) will not play Thursday against Barcelona, according to Crvena Zvezda's official website. Jagodic-Kuridza had an outside shot to return to action in Round 21, but his absence will extend another Round. As long as his recovery is going as planned, he will have a chance to get back on the court in Round 22.
Branko Lazic - OUT - Undisclosed
1/22 10:21 PM IST - Lazic will not play Thursday against Barcelona, according to Crvena Zvezda's official website. It's not clear why Lazic will be held out Thursday, but he did not play in Red Star's last domestic league game, either, so it seems he is dealing with some sort of injury. Lazic has started every EuroLeague game he has appeared in this season, so Red Star will need to make a lineup change for Round 21.
Stratos Perperoglou - OUT - Knee
1/22 10:23 PM IST - Perperoglou (knee) will not play Thursday against Barcelona, according to Crvena Zvezda's official website. Perperoglou is seemingly on the verge of returning after appearing on the roster for Red Star's last domestic league game, but he did not take the court in that contest, and will not Thursday, either. He should have a chance to return to action in Round 22 against Efes.
Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade Probable Starters
FC Barcelona Lassa Probable Starters
Nikola Mirotic, BAR - Barcelona's star forward is leading the team in both points and rebounds with averages of 18.4 and 7.5 per game, respectively. He's exceeded 20 points on eight occasions so far this year.
Lorenzo Brown, RED - Brown has carried Red Star with averages of 14.0 points, 3.7 rebounds, 4.6 assists, 1.1 steals and 0.5 blocks per game. He was held in check last time these teams met in Round 4, managing just six points and three assists, but he has really stepped up his game since then.
Malcolm Delaney, BAR - The do-it-all point guard has come on of late and has scored in double figures in five straight games. Over his last nine contests he averaged 12.9 points, 2.2 rebounds, 5.1 assists, and 3.2 three-pointers per game.
Vladimir Stimac, RED - Stimac has impressed in his five games with Red Star, generating 12.2 points, 5.6 rebounds, 1.2 assists, 0.6 steals and 0.6 assists in 24.4 minutes per game. He's a bit of a wild card, however, as it seems unlikely he will continue shooting 73.5 percent from the field.
Dream 11 Team
Grand League Combination
Mirotic, Brown, Punter, Stimac
Small League Combination
Mirotic, Brown, Higgins, Delaney