By: Nick Gibson, Sam Meyerkopf and Rob Scott
Real Madrid blew out Banca Civica Sevilla twice. Once in the first half, when they led 30-14 early in the second quarter only to give up 30 points in the period and trail briefly. Again in the second half, for good this time, as a 24-5 run sent Sevilla crashing out of the Copa by a score of 92-84, setting up a second consecutive ‘Clasico’ in the final tomorrow.
Sevilla did squish a 21 point deficit back to 7 points in the second half, but never quite looked to have enough to retake the lead a second time. Nikola Mirotic’s sixth triple with 2:39 remaining stretched the lead to 10 and killed off the Andalucians’ for good. Earl Calloway probed and danced his way through the lane for 11 points and 9 assists, but Sevilla couldn’t get stops when they needed and never really looked they had a chance to win.
Sevilla switched up their defense in the second half but their zone was busted by Madrid’s three point barrage. Los Merengues finished with 14/25 from behind the arc (56 percent). Mirotic was 6/8, Carlos Suarez hit 3/4 and Kyle Singler sank both of his tries from distance.
Sevilla used the long bomb to their own effect in the second quarter, as Carl English, Luka Bogdanovic and Milenko Tepic filled it up. Madrid’s perimeter defense was terrible, closing out too late or not at all, which doesn’t bode well for their battle with Barcelona tomorrow.
It was no coincidence that they steadied themselves and finally saw off the second Sevilla comeback when Sergio Rodriguez re-entered the game with 4 minutes remaining. A fantastic no look dish to Suarez under the rim and then the penetration that set up Mirotic’s three to seal the game were both crucial to prevent a more dramatic ending.
Sergio Llull hit his normal quota of off-balance runners and layups, but better shot selection will be needed against Barcelona.
Why Real Madrid Won
Real Madrid doesn’t close you out by meticulously winding the clock down, making no mistakes, and buckling down on defense. They attack, attack, attack, and hope their offense scores so much, that you become deflated.
Tonight, that was the tune of the song Madrid sang. They got a huge lead in the first half, and then Sevilla came back to cut Madrid’s lead to just four going into the break. Sergio Llull would have none of that, and continued aggressively forcing his way through the Sevilla defense. Madrid came out firing again in the second half, Nikola Mirotic hit six three pointers in the game, and this time Sevilla didn’t have an answer.
Attack, attack, attack. Sevilla just couldn’t figure out how to counteract it.
Also, a special shout out to Madrid swingmen Kyle Singler and Carlos Suarez. They persistently hit the offensive glass and continually forced Sevilla defenders into uncomfortable positions. The energy they played with carried over to the rest of the team and when these two put their hard hats on and go to work, they’re tough match-ups to stop.
Why Banca Civica Sevilla Lost
If someone put a gun to my head and asked me to name Sevilla’s weakness, I’d stammer out “post depth.” (Then I’d probably wet myself, but that’s beside the point.) If you can take Paul Davis out of the game, your chances of taking down Sevilla multiply two-fold.
Madrid shut down Davis (more on that in the next section), but to their chagrin, Luka Bogdanovic and Juan Triguero combined for 25 of Sevilla’s 84 points (nearly 40 percent). Maybe Davis isn’t their only concern down low, after all.
But guess what, folks? Depth is relative, and with Madrid bringing in Felipe Reyes, Novica Velickovic and Ante Tomic off the bench behind Nikola Mirotic and Mirza Begic, that’s a battle you’re bound to lose more often than not.
Star Who Sucked
Was Paul Davis in this game? A look at the stat-sheet shows he put up 4 points, 2 rebounds and 4 assists in a shade over 18 minutes. The dimes sound nice, but Sevilla needed more from the league’s third best player according to ranking index. It’s difficult to remember a more anonymous performance from him this season.
Sucker Who Starred
Mirza Begic ain’t no sucker. He’s just not. But hop around Twitter on a game night and you’ll find plenty of folks trashing the Bosnian 7-footer.
Mirza and his 66 percent ACB shooting are here to make you re-evaluate your perception of his abilities. Looking fit and hanging right around the bucket at all times, Begic put in four of his five shots and grabbed three boards. Workmanlike. Businesslike. Mirza-like.
Maybe y’all can be friends now?
Tomas Satoransky | G | Banca Civica Sevilla
He’s bigger than most guards and has the skill level to get by you when the opportunity arises. You watch Satoransky survey the court and think he’s about to explode to the basket and jump to the sky for an acrobatic finish. Then he passes the ball off and that thirst for Satoransky excitement grows. He played a key role in a couple Sevilla comebacks tonight, but for everything he seems to bring to the court, Satoransky rarely releases his full arsenal of talent. Tonight was another example of that, and Sevilla could have desperately used more attacking from the youngster.
Sevilla Media Subdued
Sevilla’s second quarter comeback was pretty fun to watch, but this game had little in the way of extraneous activity to catch the eye. The Sevilla media didn’t get to jump up on the table in the press section this time, which would have been hypothetically great.
Dumb Headline Pun(s) We Almost Used
Milenko Tepid: Sevilla’s Shooting Guard Slumps In Copa Loss
Begic Can’t Be Chooser: Mirza Cleans Up The Mess, Madrid Wins
Better Wear Your Pancho (Jasen): Madrid Rains Triples On Sevilla