FC Barcelona in playoff mood

This start of the Euroleague playoffs is perhaps the most interesting in history. Olympiakos has a duel with Fenerbahce where the only advantage is the presence of Vezenkov on the field; Baldwin-Brown makes life difficult for those from Monaco; Punter and Partizan hope for a fantastic qualification against Real. The only favorite that seems to have entered destruction mode is Barcelona.

Although until now didn’t seem like they were playing at the level of the team’s value, the beginning of the playoffs showed us a different face. Barcelona seems dependent on this Euroleague title, the extension of Jasikevicius’ contract and keeping the budget for the next season, including the majority of players with high salaries depending on this achievement. It seems that they have taken their objective seriously. To be able to put a player like Mirotic with other players with a vast experience like Satoransky, Vesely, Kalinic, Laprovittola, Kuric, Abrines, Sanli or Abrines is something amazing. Also benefiting from the contribution of talented young people like Jokubaitis, Martinez or Nnaji proves that the management has done its homework.

The first match against Zalgiris was won in a delightful way. Three quarters won by a difference of at least 5 points each, 53.8% from the three-point line, 100% from the free-throw line, 37-28 in rebounds and 17-6 in assists, these numbers tell why the score was 91 -69. Sanli’s 17 points, Mirotic’s 15 points and Jokubaitis’s 12 points led the offensive of the hosts, from the guests only Brazdeikis and Giedraitis were in double digits with 14 and 10 points respectively. The second match between them seems to be one way again, Jasikevicius’ former team also suffers due to the absences of Cavanaugh (5.9 ppg, 4.3 reb) and Evans (15.9 ppg, 3.2 reb, 3.7 ast). Barcelona will try to close the series as quickly as possible, not wanting to risk unnecessary injuries and fatigue.

Barcelona seems finally found the rhythm, having 10 consecutive victories at home and the closer the final stages get, the better they play. I think they will be the main favorites in the Final Four and it will be difficult for anyone to beat them.

Valentin Petruta

Photo credit: EuroLeague