A traditional derby of the Euroleague: Real Madrid – Maccabi Tel Aviv

Today in the second round of Turkish Euroleague, we have a fierce battle between two of the biggest Euroleague teams, Real Madrid and Maccabi Tel- Aviv. Those teams have won together 16 titles and were runner-ups in 17 times. They fight for 2014 Euroleague title and the winners were Maccabi Tel Aviv in overtime 98-86. The main scorer for them was Tyrese Rice with 26 points and for Real was Sergio Rodriguez with 21 points.

Real have a very good and depth squad and they are one of the main favourites to win another Euroleague title. The core of the team is still here and as reinforcements, they added Jordan Mickey, Nicolas Laprovittola and Garuba Usman, a young center with huge potential. Recently Real Madrid parted ways with Trey Thompkins, welcoming back the Tunisian giant Salah Mejri. In the first round, they won against Fenerbahce 81-77, with nice performances from Jeffery Taylor (19 points), Anthony Randolph (15 points and 5 rebounds) and Facundo Campazzo (14 points and 8 assists). In the weekend they also won against Tenerife 71-76, with Sergio Llull the main performer with 19 points and 3 assists. They used 12 players, which mean all players are rested and prepared for this game.

Maccabi added many players during the summer, especially players with many games in NBA, like Omri Casspi and Quincy Acy. However, in the first round, they lost to Khimky 89-83, especially due to their very poor 3-point shooting, with only 4 shots made out of 22 attempt and their 15 turnovers. In the national league, they started well, with a victory in the first round against Maccabi Rishon, 81-66. Israel sensation Deni Avdija finished as top scorer with 15 points, while Omri Casspi had 13 points, 6 rebounds and 6 assists. For this game, they have a full roster available.

Without any doubts, Real Madrid are the main favourites for this game because they have a stronger team and also play in front of their fans. Maccabi made a lot of changes during the summer and they still have some problems with chemistry, while for Real, this aspect is the main strength.

Photo: Euroleague.net

Bogdan Vasile Tirc

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