First, I would like to start this article by condemning the events that took place in Match 2. Sport means respect for the opponent, for the supporters, for those who follow the match on TV and for which the sponsors pay for advertising. What happened at the end of the match has nothing to do with this, it doesn’t matter that you are tired, or that the opponent uses trash talk, what happened is regrettable, especially since it was about a moment of the game without stakes. Instead, I want to congratulate the speech of a man recognized as demanding, Obradovic, who after everything that happened, urged everyone to calm down and not to escalate violence.
The result of this incident is unfavourable to the Serbs from my point of view. From Real, Yabusele (9.7 ppg, 4.0 reb) was suspended for 5 matches, and Gabriel Deck (12.2 ppg) for one match, besides these 2 absences the condition of Tavares (10.4 ppg, 6.5 reb) is still unknown, but the Spanish rotation can replace these absent. Instead, Partizan has huge problems not having such a rotation; Kevin Punter has been suspended 2 games (15.8 ppg), Matthias Lessort (12.0 ppg, 7.2 reb) received a one-game suspension; Dante Exum (13.4 ppg) does not look very good after the wrestling manoeuvre applied by Yabusele and it is not known if he will be able to play in the 3rd match.
The matches in Madrid showed us that, first of all, Chus is not up to Obradovic’s level, at every move of the Spaniard, the legendary Serbian coach quickly found the answer. In the first game, the Serbians won after a 3-pointer by Punter (26 points), 89-87, and he responded to Deck’s attempts (24 points, 8 rebounds). Game 2 was at the discretion of Partizan, this time Deck was blocked perfectly and Exum (19 points), Nunnally (16 points) and LeDay (15 points) took over the role of Punter and Real never led on the scoreboard.
Although Partizan starts with extremely good morale after the victories in Spain, I believe that that accident gives Real an advantage and the 1.65 odds offered by some bookmakers can be taken into account, considering the significant absences from the home team. In Deck’s absence, Real’s offense will probably be led by Musa and Hezonja. Under the given conditions, there are chances that we will have a decisive match in Madrid.
Photo credit: EuroLeague