The two other leaders in Group E didn’t so much reveal their vulnerabilities as splash them across a giant billboard. Efes slipped up in Kaunas against a Zalgiris team playing for nothing but pride, and the hope of receiving their full salaries for the year. Jordan Farmar re-entered the game in the fourth and tried to lead a comeback, but it was all too late. Efes finishing the game with Dogus Balbay reminded everyone that behind their excellent starting backcourt, there isn’t much depth to this roster without Sasha Vujacic, who has missed the last four Euroleague games. They have the ability to make it to London but games like this show that they could just as easily be swept out of the playoffs.

And so to Madrid. This is no a crisis, but it is worrying. It was probably inevitable that they would not carry on their incredible winning record, slipping from 39-5 to 39-8 in just a week, across Euroleague and ACB. The team that won all those games has not suddenly turned bad, but their near-flawless end-game execution has slipped away in the past few weeks, and a worrying tendency for crucial mistakes has surfaced.

There is nothing to be said on a macro-level about Laso or the wider strategy when Rudy Fernandez steals the ball in the final minute, goes coast to coast and gets blocked by the rim. Sergio Llull missed free throws, so did Diamantidis and Tsartsaris, but it’s easy to guess which one will take the heat. If Nikola Mirotic was capable of missing from the line, they may have had a chance to tie this one. As it is, 4 seconds from the end, down three, he sank both rather than try for the rebound on the second and not even a pair of missed freebies by Diamantidis could let Madrid back in.

Hysterical ramblings about the inevitability of defeat would be missing the point, but it would also be stupid to pretend everything is going well.

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