euroleague – rooms – working day 1
The end of year dance arrives and Mirotic has already put on like a brush, with the tailcoat and the rose, a player made for the big meetings and the best stages. A cyclone that together with the gold edition of Sanli was enough to unstitch Zalgiris in the first match of the previous series to reach the Final Four of the Euroleague, also a leader for Barça, who completed a fairly round match, dominating in the low post, scorer and, finally, governing team from start to finish and without any shock.
Punished by an Achilles tendon injury that was as uncomfortable as it was slow to recover, Mirotic started the course already underway and at tranran, to the point that he did a preseason while the team competed. They did not set deadlines or demand anything from the coaching staff, aware that Barça could carburize from the start without his great star; everyone aware that the titles are won in the last month. And, little by little, Mirotic was taking color since he returned to the parquet. Although a few weeks ago he has been on fire and he clarified it to Zalgiris since the curtain was opened, determined to show that even though the years go by (he adds 32) his quality does not fade or his wrist is twisted, an indisputable figure in Europe . An appetizer submachine gun that indigested the Lithuanian team, unable to lower him because he conceded seven of the first 11 points, upset because he could no longer discuss the game.
A room to ask for from the franchise player and his minions, such as Sanli under the basket or even from the perimeter. But the fairy tale seemed to turn into a nightmare as Mirotic sprained his ankle landing on an opponent’s foot. With an annoyed gesture, the power forward rubbed his joint in pain while giving explanations to the doctor, worried about the Barca bench, who offered him encouragement and his shoulder. The game, however, continued and Barça, comfortable with the advantage —it reached 16 points—, at times gave several of the leaders such as Satoransky or Laprovittola a rest. And with the second unit it is not enough, so the doubts came.
Although Sanli made it clear that during the night he would be the king of the low post, and although Jokubaitis was motivated by playing in the team that was formed and in which he won the safe-conduct to reach the Palau, Zalgiris, encouraged by Polonara’s wrist, cut distances to single digits. Time to test Mirotic’s ankle, who returned to the court to give two assists and close the fourth with a chof of three. The best of the closures to the first half, Barca snort.
Barça did not suffer any more disruptions, focused as few times, annihilating as never before to silence those voices that they lack bad temper and consistency. Now Laprovittola, now Sanli —who was the best of the squires and the top scorer (17 points)—, now Abrines and now Kuric, the players did good for the team to unravel a Zalgiris that, despite more than Brazdeikis, Hayes and Birutis They claimed the opposite, he did not find the recipe to tie the knot to the rival. Neither in the third quarter nor in the last, the Catalans were excellent in intensity and electricity, in imposing their law from foot to foot. So Barça made good their favoritism in the first game of the series, reluctant to reach the fifth game as it happened in the two previous seasons against Zenit and Bayern.
With Sanli boiling and Mirotic in a tailcoat, it will be easier.
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