Round 24 Preview: Crvena Zvezda at Khimki
Round 24 Preview: Crvena Zvezda at Khimki

Crvena Zvezda at Khimki

Date: 2/7
Time: 6:00 pm CET

Game Preview

Two teams battling for a playoff spot face off in a crucial Round 24 matchup. Visiting Red Star is coming off a big 78-73 victory over Panathinaikos in Round 23, which ended a four-game slide. They'll be hard-pressed to keep up the momentum as their 10-13 overall record lands them just one game out of the playoff picture. Offensively, the team is oriented around a trio of guards, Kevin Punter, Lorenzo Brown and Billy Baron, all of whom average north of 10 points per game. Inside, they're aided by the dynamic forwards  Vladimir Stimac, who's offering 12.0 points and 5.6 rebounds per contest and Stratos Perperoglou, who recently returned from a lengthy absence because of a knee injury. With their top five intact and fully healthy, Red Star's offense is in the best state it's been in this season. Their opponent, Khimki, has lost seven of their past eight contests as opposing defenses have ramped up their opposition of acclaimed scorer Alexey Shved. Shved leads one of the best offenses in the EuroLeague which has scored, on average, 85.4 points per contest. Khimki's fatal flaw is their inability to balance their top-notch offensive attack with sound defense as they've given up 87.3 points per contest to opponents. Aside from Shved, Khimki features several strong frontcourt options in Devin Booker, Jonas Jerebko and Anthony Gill as well as sharpshooting Janis Timma on the wing. If history is to lend a prediction, the staunch defense of Crvena is to be favored. They were victorious in the teams' previous matchup, notching a 90-78 win back in Round 6.

Injuries

Khimki

Dairis Bertans - GTD - Undisclosed

2/6 12:33 AM IST - Bertans (undisclosed) will not play Wednesday against Maccabi Tel Aviv, according to euroleague.net. It's still not clear what is ailing Bertans, but he will not play for the fourth time in five games.

Jeremy Evans - OUT - Undisclosed

1/30 5:56 PM IST - Evans "will be out for quite some time" with an undisclosed injury, according to Donatas Urbonas of 15min.lt. It's not clear what type of injury Evans is dealing with, but it will sideline him long enough for Khimki to consider adding Thomas Robinson to its roster, Urbonas adds.

Anthony Gill - GTD - Undisclosed

2/4 5:18 PM IST - Gill will not play Wednesday against Maccabi Tel Aviv, according to Josh Halickman of The Jerusalem Post. It's not clear why Gill will be held out, but he will be unavailable for Round 23.

Petr Gubanov - OUT - Undisclosed

11/30 10:12 PM IST - Gubanov is with the Russian National Team for this weekend's FIBA qualifiers and will not be available for Khimki's Round 10 EuroLeague matchup with Panathinaikos, according to euroleague.net. Gubanov averaged 17 minutes per game in Rounds 4 and 5, but he has not seen EuroLeague action since, so his absence should not affect the rotation Khimki has been using of late.

Chris Kramer - GTD - Foot

2/4 5:22 PM IST - Kramer (foot) will not play Wednesday against Maccabi Tel Aviv, according to Josh Halickman of The Jerusalem Post. Kramer will sit out for the fourth time in five games. It's not clear how close he is to returning, but he could miss at least one more Round with Khimki playing its next EuroLeague game two days after Wednesday's.

Timofey Mozgov - OUT - Knee

2/4 9:31 PM IST - Mozgov (knee) remains without a timetable for his return, according to RIA Novosti. It's been more than a year since Mozgov underwent surgery on his knee, but he is seemingly not close to returning to action. It remains to be seen when he will be ready to play, but he apparently has plenty incentive to get back on the court, as he will not receive a salary until he does.

Thomas Robinson - GTD - Not Injury Related

2/6 8:49 PM IST - Khimki announced Thursday that it signed Robinson to a one-month contract that includes an extension option that would keep him on the roster for the remainder of the season, Eurohoops.net reports. The 28-year-old center, a first-round draft pick by the NBA's Sacramento Kings in 2012, previously appeared with Khimki during the 2017-18 season. Robinson most recently suited up in the Chinese Basketball Association with the Sichuan Blue Whales, but he was released from the contract after the league suspended operations due to the coronavirus outbreak in the country. Robinson isn't expected to be available for Friday's Round 24 matchup with Crvena Zvezda, but he could be ready to make his 2019-20 EuroLeague debut when Khimki faces Olimpia Milan on Feb. 20.

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 - GTD - Leg

2/5 11:25 PM IST - Covic (leg) will not play Wednesday against Panathinaikos, according to Crvena Zvezda's official Twitter account. Covic continues to sit out with the injury that has sidelined him since December. Chances are he will miss another game with Red Star playing again in just two days.

Ognjen Dobric - GTD - Undisclosed

2/5 11:35 PM IST - Dobric is not on the roster for Wednesday's game against Panathinaikos, according to euroleague.net. Dobric started the last two Rounds and has seen action in all but one EuroLeague game this season, but he will not take the court in Round 23. It's not clear why he is sitting out Wednesday, so it remains to be seen if he will be back in action for Red Star's Round 24 matchup with Khimki on Friday.

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.

Ognjen Kuzmic - GTD - Undisclosed

2/5 11:32 PM IST - Kuzmic is not on the roster for Wednesday's game against Panathinaikos, according to euroleague.net. It's not clear why Kuzmic was left off the roster for Round 23, but he will not be available for the first time since Round 3. Michael Ojo will start at center in Kuzmic's place.

Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade Probable Starters

G - Lorenzo Brown
G - Billy Baron
F - Branko Lazic
F - James Gist
C - Ognjen Kuzmic

Khimki Probable Starters

G - Alexey Shved
G - Stefan Jovic
F - Janis Timma
F - Sergei Monia
C - Devin Booker

Top Picks

Alexey Shved, KHI - The engine of Khimki's offense, Shved, the defending scoring champ, is posting averages of 21.2 points, 5.9 assists and 2.9 rebounds per contest. His only flaw is his efficiency, as the star guard is hitting just 37.9 percent of his shots from the field and 31.6 percent of his threes this season.

Vladimir Stimac, RED - Stimac has provided exceptional production in the paint since joining Red Star in Round 17. Since then, he's averaging 12.0 points per game and has eclipsed double digits on six occasions. 

Kevin Punter, RED - Since joining Red Star in Round 17, Punter has emerged as the top offensive option for the team. He's averaging 15.9 points, 2.0 assists, 1.9 threes and 1.1 rebounds per game while shooting an excellent 47.9 percent from the field and 43.3 percent from behind the arc.

Devin Booker, KHI - One of the steadiest players in the league, Booker's averaging 11.3 points, 4.8 rebounds and 1.1 assists per contest. He also acts as the defensive fulcrum for Khimki.

Captaincy Options

  1. Alexey Shved
  2. Kevin Punter

Dream 11 Lineup

Grand League Combination

Shved, Punter, Booker, Perperoglou

Small League Combination

Shved, Punter, Booker, Stimac

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.
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