Real Madrid will host Unics Kazan on Tuesday evening, a clash that can be considered the game of the week. The game was initially scheduled to be played a few weeks ago, but it was postponed because of the many Covid cases that hit the teams.
Both teams are in great shape coming into this game: the ‘’Blancos’’ have won 11 of their last 12 games in the EuroLeague and they currently lead the standings both in the EuroLeague and the Spanish ACB. The only defeat suffered by Madrid in this stretch of games came in the ‘’El Clasico’’ against their arch-rivals FC Barcelona, a team that beat Madrid yesterday too in the domestic league. The rivalry between Real and Barca is well known, so Llull and company will be motivated tomorrow not just to keep first place in the standings but also to make their fans forget the disappointment they felt on Sunday. Another motivation for Real could be that besides the defeats against Barca, they won every game in all competitions since October 29th, when they lost against Unics in Kazan, 65-58.
The Russian team is definitely the pleasant surprise of the season so far. In their last five EuroLeague games they beat giants like CSKA, Efes and Barcelona (almost twice, as they lost the away game in Barcelona after overtime in incredible circumstances). While Unics are still considered underdogs in the league, I can see them repeating the performance that Lokomotiv Kuban achieved in 2016, qualifying to the Final Four of the competition (or even Baskonia that was also considered an outsider that year and was coached then by current Unics coach, Velimir Perasovic).
Unics proved that they belong to the elite of the European basketball this year, but I would still definitely pick the home team to win tomorrow, as Real has probably the deepest roster in Europe. In Sunday’s game against Barca, eleven players scored for Madrid, only Anthony Randolph remained scoreless in the 5 minutes he spent on the floor (a player that could be a starter for almost any other team in Europe).