By Jeff Taylor
|Watch Besiktas vs. Armia LIVE here |
Tip off Tuesday at 18:00 CET
A game that has glitz and glamour will take place on Tuesday evening in the EuroChallenge when Besiktas Milangaz host Armia.
The Group B clash in Istanbul will feature one of the biggest names in the competition in Deron Williams, the Team USA Olympic champion from Beijing who led Besiktas to an 86-58 triumph at ZZ Leiden in their opener last week.
The 27-year-old, who was nowhere near his best in the club's Eurocup Qualifying Round tie defeat to Dexia Mons-Hainaut, poured in 20 points and handed out seven assists in the victory.
If the NBA lockout is giving Besiktas fans an opportunity to watch the New Jersey Nets star shine, the labor dispute is also giving Armia a chance to see Sundiata Gaines.
The 25-year-old guard, who knows Williams well since they were Utah Jazz teammates, had 24 points on his EuroChallenge debut in last week's 82-76 win over BG Göttingen.
Gaines was five-of-seven from long range.
Besiktas coach Ergin Ataman raised eyebrows last week when electing to bring Williams off the bench in the second quarter instead of starting him.
The strategy proved to be the right one.
When Williams entered the game, the Turkish outfit stormed to victory.
He had 14 of his points in the second quarter and Besiktas outscored their Dutch opponents 19-4 at the end of the frame to take command.
Williams finished four of six from long range.
Neither Besiktas, nor Armia, are one-man teams.
The former also have Turkey national team center Semih Erden, Serbia's Zoran Erceg and shooting guard Marcelus Kemp, just to name a few of their key men.
|Besiktas superstar Deron Williams is not the only big name in Tuesday's LIVE game on FIBA Europe TV|
Armia boast the explosive Jeremy Richardson, big men William Thomas and Joakim Kjellbom and Puerto Rico international Guillermo Diaz.
Kjellbom and Thomas combined to grab 28 of their team's 51 rebounds in the victory over Göttingen.
Season So Far
- Armia are 1-0 in the EuroChallenge and over the weekend, they prevailed for the fourth time in a row in Georgia's Superleague when edging TSU, 73-71, in a Tbilisi derby.
- Besiktas won their fifth consecutive game in Turkey's TBL, beating Mersin 98-82, and share the lead in the standings with Anadolu Efes.
The Hot Hand
- Williams followed up his strong game at ZZ Leiden with a 28-point, five-assist performance against Mersin. He again shot well from long range, making four of nine.
- Richardson helped Armia avoid an upset in their game against TSU Tbilisi by erupting for 25 points. Richardson was two of four from behind the arc, eight of 13 overall and a perfect seven of seven at the free-throw line.
The X Factor
- Besiktas guard David Hawkins has played in the Euroleague for the past several years and can punish any team that focuses too much on Williams. Hawkins can score on drives to the basket and also has a nice perimeter game.
- Diaz, 26, had 10 points and eight assists last week for Armia against Göttingen but made just one of seven shots from the floor against TSU Tbilisi.
Both sides have impressive players on the frontline. Besiktas duo Erden and Ersin Dagli will have to hold their own against Kjellbom and Thomas of Armia. Thomas did not play for Armia at the weekend.