Real Madrid coach Pablo Laso has said that he faces “very calm“the European ‘playoffs’, which will start this Tuesday against Anadolu Efes, a rival that has”very unbalancing players“like Shane Larkin, whom you consider”the most explosive player in the Euroleague“, adding that”the court factor is important, but not decisive“.
“All the Euroleague playoffs are an important moment of the season. Only the best eights in Europe play and it is unpredictable. There are years that you have more or less favoritism, injured… One year against Darussafaka we went to Istanbul screwed up because they had won us one here. Another year we beat Panathinaikos 3-0, but it was very tough. Madrid have earned respect because we have repeated many times in these ‘playoffs’. Now a new story begins and you have to focus on the first game“Laso summed up to the press.
The technician celebrated that in recent days they have been able to “train with the whole team“, so that “the physical sensations are good at a time of the season where all the teams are very loaded after many games“.”I am very calm because it has been the most normal week in terms of everyone having been able to trainr “, he said, aware that they face a” very tough “opponent.
“Not only this year, but also the past and the previous one, when they played the final, Efes is a very recognizable team with great players in all positions. It is also an extensive team. Everyone talks about Larkin, but if you stop him, Simon, Micic, Dunston appear… He has had a season from less to more and for us it is a challenge, but all the Euroleague playoffs are that demanding“he explained.
Putting the focus on Larkin, Laso warned that it is “the most explosive player in the Euroleague“.”His one on one is brutal, he is a very fast player, very difficult to stop. He played a beastly match in Vitoria two days after here in Madrid and I think Baskonia defended him very well. Amazing juice. Basketball has that, you have to do very well defensively and offensively to win., but if a rival burns you will have to adapt and try to lower their records. With a player like Larkin that’s more difficult“, he acknowledged.
“The field factor is not decisive”
Before traveling to Istanbul to play two games there this week, the man from Vitoria indicated that “the court factor is important, but not decisive“.”If they give you the choice, you prefer to play the fifth game at home, but this season is special because of the pandemic and we are going to see how that affects the playoffs.“he added.
Asked about the tough defeat in the last game against Efes (83-108), he replied that “Past matches teach you and as a coach, you are bound to be worth it for the future“.”I don’t think a game less points would suit us, the result in Madrid was too much for what the game was. We are going to have to propose different options and for that we prepare“, he concluded.
In addition, Laso praised the good performance in recent weeks of Nico Laprovittola and Usman Garuba and confirmed that Vincent Poirier is also part of the expedition to Turkey even though he is not enrolled in the Euroleague. “He can’t play, but he travels with the team. It is important that you feel part of the group“, he finished on the French.
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