Round 16 Preview: Crvena Zvezda at Zenit
Round 16 Preview: Crvena Zvezda at Zenit

Crvena Zvezda at Zenit

Date: 12/27
Time: 6:00 PM CET

Game Preview

A new-look Crvenza Zvezda squad heads to Russia to take on Zenit in the first game that tips off Friday. Red Star has played better of late, but that did not stop them from adding three new players to the roster over the last couple weeks. It remains to be seen how those players will be added to the mix, but one constant will be Lorenzo Brown, who has been on fire of late. Zenit is nearly back at full strength, and they will counter with a balanced attack that features six players averaging at least 7.0 points per game. Both teams picked up victories in their last EuroLeague games, but only one of them will add another tally to the win column by the time Round 16 comes to a close.

Injuries

Zenit Saint Petersburg

Tim Abromaitis - OUT - Leg

12/23 5:38 AM IST - Abromaitis could miss two weeks with a leg injury, according to Zenit's official Twitter account. Abromaitis played 26 minutes in Friday's win over Fenerbahce, but he also picked up the injury, and is likely to miss at least one Round if not more. Abromaitis averaged 18 minutes and 9.0 points over Zenit's last seven games, so his absence will open up some playing time and scoring opportunities for his teammates.

Andrey Zubkov - OUT - Thigh

10/7 10:41 PM IST - Zubkov will be out several months after injuring his thigh in Zenit's Round 1 loss to ALBA Berlin, according to euroleague.net. A timetable for Zubkov's return has not been established just yet, but he is facing a lengthy recovery period, and it's possible he does not take the court again until 2020. Zubkov did open the season with a spot in Zenit's rotation, so his absence figures to open up opportunities for some of his teammates.

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.

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.

Stratos Perperoglou - OUT - Knee

11/23 9:48 PM IST - Perperoglou underwent surgery on his injured knee and is expected to be out until January, according to eurohoops.net. Perperoglou's knee injury cost him three EuroLeague games and was apparently not showing much improvement, so the team decided to send him under the knife. He is expected to resume practicing around mid-December, but his return timeline means he will not take the court again until 2020.

Kevin Punter - GTD - Coach's Decision

12/26 12:38 AM IST - Punter agreed to a contract Wednesday with Crvena Zvezda, Eurobasket.com reports. The 26-year-old guard will stick in the EuroLeague after opening the season with Olympiacos and appearing in 11 games before he was recently released. Punter should add depth to the Crvena Zvezda backcourt but won't be a lock to consistently crack the rotation.

Vladimir Stimac - GTD - Coach's Decision

12/25 8:05 PM IST - Stimac signed a one-year contract with Crvena Zvezda on Wednesday, Nikos Varlas of Eurohoops.net reports. The 32-year-old center will stick around in the EuroLeague, this time moving to Russia shortly after receiving his release from Fenerbahce. Over 12 EuroLeague games to date, Stimac has averaged 3.1 points and 1.7 rebounds in 6.3 minutes. He'll likely fill a depth role for Crvena Zvezda.

Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade Probable Starters

G - Lorenzo Brown
G - Billy Baron
F - Branko Lazic
F - Borisa Simanic
C - Ognjen Kuzmic

Zenit Saint Petersburg Probable Starters

G - Evgeny Voronov
G - Andrew Albicy
F - Mateusz Ponitka
F - Will Thomas
C - Gustavo Ayon

Top Picks

(Captain) Lorenzo Brown, BEL - Brown did not play in Round 14 because of a leg injury, but he returned to action in Round 15 and put up 34 points – a new season high for the second time in three Rounds. Crvena Zvezda's rotation could undergo some changes with several new faces available, but don't expect that to affect Brown, who has been his team's best player over the last 10 Rounds.

Gustavo Ayon, ZEN - Ayon scored in double figures in both EuroLeague games Zenit played last week, and he also started both contests after coming off the bench in five of the previous six games. While his presence in the starting lineup has been fluid, Ayon has still managed to score at least 10 points in all but three games since the EuroLeague season began.

Mateusz Ponitka, ZEN - Ponitka missed four of Zenit's last seven games due to injury, but he scored in double figures in all three games he appeared in and also averaged 3.0 rebounds and 4.0 assists in those games.

Evgeny Voronov, ZEN - Voronov has had some injury issues as well, missing all but one game from Rounds 4-13, but he appeared in both EuroLeague games Zenit played last week and put up 11 points in the second contest. With a couple games under his belt, Zenit's captain should be back in the swing of things at this point.

Captaincy Options

  1. Lorenzo Brown
  2. Gustavo Ayon

Dream11 Team

Grand League Combination

Brown, Ayon, Ponitka, Voronov

Small League Combination

Brown, Ayon, Ponitka, Baron

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. Kevin O'Brien plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: FanDuel: kevob100, DraftKings: kevob100.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kevin O'Brien
Kevin mans the Packers and Brewers beats and moonlights as RotoWire's Director of Operations.
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