It was an open secret, an easy prediction, a sure cabal. Pau Gasol will make his Barça debut today in the Euroleague game against Bayern Munich. Everything pointed to the match against the Germans as the ideal setting for Pau’s return to the slopes, and Jasikevicius confirmed it in the preview: “Pau is fine, he has been increasing the intensity in the last training sessions. Tomorrow (for today) we are thinking of giving it a few minutes but I repeat that we do not know in what way or how many minutes. We will make this decision in the next 24 hours, there are still two training sessions left ”, explained the Lithuanian coach. And the thing is that Barça is playing absolutely nothing today thanks to a European season to frame that has placed it in a privileged setting: with the first place secured before the end of the regular phase.
Gasol, then, will have no more pressure than to return to playing basketball more than two years after his serious left foot injury. A navicular stress fracture that has kept him off the slopes since March 4, 2019, when he was a player for the Milwaukee Bucks. Today he no longer plays for the Bucks, not even in the NBA, but he will do so in what was his home: 20 years later, he will put on the Barça shirt again in an official game. A meeting in which the rotations of Jasikevicius will be more pronounced than in other scenarios, especially taking into account that Real Madrid awaits on Sunday and the option of being able to fight for the first place, also, of the domestic competition.
If Barça does not have any pressure, this is on the German side, because Bayern does play a lot tonight. With their participation in the playoffs assured, the Bavarian team still have options to achieve the field factor in the first round. He would have to beat Barça and wait for other results. It will not be easy.
Jasikevicius maintained in the previous one that the message to his players is the same as for any other match, that you have to compete and win, but it is clear that the Lithuanian coach will give many more minutes to the less usual. Not only Pau, but also players like Claver, Bolmaro or Hanga, who have a more secondary role in the team. With Madrid just around the corner, it would not be surprising if some of the team’s figures, such as Mirotic, Davies, Higgins or Calathes, did not even wear shorts. Today is Pau’s day.
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