Euroleague: From Belgrade to Belgrade: Micic, Larkin, Pablo Laso’s concern and the “magical percent” | Euroleague 2021

Real Madrid – Anadolu Efes (7 pm, DAZN)

Updated Saturday, May 21, 2022 –

Real Madrid is looking for its eleventh European Cup against an Efes that threatens from the perimeter. The loss of Williams-Goss conditions the whites: they are not expected to activate Heurtel

Micic, Ataman, Laso and Yabusele, on Friday at the Stark Arena.sergio prezEFE
  • Jasikevicius “I don’t know if this team needs another coach”

Belgrade means White City from its origins and Real Madrid makes it its own, blessed idyll with the Serbian capital. This Saturday (7:00 p.m., DAZN), who would say, will seek to repeat the Euroleague that they achieved here four years ago, then the Tenth. To reign in Europe again in its most inexplicable season, to raise a title -beyond Super Cups- to break the unprecedented drought in the it was Lasomore than two years since the Malaga Cup and almost three since the 2019 ACB. “I don’t have a magic potion,” says the coach before his fifth final in a decade.

In the Final Four, time speeds up. No one remembers what happened on Thursday, the enormous demonstration of self-love by Real Madrid against that almighty Bara who had ruined him over and over again and who is now chewing on his own miseries. What matters now is Anadolu Efes, the champion that threatens. And what goes around in Laso’s head is the injury to Williams-Goss, which barely lasted 52 seconds on the court. Yes Larkin and Micic They are two insurmountable demons, even more difficult without the most physical base of the squad. It will be time, again, for heroics.

And perhaps morbidly, if Laso bets on pardoning Thomas Heurtelseparated from the beginning of April next to Trey Thompkins for that indiscipline in Athens. It doesn’t seem like it, the Frenchman wouldn’t deserve to take the leading role that his teammates sweated in the resurrection against Maccabi. “It is a possibility that he will play, for sure,” the coach deflected the controversy, who pondered over that challenge, to stop the best foreign pair that the Euroleague has remembered in years. “Efes is a great team beyond individualities. Both Micic and Larkin are differentials. Stopping them can be very easy, I put two on top of each one. That’s why they are so good, because they are going to find another and they are going to kill us The attention they generate makes them good. I want to make a good team defense”, he acknowledged to the side of Ergin Atamanrecalling last year’s quarter-final series: “In the fifth game the best was Singleton and the important triple was scored by Simon”.

The Croatian forward will not be there either, although beyond Micic and Larkin, the champion relies on the veteran of a squad that has changed little in recent years. Elijah Bryant, one of the few new faces, shone against Olympiacos. The powerful interior of Madrid with Poirier y Tavares it is evident, but in the perimeter it can suffer.

Tidal waves to the end

What the Turks and Spaniards do share is the tidal wave with which they have reached the final in Belgrade. It will be the third in a row for Efes, the 19th in its history for Madrid, which finished fourth in the regular season after losing eight of its last 10 games. Those from Istanbul, for their part, could only finish sixth after an improper start. “We’ve never had any doubts. We’ve had problems, like them. Nothing is easy, but I’m not thinking about the past. Which teams don’t have problems? We had them, for sure. But we’re here. Period”, concluded Laso.

A curse and a coincidence. In the three semifinal precedents between Bara and Madrid, the Spaniards always ended up losing in the final match afterwards. It will also be, by the way, the fifth time that white football and basketball have shared a continental final. It happened in 1962, 1964, 2014 and 2018. Only in the last one, Belgrade and kyiv, did the double come.

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