Main conclusion: too early to say.
Real Madrid is clearly ahead of F.C. Barcelona in fitness and teamwork. That should be no surprise. 9 Real Madrid players played in the World Cup, so effectively they have already completed their pre-season training.
Besides Madrid’s hirings have not altered the existing team structure, they have just made it more robust.
Some changes can already be perceived in Real Madrid’s style. Their game is slightly less frenetic than last year’s, purely because the style of the three new players (Ayón, Nocioni and Maciulis) is very physical, heavier, quite different to that of Mirotic. But on the whole Real Madrid looks more balanced and focused than last year. Laso used yesterday countless permutations, but there is always a common denominator: strong players in the paint, not flashy, just effective.
Barcelona is at a different stage. Neither Dollman nor Satoransky look integrated in the team flow. Thomas looks like a pretty good hiring. On the other hand Pleiss is too similar to Tomic for my taste and it is worrying to see Nachbar contributing so little. But we all know that Xavi Pascual works at a steady pace and the real measure of Barcelona’s potential will be realized in a couple of months.
Real Madrid should be careful not to make last year’s mistakes and achieve their peak form too early in the season.
Couple of comments for Valencia and Baskonia.
Valencia is clearly the third option. It is up to them how far they’ll get. They possibly lack a big man in the paint, but other than that they are as good as anyone in the league.
Baskonia is struggling to adapt to the new times. They do not have the talent to be in the top four.