Although Baskonia has long been in the European elite, It was not until February 2016 when he met for the first time in the Euroleague with Madrid. Now, with the change in format, the double crossing is required every year and Baskonia is one of the very few rivals that has a favorable balance with the Whites, whom they have beaten in 7 of their 12 games (The great meringue ogre is CSKA: 20-34).
The team from Vitoria took the two duels of last season by a cumulative difference of 33 points. Nothing to do with what was seen on October 31 at the Buesa Arena in the League, when the Baskonians still paled with Dusko Ivanovic on the bench (65-83).
“Spahija has not been able to introduce many things yet because he has faced three matches in a row (in one week). But there are changes in the idea of the game. Better or worse? I don’t get in there. It is a team with injuries that was going to go to more (Alec Peters and Raieste are still out and Costello is doubtful) ”. As the pivot has gone, ex Obradoiro, Steven Enoch, who averages 19.7 points in his last three European performances (24 of 31 from two and 11 from 11 from staff), 9.7 rebounds and a PIR of 28.7. His great duel with Tavares (20.8 PIR, behind only Mirotic, 21.4) and Poirier. “There is no team in Europe with a better inside game,” says Spahija, who promises imagination to the low post: “There you can also attack with forwards, penetrate, do many things …”.
Tonight in Vitoria (20:30, Dazn) Madrid face their 25th game of the season, even less than a third of those who can dispute. Neither Randolph has participated in the previous 24, who ruptured his left Achilles tendon last December, nor Thompkins, who underwent arthroscopy in the left knee in May in which the joint was found to be worse than expected. Alocen has also missed the last nine matches (back) and, to the four most recent, Taylor (hamstrings). And Williams-Goss, who returned to Betis on Sunday, had been out for a month.
In total, the staff accumulates 79 games absent in two and a half months of course. “Honestly, I am optimistic”Pablo Laso said yesterday. The reason is that “probably next Monday they can all train”. He assures it while mentally crossing his fingers: “There is less than a week left and I hope nothing else happens. Taylor has been able to work something. Thompkins and Randolph are better, the second already in team dynamics ”.
Later, each of them will reappear at their own pace, with more caution in the cases of Randolph and Thompkins, the most delicate. Madrid has had three days of training in Valdebebas to prepare the duel against Baskonia and will rest the weekend by the stoppage of the Windows of selections, so he will not return to action until Thursday 2 against Maccabi. Time to recharge and hold more specific sessions with, if possible, the entire squad, which is 14 players plus homegrown players Juan Núñez and Vukcevic.
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