Let’s celebrate Fool’s Day!
I must admit that I have not seen many Real Madrid games this season. I truly hope today’s was not a representative sample.
Barcelona was limited by several injuries (Abrines, Navarro, Oleson) and Real Madrid only had problems with El Chacho. When it came to the game Real Madrid had problems all over the place.
The first quarter was relatively even, but on the whole quite soft by both sides. Real Madrid did not take advantage of a fairly speedy pace and the score was higher than expected.
The beginning of the second quarter was the turning point of the game. With Satoransky on the court for Barcelona, Pablo Laso decided to give El Chacho a few minutes of play. The experiment was a complete and utter disaster. Sergio could not follow Satoransky’s physical style and on top of that he lost three balls. By the time Laso realised that something was going terribly wrong Barcelona was 10 points ahead and Sergio Rodriguez was out of the game.
Even so Real Madrid managed to get within a short distance by halftime. One would have expected a change in style from Real Madrid in the third quarter. With Sergio Rodriguez on the bench for good, Llull took control of the operations, but there was no clarity, no action plan. Real Madrid has two power forwards (Maciulis & Nocioni) who could have made life really complicated for Hezonja, Dollman and Thomas. However neither Llull nor Campazzo exploited the paint, limiting themselves to quite confusing plays.
Conclusions: Real Madrid did not seem to have prepared the game as well as Barcelona. Particularly the Madrid point guards did not add much value, and the defence was soft to say the least. Laso’s tactical work seemed non existent, whereas Xavi Pascual insisted on his using of pick-and-rolls.