By: Sam Meyerkopf & Rob Scott
Every couple of weeks Rob and Sam will let you inside their constant banter on their favorite team, Real Madrid. They’ll be discussing anything from which style of sock Sergio Llull should wear to deciding how many dribbles Jaycee Carroll is allowed per a game. Enjoy, comment, and jump in on this season long chat.
Sam: Our sometimes beloved and sometimes hated Spanish star Rudy Fernandez just signed a three year deal with Real Madrid. After a few up and down seasons in that other league across the Atlantic, Fernandez looks to be back in Europe for good. As cautiously noted Real supporters, Rob, we both have strong opinions on the matter. Last year Rudy looked great at times for Real, but his occasionally ball hogging ways and macho style I think pissed off his teammates. His offensive game is magical in doses, but does it disrupt everything else going on with the team?
Rob: I’ve changed my mind about this more often than I’ve refreshed my twitter feed looking for the latest rumors. There’s just too much up in the air in general to come down on one side. Is Chacho going to be rewarded for his best season in a few by being shipped out? Is the Llull as point guard experiment over? Will Don Draper be handed the keys to this Jaguar of an offense? Is that going to be the last time I crowbar a Dontaye Draper/Mad Men reference into a piece? We know the answer to the last question is a resounding ‘no’ but the others are still wide open.
Rudy played in that weird lockout-era offense with Ibaka screwing up the spacing. If I see Jaycee Carroll curl off staggered screens and Rudy ignoring him I’m going to be pissed. If I see him dance through the lane and finish with style, I won’t be. Isn’t part of seeing this team play so beautifully, knowing it could come crashing down at any moment, part of the magic? Give me that over plodding, mechanical Pasual-ball any day.
Sam: Mechanical Pascual-ball, I feel like I need to shower after writing that, gross. Yes the beauty of Madrid, as I believe you wrote on it last year, was that anything could happen at any time. One game they look like god’s gift to offensive basketball and the next, it’s all imploded. Is Rudy the piece that keeps that magic afloat, or does he disrupt the ship too much that it keeps tipping over? Madrid needs Fernandez to be a creator, just as much as he is a scorer and I’m not sure if his ego will allow him to do that. Basically next year I’m scared it falls apart with Real Madrid being so deep and Rudy making the team fit to his game instead of vice versa. The team doesn’t gel, not enough guys figure out their role, and everyone is looking at Rudy as the star who is throwing up anything he likes rather than playing conductor to Real’s orchestra of talents. Then hopefully we get a more refined Fernandez in year 2, hopefully. Did I just write off the season, aka a chance at a Euroleague title, in July? Rob if I keep typing I’ll fall off this fro hawk created ledge.
Rob: Did Olympiacos fans write off the season when Mantzaris replaced Teodosic? It’s way too early for ledge dwelling. I see a Euroleague that’s wide open, particularly with the new format making anomalies like last year’s Top 16 exit more unlikely. Rudy can handle the ball, he can come off screens, he can create off the dribble, and he’s a multi-skilled scoring threat unlike anything else in Europe outside of that ‘Macedonian’ point guard. I love the fact that we’re pretty much trolling people with this signing. Just like playing Sergio Llull at the point, it flies in the face of conventional wisdom. Put him alongside Mirotic another year into his development, and there won’t be many teams in Europe that can live with this offense providing the ball keeps moving. Side pick and roll, Rudy handling, Mirotic screening, Carroll spotting up on the opposite wing, what do you do? Pick your poison, that’s what. Keep the faith, Sam.