Real Madrid get tangled up a lot: are the Euroleague quarters at risk?

The defeats against Baskonia and Valencia, the injuries, the current bad dynamics ... The whites, without a mattress in the most unpredictable Euroleague.


Real Madrid came out of Valencia touched, shaken in the first half and short of strength when it attempted the improbable turnaround in the second half, as in the Cup final. A new defeat that, in Europe, follows the hit of the match prior to the parenthesis cupbearer, a mess on his track against Baskonia (64-84). Real Madrid have lost all five of their duels against Spanish rivals (Barcelona, Baskonia, Valencia Basket) in the Euroleague, and have to host Barcelona on March 11. There he will try to avoid a strange donut, perhaps with more than mere statistical curiosity at stake.

These two defeats complicate Real Madrid, it is a fact. Because they were matches that under normal conditions would not count as a double of defeats a priori and because they measured rivals of those who row to get into the quarterfinals (among the top eight). A missed opportunity, therefore, to breach the danger zone. It is the most even season the competition has experienced with this format. And that makes everything especially unstable, so the dynamics are important for these last nine days. Real Madrid's is bad: five defeats in eight games since it was 12-5, ahead of a Barça that has won seven games out of eight, has converted an 11-6 into an 18-7 and is the leader. Real Madrid is fourth, at 15-10. But it's the same balance as (qualifying madness) Bayern and Fenerbahçe; and there are Efes with one game less (14-10) and Zenit with two to play (14-9) .

Madrid only have two more defeats than the second (Milan, 16-8 with one game less, like CSKA which is third). But he has the same as the eighth and only one less than the ninth, a Zalgiris who is 13-11 also with a game less than the whites ... and who visits Madrid next week. So Pablo laso's people can mark the appointment in red on the calendar: Thursday, 9:00 p.m., WiZink Center. Tranquility ... or hysteria. The average is his for now: 90-93 in Kaunas after a great final comeback, one that may end up being instrumental.The numbers keep coming out ... for now

If Real Madrid win they will stabilize, if they lose they will get into a complicated mixer. Then he has a game that he cannot forgive against the evicted bottom row, the lousy Khimki (2-22, 15 losses in a row). So if he wins these next two games he will breathe before a difficult final in which he has to deal with Barcelona, Zenit, CSKA, Efes and Fenerbahçe. Much fabric with two other games against lesser but dangerous rivals, Asvel and Olympiacos.

The dynamics count: ahead, Milan has won seven of its last eight games and behind it, Efes (six wins in seven games) and Fenerbahçe are squeezing very hard, joining 10 consecutive victories after being broke (5-10). Promotions that have finished stirring up an unpredictable playoff fight right now, with Baskonia, Valencia and Zalgiris holding on to their options and Maccabi walking away but still alive.

In a normal rhythm, Real Madrid will enter the second round. But in recent weeks the picture has been complicated. The injuries (the last, very expensive, of Taylor and Rudy), the fatigue, the poor performance of the newcomer Tyus (Tavares continues without almost rest) ... Pablo Laso's team has experience and is amply competitive, but it is more fair than staff and talent than in previous seasons (Campazzo left, Randolph was injured ...). His metrics are not bad at all: fourth in valuation, fourth in points and rebounds, fifth in assists ... but his last games point to the decline. His great danger is that he shoots a lot but badly from three, the one that more than the Euroleague (28.1) with the third-to-last percentage (35.7%). The Whites shoot 28.1 3-pointers for just 34 shots of two in each game, a dangerous trend that makes their attack too gusty.

But the reality is that 3, and certainly 4, victories in these last 9 games could be enough. With them, Real Madrid would reach 18 or 19, which would place it around 54% who have always made the pass to the second round since it is played in this League format all against all. With the last season aborted by the pandemic, in the three previously completed the eighth finished in a win percentage of 50% (15-15, with 30 teams) and, twice, of 53.3% (16-14). Real Madrid is still at 60% (15-10) and should reach, even if it is stumbling, those 18 or 19 victories. But their situation has been complicated, the season is strange and the classification is changing and dangerous. Last season he was 22-6, second when the break came. In the three previously completed only once (2017-18: 19-11) he surpassed the ten defeats he has now in the entire regular phase. He ended up, yes, being European champion in Belgrade. In the Euroleague anything can happen, but the fact is that the blows against Baskonia and Valencia Basket have left Real Madrid without a net and with Zalgiris, the frontier of the quarters, on the way to WiZink. If you win, the accounts will be very clear. But if he loses again ...

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