Round 21 may have been a pivotal one atop the standings, as Anadolu Efes Istanbul took a three-win gap with a brilliant road victory against Real Madrid. It was Efes's first road win in the Spanish capital since 2005, and it was head coach Ergin Ataman's first-ever win at WiZink Center. Efes has managed to beat all four of the EuroLeague's Spanish teams on the road, something truly remarkable. But when you have a player like Shane Larkin, who is just completely unstoppable, everything seems to be easy. Larkin has been the man of 2020 until now, earning MVP of the Round honors four consecutive times. Personally, I haven't seen a player dominate the EuroLeague like this in many years. He just keeps scoring and generating for his teammates. It is a lot of fun to watch, too, from a neutral point of view. A lot more happened in Round 21, in which only Efes won on the road. Some of the teams at the bottom of the standings – Zalgiris Kaunas, FC Bayern Munich, Zenit St Petersburg – registered wins. Right now, the playoffs cut is 10 wins and the bottom-ranked team has seven – and we still have 13 rounds to go in this exciting Regular Season.
Best EuroLeague season ever? Most probably. Fasten your seat belts, because we are going to take off – with Turkish Airlines, of course. Round 22 will be full of great games, and here are some ideas for EuroLeague Fantasy Challenge managers based on recent performances. There are some cheap options this time, as always, for those players who can't afford to buy superstars like Larkin, whose price skyrocketed over the four-million barrier.
Vassilis Spanoulis, Olympiacos Piraeus (1.35 million) – Since he became the EuroLeague's all-time top scorer, Spanoulis wants to put some distance between himself and everyone else. He had 31 points in Round 21, his second-best scoring mark, and is in great shape. With a home game coming up, Spanoulis will probably stay unstoppable.
Shavon Shields, KIROLBET Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz (1.06 million) – A cheap option at the always-difficult small forward spot. Shields had a monster game in Round 21 – 22 points, 29 PIR – against Khimki and followed it up with a solid performance against in the Spanish League – 18 points, 21 PIR.
Kevin Punter, Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade (620,000) – Still the best price value you can find in the Fantasy Challenge market. Punter had 13 points against Barcelona last week and reach a PIR of 26 in his last home game against ALBA. Zvezda will need him at his best to try to beat mighty Efes, led by Larkin.
Johannes Voigtmann, CSKA Moscow (1.37 million) – He followed a big game against Valencia – 19 points, 5 of 5 three-point shots, 10 rebounds, 26 PIR – with another in the VTB League – 15 points, 9 rebounds, 15 PIR. With Andrey Vorontsevich out with a sprained ankle, Voigtmann will play even more.
Nihad Dedovic, FC Bayern Munich (540,000) – Finally injury-free, Dedovic is a really cheap, reliable option for everyone. He had a PIR of 20 against Maccabi in EuroLeague action, and a PIR of 16 in a German League game. Dedovic will definitely keep going as one of the most experienced players for Bayern.