Round 25 Preview: Maccabi Tel Aviv at Valencia

Round 25 Preview: Maccabi Tel Aviv at Valencia

Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv at Valencia

Date: 2/21
Time: 9:00 pm CET

Game Preview

The final game of Round 25 features two teams in the heat of the playoff race. 

Maccabi, which won its past two outings by just four total points, travels to Spain to take on a white-hot Valencia team that's been victorious in four of six outings. The visitors run their offense through the sharpshooting guard Scottie Wilbekin, who's averaging 15.6 points, 3.4 rebounds, 3.3 threes, 2.0 rebounds and 1.3 steals per game. He's aided by big man Othello Hunter, averaging 10.2 ppg, and Tyler Dorsey, who is putting up 9.6 points, 2.3 rebounds and 1.9 threes per game to date. Recently-signed Amare Stoudemire is a wild card considering he has an All-Star track record, but he has seen just 6.5 minutes per contest since joining the team for Round 23. 

Valencia is headed by stalwart Bojan Dubljevic, who's offering 14.2 points, 7.2 rebounds 1.5 assists and 1.1 threes per contest. He's joined by a rotating cast of guards, who have struggled to keep up Valencia's winnings ways despite a slew of injuries. With the backcourt in flux, Aaron Doornekamp has emerged as the primary complement to Dubljevic. He's seen his role expand of late and has reached double figures in six of the past eight games. One of Quino Colom and Vanja Marinkovic should also factor heavily, though it's unclear who will step in to take on lead the lead ball handling role with Sam Van Rossom (hamstring) and Jordan Loyd (foot) out Friday. 

Maccabi triumphed last time these teams met, notching a 76-63 victory over the Spanish club in Round 4.

Injuries

Valencia Basket

Jordan Loyd - OUT - Foot

1/24 10:58 PM IST - Loyd suffered a stress scaphoid fracture in his right foot during the team's last domestic league game and will be sidelined for the next five weeks, per Valencia's official website. Loyd's absence is a huge blow for a Valencia squad that sits seventh in the EuroLeague standings after Thursday's loss to CSKA Moscow. His 21 minutes per contest will likely be dispersed to the team's other guard options in the upcoming weeks while Loyd's timetable positions him for a return in late February or early March.

Sam Van Rossom - OUT - Hamstring

2/20 8:22 PM IST - Valencia Basket announced that Van Rossom will miss Friday's Round 25 game against Maccabi Tel Aviv due to a right hamstring injury, Eurohoops.net reports. Van Rossom had previously missed time recently due to a left hamstring injury, but it's the other hamstring that's presenting some discomfort for him this time around. The point guard was unable to continue in Tuesday's practice because of the injury, so Valencia Basket will give him some additional time off to recover. He'll be sidelined for a third straight EuroLeague match Friday.

Guillem Vives - GTD - Undisclosed

2/20 9:16 PM IST - Vives did not practice Thursday, according to Maxi Jarque of Valencia Radio. It's not clear why Vives was held out Thursday, but his absence leaves his status uncertain for Friday's matchup with Maccabi Tel Aviv.

Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv

Quincy Acy - GTD - Foot

2/18 11:44 PM IST - Acy is dealing with a foot injury and is considered doubtful for Maccabi Tel Aviv's Round 25 matchup with Valencia on Friday, Yakov Meir of Israel Hayom reports. The American forward looks on track to miss his first EuroLeague game of the season, but Maccabi Tel Aviv will presumably wait and see what he's able to do in practice over the next couple of days before ruling on his status for Friday. Over his last 10 EuroLeague outings, Acy is averaging 6.3 points, 3.6 rebounds and 1.1 blocks in 20.8 minutes.

Tarik Black - OUT - Knee

2/17 9:31 PM IST - Black (knee) is expected to resume playing in 2-to-3 weeks, according to Roi Cohen of Sport5. Black's knee injury has kept him on the sidelines since early December, but he has completed the recovery process, and is on the verge of getting back on the court. Given the length of Black's absence, Maccabi will give him a couple weeks to get back into the swing of things before adding him back to the active roster.

Omri Casspi - OUT - Knee

1/19 9:26 PM IST - Casspi will undergo knee surgery this week and appears likely to miss the remainder of the season, Josh Halickman of SportsRabbi.com Maccabi Tel Aviv won't put a timeline on Casspi's recovery until after surgery is performed, but given the nature of the procedure, the forward is likely in store for a multi-month absence. Casspi hasn't seen game action since November due to the injury and will remain in the United States until his surgery is completed.

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 - Shoulder

1/25 10:42 PM IST - Wolters is scheduled to undergo surgery in Israel in the near future, TeamScout.net reports. After returning from a multi-week absence due to a hip injury earlier this month, Wolters appeared in three EuroLeague outings for Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv before succumbing to yet another setback on the health front. The Israeli club likely won't provide a projected timeline for Wolters' return until after surgery is completed, but it appears safe to rule him out for the remainder of the season.

Yovel Zoosman - OUT - Thumb

2/21 10:22 PM IST - Zoosman (thumb) is about two weeks away from returning to action, according to Josh Halickman of The Jerusalem Post. Zoosman's recovery timetable gave him a chance to return to action in Round 25, but he will need a bit more time to recover. Zoosman's updated timeline means he will not play in Round 26 either, but he could be back in time to play in either or both EuroLeague games Maccabi will play in the first week of March.

Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv Probable Starters

G - Scottie Wilbekin
G - Elijah Bryant
F - Angelo Caloiaro
F - Jake Cohen
C - Othello Hunter

Valencia Basket Probable Starters

G - Quino Colom
G - Vanja Marinkovic
F - Fernando San Emeterio
F - Maurice Ndour
C - Bojan Dubljevic

Top Picks

Bojan Dubljevic, PAM - For the best chances of a Valencia victory, Dubljevic will have to win his matchup against Othello Hunter. He's managed well in his lead role this season and is posting 14.2 points, 7.2 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1.1 threes per game so far.

Aaron Doornekamp, PAM - While Doornekamp's season-long averages of 5.5 points and 2.4 rebounds per game are unimpressive, the veteran forward's dropped double digits in six of his past eight contests. In that span, he's upped his averages to 10.4 points and 2.5 rebounds per contest.

Scottie Wilbekin, TEL - Although he's coming off an uncharacteristically poor zero-point outing in Round 24, Wilbekin's been an excellent contributor, on the whole, this year. He's posting averages of 15.6 points, 3.4 assists, 3.3 threes, 2.0 rebounds and 1.3 steals per game overall.

Othello Hunter, TEL - While he's primarily valued for his defensive versatility, Hunter's put together a solid offensive year. He offers averages of 10.2 points, 6.3 rebounds and 1.2 assists per game.

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Joe Hardy
Joe joined RotoWire in 2019 and primarily covers basketball.
EuroLeague Season Suspended
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