This article is part of our EuroLeague Primer series.
- Barcelona's Nick Calathes is set to play Sunday.
- CSKA's Daniel Hackett will be held out Sunday.
- Milan's Malcolm Delaney and Luigi Datome will not play Sunday.
STATS AND INFO.
Status Check: Nikola Milutinov (CSK)
Best Bets for Success: Both teams that ended up on the wrong end of Friday's contests will square off in an appetizer game before Sunday's Final. With only pride to play for and both teams still fighting for a title in their domestic league, rotations could be thrown off a little, but expect both coaches to play to win. The top option in this game will be Will Clyburn, who averaged 17.1 ppg over his last 10 appearances and a stellar 30.0 ppg over his last two. Clyburn struggled last time these teams met, but he was still getting his legs back after an extended absence and there's no doubt he's back at full speed now. CSKA has leaned on its backcourt lately, and thus Daniel Hackett and Iffe Lundberg figure to be plenty active as well. Hackett is the safer of the two, as a recent bout with dizziness could lead to Lundberg's minutes being limited in a game without any real implications. For the Italian team, Shavon Shields remains the best bet to click. Shields has finished with a single digit in the points column just once since the start of February and was not limited in the semifinal game by the leg issue he dealt with recently.
DFS Darlings: You could certainly make a case for Kevin Punter to be included above, but his extremely-affordable $7,000 price tag on DraftKings allows him to slot in here. Punter is never shy about putting the ball up, and after shining in the semifinal game the impending free agent could try to give prospective suitors one more look at his skills. It should be noted, though, that Punter admitted Saturday it will be tough to get fired up with nothing on the line. Teammate Zach LeDay is also pretty affordable at just $7,500, as he checked in at $9,300 just over a month ago. CSKA's frontcourt has not been doing a lot of late, but Johannes Voigtmann has been pretty productive in recent weeks, and he put up a double-double against Milan back in Round 17. Milan's Kyle Hines, Sergio Rodriguez and Vladimir Micov could all have some extra motivation against their former team, but it seems unlikely any of them will play heavy minutes.
Status Check: Nick Calathes (BAR)
Best Bets for Success: All signs point to Sunday's Final be a tight affair, as the two games these teams played during the regular season – which both ended up in Efes wins – went down to the wire. As such, expect all the regulars to get ample opportunities. Given his output and consistency lately, MVP Vasilije Micic is the safest option in this game. Micic averaged 17.7 ppg over his last 15 appearances, and he has fared even better against Barcelona this season, putting up 21.5 points per contest in the two matchups. Next on the list is Barcelona's Nikola Mirotic, presumably the runner-up in the MVP race. Mirotic was held in check by Zenit in the opening round, but he won't be facing them Sunday, and he hit the 20-point mark four times in the last eight games he played against teams other than the Russian club. Like Micic, Mirotic showed up when these team squared off earlier, averaging 21.0 points over the two games. The last two players who earn a mention here are Shane Larkin and Cory Higgins. Larkin was not on top of his game in Friday's semifinal, but head coach Ergin Ataman is expecting a big day from him Sunday, and the player Ataman called "the best player in the league the last three seasons" is a good bet to deliver. Higgins was also a little quiet Friday before burying a game-winning shot with just under a second to go, but he still reached double figures for the sixth straight game, and he could be more involved than usual with Calathes likely being limited to some degree in the Final.
DFS Darlings: While the stars figure to be plenty busy in the Final, both teams will need their complementary players to show up to emerge victorious. Rodrigue Beaubois has been scoring too consistently to ignore, though if Larkin is clicking Sunday he may not be as active as he has been lately. Sertac Sanli is an appealing option here for Efes, but don't be surprised if veteran Bryant Dunston eats into his minutes in the championship game. Also, don't forget about Chris Singleton, who has a history of showing up in big games. On the Spanish side, Leandro Bolmaro will take extra time if Calathes is limited, and he could be worth a gamble on DraftKings at his minuscule $4,600 price. Also, with Pau Gasol now in shape, expect the legend to get a chance to make an impact – like he did Friday – as he goes for the first EuroLeague title of his career.