ANDl Barcelona, ??after its undeniable triumph at the WiZink Center in the first game of the Endesa League final, is ready to achieve the maximum domestic title seven years later the last one to rise (2014). And he has all the tricks in his hand to achieve it: he plays on his court, in front of his audience, with players like Higgins, Kuric or Gasol in a great moment, and against a rival, Real Madrid, who arrives touched and pressured after the first defeat.
Everything is looking ahead for the Catalans, who will wield again his defense as his main argument. Jasikevicius knew that much of Madrid’s game was founded on his exterior success, and in the first game he cut off those wings of his rival. The white team is the one that scores the most triples in the entire League: 11.1 per game with 38.5% effectiveness and Barça did not allow him to reach that level (8/27 and 30%).
The azulgranas, orphans by Mirotic, quite misplaced in these playoffs, they have made the good time of their perimeter players profitable. Higgins blew up the whites in the third quarter, Kuric hit when he was on the court, and on the inside Pau Gasol and Brandon Davies kept the guy with the rival towers.
It did not even help Madrid to dominate the rebound and catch 21 rejections under the rival ring, because the Barça defense destroyed many of those extra possessions with their good defense.
Underlies there the problem of Laso’s in the management, with an Alocen that is too fledgling and irregular and a Llull fresh from his injury that depends a lot on his offensive inspiration. Abalde has just reappeared and has had to act as a base circumstantially, but it is not the panacea. At this point it is possible that Laprovittola reappears, who was seen warming up with the ball before the first game. Your team plays without a net and it’s time to burn all the ships.
For Madrid it is imperative to better adjust its defense on the Barça snipers, who have found too easy spaces to deploy their deadly shot. Higgins and Kuric are the ones who best represent him. The task is difficult for good defenders like Taylor or Causeur without help from your team.
And do it by measuring the intensity so as not to be heavily penalized by fouls. In the first game, 29 fouls were awarded to his rival 22, and two techniques, to Rudy and Taylor. Laso hinted at the subsequent press conference his discomfort with the refereeing. He does not understand that his rival, who always defends to the limit, ends up with fewer fouls.
And the whites must improve in attack to have a chance of victory. In the first game they did not reach the approved: 18/49 t2 (37%) and 8/27 t3 (30%). With those numbers difficult to knock down Barça.
The field factor seems relative. The Whites won at the Palau two months ago (85-87) and in the League they have only lost one of their 20 away games, against Valencia. And Barça has a 20-2 balance at home. Only Madrid and Valencia took the Palau, a bunker.
Jasikevicius, into battle
The tension that will be on the parquet of the Palau Blaugrana will also reach the benches with two top-level coaches who are very clear about what they want from their teams. They know the strengths and weaknesses of their rivals, but they cannot always exploit them as they would like.
Sarunas JasikeviciusObviously, he expects his team to play as in the second half at the WiZink Center: “We have to play like in the third and last quarters, not like in the first two. In the third we played good basketball, we knew how to read the situations better and we were much more aggressive, penetrating the basket and playing our basketball, “he says.
He does not deny that his team is facing a historic occasion, but asks for prudence: “We have a very big opportunity, but we know that ahead there will be a champion team that has been through many of these wars with the same coach and the same players. There will be a new war in the Palau and this will start again from scratch. It is a great opportunity to win a game that is worth a title and in our house, but you have to have a lot of humility “.
Pablo Laso is clear about the aspects in which his team must improve: “I am concerned that we will improve some defensive aspects in which they hurt us, Higgins’s growth, controlling Kuric’s exits and, offensively, having better readings of the game and more. I’m right because in the first game our percentages weren’t good. It will be another tough and demanding match. “
The white coach does not know if he can count on Laprovittola: “I see it difficult, but we are going to try. I would like to be positive, but I do not see it easy,” he said.
Subscribe to the BRAND Basket Newsletter and receive in your email, from Monday to Sunday and first thing in the morning, exclusive news, interviews, reports, graphics and videos that will mark the day in the NBA, Endesa League, Euroleague and the rest of the basket world.