How about this? We all get another chance to watch Madrid vs. Barcelona this season, what a spectacle. Both teams easily made their way into the finals Saturday with Madrid taking down Caja Laboral 78-50 and Barcelona beating Valencia 72-64. Let’s take a look at some exciting match-ups and players that will decide this final.
Players on Fire
Barcelona- Fran Vazquez
Vazquez just had a fantastic game on Saturday. He was all over the court against Valencia and doing everything he is good at. He was heading straight to the rim looking for put backs and alleys for him to oop, attacking the offensive glass, and was just throwing his lanky arms around on defense. He finished with 16 points and 6 rebounds, after having a sub-par game against Cajasol. Look for Vazquez to be active against Madrid and hopefully Ricky Rubio will feed him as much as possible.
Madrid- Sergio Llull
Llull has formed a fantastic 3-point stroke this year and decided to show it off against DKV Joventut in Real Madrid’s 1st game. Going 6 for 9 from distance he finished with an astounding 29 points. Against Caja Laboral yesterday he only put in 8 points with far less shots, but it was not needed because Madrid steamrolled Caja. Today in Bilbao he will want to show off that sweet stroke again, watch out for him.
Who has the ball in Crunch-time
Barcelona- JC Navarro
When Barcelona needs a basket late in the game, they will be going to the reigning Euroleague MVP. Navarro is coming off 15 and 10 point games, but he shot 2 for 10 from 3 point land in those games. With a big stage and the bright lights on him, Navarro will be the guy his teammates turn to late with the game on the line.
Madrid- Marko Jaric
The former NBAer has only been on Madrid for a couple months, but he has made a strong impact. In Real’s first game at the Copa Del Rey Jaric exploded for 26 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 assists. Then the next time out against Caja he only managed 1 point. This scoring inconsistency has plagued Jaric for all of his time in Madrid. But with the clock winding down in the 4th quarter he is the guy I feel most confident making a play.
In the previous meeting this season Barcelona whooped Madrid in Madrid by the score of 79-57. That was before Jaric came on board and it was a different Madrid team. The young players on both teams will be looking to star with NBA scouts in attendance, but when it matters look for the veterans to take control. Barcelona has been on the top of the ACB mountain pretty much all season, and Madrid has the fresh taste of revenge sitting in their mouths. It will be a back and forth affair, with Madrid making more jumpers late and taking victory in Bilbao. Madrid Wins! This will be a very high scoring match and I wouldn’t even miss it for a good paella.