ASVEL at Real Madrid
Time: 9:00 pm CET
ASVEL, clinging to playoff hopes, will face off with Real Madrid in a game that could make or break their season. The visitors are coming off a key Round 25 win against Valencia which broke a three-game slide. Despite lacking a primary star, the French club features a deep frontcourt rotation that includes Adreian Payne – who will miss Thursday's game, Tonye Jekiri, Livio Jean-Charles, and Guerschon Yabusele. Of particular interest is Yabusele, who, in his first game with the club was an integral part in their win over Valencia. In addition to their bigs, ASVEL features David Lighty and Jordan Taylor – who will also miss Thursday's game – in the guard positions. Lighty, who dropped 20 points in Round 25, reached double digits in four of the past five games. He could be called upon repeatedly as ASVEL's frontcourt will face up against Madrid's excellent defensive front. The Spanish team has gotten Walter Tavares' best on both ends of the court of late. Facundo Campazzo, Trey Thompkins and Rudy Fernandez will combine to run an offense that will be down top scorer Anthony Randolph, Jordan Mickey, Sergio Llull, and Gabriel Deck. Despite the injuries, Madrid has still run off six consecutive wins. Last time these teams met in Round 17, Madrid earned a hard-fought 87-77 victory.
Ismael Bako - OUT - Calf
3/2 9:13 PM IST - Bako will miss 2-to-3 weeks with a calf injury, according to ASVEL's official website. Bako was injured in Friday's loss to Khimki, and he will miss at least a couple weeks as a result. Bako is averaging 11 minutes per game in EuroLeague play this season, so his absence will open up some playing time for his fellow big men.
Adreian Payne - OUT - Undisclosed
3/5 5:25 AM IST - Payne (undisclosed) will not play Thursday against Real Madrid, according to ASVEL's official website. It's still not clear why Payne is being held out, but he will end up missing both EuroLeague games on ASVEL's schedule this week. His next chance to take the court will come in Round 29 against Zenit.
Jordan Taylor - OUT - Undisclosed
3/5 5:23 AM IST - Taylor will not play Thursday against Real Madrid, according to ASVEL's official website. It's not exactly clear why Taylor will be held out, but he will be unavailable for Round 28. Taylor started ASVEL's last three EuroLeague games, so his absence will lead to a lineup change for Thursday's contest.
Fabien Causeur - GTD - Undisclosed
3/5 5:15 AM IST - Causeur (undisclosed) is on track to play Thursday against ASVEL, according to Mundo Deportivo. Causeur was held out of Madrid's last game Tuesday for maintenance purposes, but the report indicates he responded well to the rest, and will likely return to action in Round 28.
Gabriel Deck - OUT - Elbow
3/5 5:13 AM IST - Deck (elbow) will not play Thursday against ASVEL, according to Mundo Deportivo. Deck sat out Madrid's last game Tuesday because of his elbow injury, and he will remain sidelined Thursday for the same reason. The report indicates he could play in Madrid's domestic league game Sunday, so he will at least have a chance to return to action in Round 29.
Sergio Llull - OUT - Upper Leg
3/2 9:25 PM IST - Llull (upper leg) will not play in either EuroLeague on Madrid's schedule this week, according to Javier Rodriguez of Planetacb. It's still not clear how much time Llull will miss because of the injury he suffered in last month's Copa del Rey final, but based on comments from head coach Pablo Laso his return is not imminent.
Jordan Mickey - OUT - Leg
3/5 5:12 AM IST - Mickey (leg) will not play Thursday against ASVEL, according to Mundo Deportivo. The leg injury Mickey suffered in Round 26 will prevent him from playing in both EuroLeague games on Madrid's schedule this week. He could be back in Round 29, though, as the report indicates Mickey could play in Madrid's domestic league game Sunday.
Anthony Randolph - OUT - Thumb
2/22 12:12 AM IST - Randolph underwent surgery on his left thumb, according to Madrid's official website. The team did not release a timeline for Randolph's recovery, but with him going under the knife he is looking at an extended absence – one that could cost him the remainder of the regular season.
LDLC ASVEL Probable Starters
Real Madrid Probable Starters
Walter Tavares, MAD - Tavares has dominated all over the court of late, recording three double-doubles over the last seven games and averaging 10.3 points, 9.3 rebounds, 1.1 assists, and 2.6 blocks per contest. ASVEL will be thin in the frontcourt Thursday, which will not help their chances of slowing him down.
Facundo Campazzo, MAD - Campazzo notched three double-doubles of his own over the past five games and enters Round 28 second in the league in both assists and steals. On the season he is averaging 10.2 points, 2.3 rebounds, 7.1 assists, and 1.4 steals per game.
Tonye Jekiri, ASV - Jekiri's pace has slowed over the course of the season, but he is still generating 8.7 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 1.3 assists per contest.
Rudy Fernandez, MAD - Though he has taken a back seat on offense for much of the season, Fernandez should play an expanded role for a second consecutive week with several teammates still sidelined. In Round 27 the veteran wing scored a team-high 16 points and added four assists and two steals.
Nicolas Laprovittola, MAD - While his averages of 4.8 points and 2.8 assists are nothing to write home about, Laprovittola stepped up over the past couple games to fill the void left by the injuries. Over the last three Rounds he averaged 10.7 points, 2.7 rebounds, and 6.3 assists per game.
Dream 11 Team
Grand League Combination
Tavares, Campazzo, Lighty, Thompkins
Small League Combination
Tavares, Campazzo, Jekiri, Lighty