Laso: "Thompkins lacks what I see in other players"

Madrid visits the Red Star on Thursday without the American center: "He will not play, he is not ready." But with Garuba: "It has something special, typical of the greats."


Real Madrid travels to Belgrade, where this Thursday the Red Star of Kuzmic awaits you (7:00 p.m., Dazn). He returns for the first time since May 2018 to the stage of the Tenth, the Stark Arena. And he does it without Trey Thompkins, key then with that winning slap, which is still not registered either in the ACB or in the Euroleague more than nine weeks after returning from vacation. "He is not prepared and, in addition, those who are playing are doing well," replies Pablo Laso. What is missing to return? “What I am seeing in other players, I cannot say much more. What do you see in Garuba? And in Randolph, Mickey, Tavares, Deck ...? As I have to decide who plays, I put the ones that I think are better ”. Also missing are Reyes and Mejri, who continue with their recovery process.

Madrid has won all three games at the WiZink Center and has lost all three away from home. In Belgrade he will have the fourth attempt to start a home victory and try to enter the playoff positions. He will do it with Garuba, whom the coach praises and spurs at the same time to improve: “He has something special, typical of the great players” .

Thirteen players travel. “The same thirteen that have been the last week. Everyone has trained more or less well. ”

And Thompkins? "Thompkins is not going to play, he is not prepared and, in addition, those who are playing are doing well."

What do you need to play again? “What I am seeing in other players, I cannot say much more. What do you see in Garuba? And in Randolph, Mickey, Tavares, Deck ...? Since I have to decide who plays, I put the ones I think are better. ”

Usman Garuba. "I'm not surprised. I've been watching it for a long time and I'm very confident in what the boy can do, because I know what he can do. What I do believe is that it has something special, typical of the great players. Can you play in the ACB? And in the Euroleague? In the end play. Can Luka (Doncic) do it in the NBA? The great players know how to adapt and adapt their game to the requirement. Usman gives us many things, we are very happy with his attitude, his work and I also think he would be very stupid of him if he thought he had everything done, because his margin for improvement is very wide. It is very important for us and has a long way to go to improve and improve. ”

Three defeats away from home and now Belgrade. “I am not so worried about the pavilion, but that we are well, that we play a good game, because otherwise you don't win in the Euroleagues. We are obliged to play better than we have done in the previous days away from home. We cannot flip, we have to be more constant. At home we have something more regular in the game. ”

The Red Star. “It is a very physically demanding team because it puts a lot of pressure on the ball. It has very aggressive players, good posts with Kuzmic, Gist and Eye, a lot of versatility in the positions of 'two', 'three' and 'four', and external threat. A complete team that is competing very well. ”

The level of last Sunday in Vitoria. “The game surprised me for good, not only for us, but also for Baskonia. A duel of a very high level with two teams that came from playing our fifth game in ten days, but that did not seem so. The two teams were very focused and very successful. We had more good minutes, but it is true that also some bad for the growth of the rival in the game. We must look for our best level, although in Vitoria we played a good game. Winning in the last second in a field like this gives you a plus of confidence. ”

Very difficult to beat away from home. “The competition is very demanding and we come from a World Cup year in which the players have linked the championship with the club season. It costs a little to catch up in a year in which the teams are very close. Asvel Villeurbanne, for example, which could be one of the most ... has won all his home games. You have to play very well because the teams are strong in their field. ”

Return to the Belgrade Arena. “The last time we played there we were European champions and when we enter the pavilion, memories will come, sure, but we will also have enough work to not think much about the above and focus on the game.”

Ognjen Kuzmic, now as a rival. “The issue of Kuz for us is something almost personal. In Madrid we all keep a very good impression of him. We had a lot of bad luck in the two seasons he was here. He suffered a serious injury and, when it seemed that he was well, he had another injury and when it seemed that he was re-entering the team, he had to stop again. The feeling is of a lot of bad luck and if you add to that what happened to you in the summer, the blow with the car, you think that this poor boy has a hard time, that's why I'm glad he is back on the court , because he likes to do it. I wish him the best of luck from now on. ”



Photos from as.com
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