In Round 21 of Liga Endesa, Gran Canaria, currently on 10th position, receive the visit of Barcelona, who are first in Spain and pass through a very good period for them, winning the last 8 games in a row in all competitions. In their last meeting, Barcelona smashed their opponents 89-75 thanks to good contributions from Nikola Mirotic and Brandon Davies, both finishing with 20 points.
After several seasons with European competitions, this year Gran Canaria remained focused only on the national league. They need to regain their strengths and find some good players to build around for future seasons. A whole new roster was signed during the summer, but the results are mediocre. With 2 wins away from the last playoff spot, every game is important for them, because that spot will bring them more money. Their last game against Fuenlabrada was suspended in the 25th minute of the game due to the damage of the parquet and the impossibility to play the game. Prior to this game, Gran Canaria took an important win over the revelation RetaBet Bilbao, 92-54. It was a very bad day for Bilbao, as they ended with only 30% of their shots made and 10 turnovers. The main contributors for Gran Canaria were: Demonte Harper (24 points and 4 rebounds), Javier Beiran (16 points and 6 rebounds) and John Shurna (13 points and 8 rebounds).
Barcelona came in this game after two Euroleague victories, over Valencia away and Milano at home. That win against Milano came with a big prize because Thomas Heurtel, who came back from injury just a couple of weeks ago, suffered another injury, a left ankle sprain. He will be out for this game as Cory Higgins and Kevin Pangos. However, Barcelona managed to win that game 84-80, thanks to a very good third quarter. Their main contributors were: Malcolm Delaney (26 points, 5 rebounds and 9 assists), Kyle Kuric (16 points) and Nikola Mirotic (15 points, 3 rebounds and 3 assists). Delaney had a very good game and fills the void left by Heurtel and his form will be very important for Barcelona in the further meetings.
During their many meetings, Gran Canaria took several wins over Barcelona, most recently in 2018-2019 Euroleague season, when they beat them at home 87-86. Now, Barcelona is in very good shape and will try to get the win here, but they play two days ago against Milano and their fitness will be challenged in this encounter. I expect a tough match, with Gran Canaria playing at its maximum to give a good result to their fans.
Bogdan Vasile Tirc