Monday, September 27

Maccabi assault the Palau and take Barça out of the lead

He Barça let slip the leadership of the Euroleague with a loss to him Maccabi, who imposed his inner strength and his physical deployment to storm the Palau (67-68). Had the team of Jasikevicius the option of winning in your hands with possession in the last 13 seconds. But Higgins he missed the launch and consumed the fourth Barça defeat in 15 rounds.

Davies he was dropped at the last minute due to some discomfort in the right calf and that gave Pustovyi ownership in the Barça ranks. His presence responded to a tactical bet to counteract the 213 centimeters of the Croatian Dragan bender, chosen in 2016 as number four in the NBA draft by the Phoenix suns and although Oriola he was giving relief, the presence of the Ukrainian pivot became more necessary than ever for Barça in the battle that took place in the area. Was Spree, only 23 years old and with plenty of talent although he did not fit in his time in the American league, who became the engine of Maccabi in the first quarter (12-17).

Scoring trouble

It is not only the Croatian pivot who is the benchmark of the Israeli team, of course. The team that trains counts Sfairopoulos with a powerful inner battery with Zizic and Othello Hunter that reduced the spaces in the zone, dried up the Catalans in attack and complicated the fight for the rebound, winning some important ones under the Barcelona basket. With his presence on the court, the Maccabi he was able to draw the script for a very physical, demanding match, in which Jasikevicius’s players found themselves very uncomfortable from start to finish. It cost the Israeli team to score. But much more to Barcelona, ​​which also carries the wear and tear of an exhausting month (he will complete 10 games in 22 days) and was thicker than usual and accumulated too many losses.

Minimized in the area, the only way the Barcelona fans found to grow was through the fight of Mirotic, starting point to point, and from the wrist of Kuric and also of Higgins, to reduce the damage and give the advantage to his team at half-time (32-30). Jasikevicius had asked his players to make an effort to his men, to relieve the starters of responsibility. And Kuric, Roland Smits and Pustovyi, people always willing to put on the overalls, were the ones who managed to add.

Final mistakes

Parameters hardly changed on reboot. The initial exchange of triples was a mirage, because the match closed again and the changes on the scoreboard were constant. Higgins and Pustovyi were in charge of maintaining the energy of the Barcelona fans, with Mirotic limited by the Israeli defense (54-53, m. 30), while Maccabi found the response of players like Dorsey or Hunter. Five minutes from the end it seemed that the Israeli team was in a position to storm the Palau. Barça tried to entrust itself to Calathes effect and his five points in a row gave him a good chance to win the victory (67-63, m. 37). But no one accompanied him. And the Barça mistakes in his last attacks and the problems to control the rebound ended up condemning him.

Data sheet

FC Barcelona: Calathes (11), Higgins (16), Abrines (3), Mirotic (12), Pustovyi (8) -starting five- Hanga (-), Bolmaro (-), Smits (5), Oriola (-), Martínez (-), Kuric (12)

7 of 20 triples (Kuric, 3), 28 rebounds, 7 offensive (Mirotic, 10), 11 assists (Calathes, 4)

Maccabi: Bryant (10), Wilbekin (7) Caloiaro (4), Bender (15), Hunter (10) – starting five- Jones (2), Casspi (2), Dorsey (14), Dibartolomeo (2), Blayzer (- ), Zizic (2), Zoosman (-).

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3 of 15 triples (Dorsey, 2), 32 rebounds, 12 offenses (Caloiaro, 7), 19 assists (Wilbekin, 6)

Partial: 12-17; 20-13; 22-23; 13-15

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