It was another game and another win for FC Barcelona in Round 10 of the Euroleague. The 7th win in a row for the Spanish powerhouse came at the end of a game dominated da capo al fine, in a wonderful defensive display in which they kept the visitors from Crvena Zvezda MTS Belgrade to 65 points only (in a 76-65 win).
A good start of the game was the key for their success and they showed their intentions right from the start; the Spaniards did not waste any time and applied an impressive defensive intensity – a characteristic of Jasikevicius coaching style – with the help of which they managed to hold Crvena Zvezda to 6 points only in the first 10 minutes of play! It was 19-6 after the first quarter and 6 is the lowest number of points scored by any Euroleague team this season in 10 minutes of play so far (“beating” the previous record of 7 points held by Zenit St. Petersburg in the second quarter of their loss 66-75 in the game against Olympiacos Piraeus)! And not only that – but they also kept Jordan Loyd quiet for the whole night – the league top scorer managed 2 points only for the whole evening!
Mirotic managed to impress again and showed off his skills repertoire – he dribbled coast to coast on a fastbreak, he scored 3 pointers and he even had an acrobatic finish (one-hand catch and finish while off balance in the same play) as one of his usual 2 points scoring on his way to a game-high 23 points (in 23 minutes spent on the court). Statistically speaking, he was impressive once again: 100 % for 2 points shooting (4 out of 4); 90 % from the free-throw line (9 out of 10) and “only” 66% from the 3 points territory (2 out of 3)! Pierre Oriola helped with 12 points and so did Calathes with his 10 points and 8 assists for the winning team, while Dejan Davidovac was the only player to score in double digits (12 points) for the team from Belgrade.
It is quite clear to see that Barcelona is hitting a nice form approaching December and it is interesting to see how long they can keep winning and stay at the top considering the pretty competitive environment they operate within (FC Bayern Munich and CSKA Moscow are right behind them in the standings in the second and third place respectively after this round).
Alex Radu is a Senior Lecturer in Sports Coaching Basketball at University of Worcester (England/UK). He has coached various teams at different levels of the game at both club and national team level, including: Cardiff Archers (Associate Head Coach – in WBBL/Women Basketball League, UK); Worcester Wolves (Assistant Coach – in BBL /British Basketball League, UK); Romania U20 Women National Team (Assistant Coach) and Romania U18 Women National Team (Assistant Coach – at FIBA European Championship Division B); Wales U20 Men National Team (Head Coach) and Wales Senior Men National Team (Assistant Coach – at European Championship for Small Countries); Romania Women National Team (Assistant Coach – at Women Eurobasket 2015).