This team is a wreck

Madrid visit Khimki this Tuesday, the worst team in the Euroleague. The Russians have only won 2 matches out of 24. They have made 16 losses since November.


The Euroleague changed its face radically from the 2016-17 season. It established a regular phase with the 16 best teams in Europe (since last season 18) in a system of all against all to go and return that would give the ticket to the quarterfinals to the eight first classified. One more step to strengthen its leadership in the Old Continent and that allows fans to enjoy great games in each and every match.However, and as it usually happens, in every course there is someone who fails. That shows a level below the average ... although nothing comparable to the image this season of Khimki, rival this Tuesday of Real Madrid (18:00, Dazn), who recovers Jeff Taylor and has the confirmed casualties of Llull and Rudy . Alocen and Thompkins are doubtful due to sprains.

The Russian team is in the last position of the standings with only two victories out of a possible 24 and still ten games to be played. Since the new format was established, the worst bottom of the competition was Darussafaka with 5 wins in 30 games in 2018-19 (16 teams). They have not won since November 17 against Zenit St. Petersburg and accumulated 16 consecutive defeats.

Economic problems

Neither Rimas Kurtinaitis (2-18) nor his substitute on the bench, Andrei Maltsev (0-4), have managed to channel a decline that has been aggravated by the club's economic problems, with complaints of non-payment by several players, such as that of Jonas Jerebko after being removed from the team in January for, according to Muscovites, “leaving (outside Russia) on December 30 without permission from the club and without any communication with the coach or Khimki leaders” .

“I asked permission to leave for Christmas and the general manager allowed me to take a break. He said 'go home and come back on January 4'. I was ready to fly to Lithuania to play against Zalgiris when my agent told me that the coach did not want him to come back. I have not collected anything since then ”, defended Jerebko, whose accusation for 100,000 euros and supported by the Players Association (ELPA), led the Euroleague to prohibit Khimki from registering new players in the competition for 30 days, from 17 February, until his investigation is completed. The signing of Vorontsevich is waiting for the file to be resolved. The former NBA was not the only one to leave: Greg Monroe was cut and Jannis Tima was close.The problems with COVID-19

The evils of the Khimki, however, started earlier. At the beginning of the season, when he became one of the first and greatest victims of COVID-19: they had against Real Madrid (matchday 3) and TD Systems Baskonia (4) with only eight and nine players, respectively, three of them young people of 20 and 21 years for five confirmed cases of the disease. Shved, Jovic and Errick McCollum, three of its biggest stars, were injured. Karasev traveled, but was not visited against the whites like Bertans, who was able to do so against the Vitoria. There were two defeats due to the impossibility of postponing the match. Health protocols prevented it: you could play if there were eight players available, otherwise the game was lost. They were changed a week later, in mid-October, eliminating the losses by 20-0.

“We took the youngsters, we traveled to Spain and played the best we could. But it turns out that we could have stayed at home, ignored everyone, lost the games 20-0 and that these games were played later, as others did. It seems to me that these cases violate the principles of sport. All teams should play under the same conditions ”, denounced Pavel Astakhov, Khimki's general director, who has also not come back in the VTB, where they are eighth with a 7-9 balance, and who has already used 20 different players in the Euroleague, 15 of them have made headlines at least once. A constant descent into hell that this Thursday puts Real Madrid to the test.

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