We continue our EuroLeague recap with the finalists, Real Madrid. This season started great for the Spanish side, as they were always in the first two spots of the standings.
However, things changed in the second half of the regular season, as they lost eight of their last 10 games. They eventually finished fourth (18-10 record) and went on to sweep their playoff series against Maccabi Tel-Aviv (3-0).
Facing their arch-rivals, Barcelona, in the semifinals, Real managed to win (86-83) and fought for its 11th EuroLeague title against Anadolu Efes.
Pablo Laso’s guys could not get the job done in the last minute of the game (57-58). Unfortunately for the “Whites”, this was their second bitter moment of the season.
The first one happened three months earlier than the Final Four in Belgrade, where Real Madrid lost the Spanish Cup Final to Barcelona (59-64). This led to the “Whites” bad run in the Euroleague.
It is remarkable that this fact motivated the players and managed to win the series against Barcelona in Game 4 (3-1). They dedicated the trophy to their head coach, ending the season on a sweet note.
Real Madrid was better than its opponents in every statistic category this season. However, in stats averages, the Spanish side was first only in rebounding (38.3 per game).
They ranked seventh in points per game (78.9) and third in assists (18.1). Overall, this has been a very good season for Real statistics-wise.
Real Madrid’s dominance in the statistic categories was, undoubtedly, a team effort. Every player contributed the most.
Guerschon Yabusele may have scored more than anyone this season (11.9 points per game), yet 13 players averaged more than 5 points per game. This fact was accomplished only by Real Madrid this year.
Speaking of players’ contributions, Walter Tavares (averaging 10.9 points and 7.5 rebounds) and Thomas Heurtel (averaging 9 points and 4.6 assists) should be on top of that list.
Real Madrid is a team that simply can not be overwritten. Their history, championships and will for more tells their story.
They should always be considered candidates for both the EuroLeague and domestic titles every year. To do so next season, Real has to maintain its athleticism, team spirit and passion.
So far, they have not been deep into the market – except some rumors for Mario Hezonja. However, things can quickly change.