Friday, September 22, 2023

Barça-Unicaja: New opportunity to attack the Palau

Without time to rest or to reflect on what happened this Wednesday, Unicaja returns to the scene in the Endesa League semifinals against Barça. The 84-81 of the first match will be on the retina, but the compositors must face, starting at 9:00 p.m., a new part of the series with the only goal of winning and thus dreaming of any height.

What happens on the Catalan track could be a turning point in the tie. If the compositor team wins, they recover the home court factor by equaling the play off and now it would be the people of Malaga who would have to defend the result at the Martín Carpena. 1-3? Hopefully. But right now there is nothing to fear with a possible return to the Palau. However, to reach all these conjectures it will be almost decisive to conquer the Blaugrana stadium tonight.

The truth is that, despite that first defeat, the feelings are positive. What’s more, even Unicaja may have come out stronger from that first meeting. those of ibon navarro they had one last possession, at 84-81, to equalize the result and send the game to overtime. However, a bad throw-in deprived those in green and purple of not even shooting for a basket.

Now, this ‘rest’ day must have been a long one for the coaching staff. The most obvious, as always happens after not winning, are the mistakes. And it is that after such a small difference as those three points were, what did Unicaja lack to come out victorious? The clearest is Poor 3-point percentage: 6 of 31. The truth is that the vast majority were not forced, but many were missed from the corner, after a good circulation of the ball, alone… that is, of all colors.

Brizuela and Satoransky, in the first duel of the semifinals. ACBPHOTO

The second flagrant issue was losses: 17. Unicaja is a cheerful team that always plays with great ball speed, but it suffered from many inaccuracies that made it hard for them to complete almost twenty possessions. Nevertheless, there is another vital aspect such as the start of the game because the first quarter was key. The 26-15 weighed for the rest of the match. Lacking in intensity, ideas, energy… as if the crash had started after the break. And in a semifinal, also against Barça, no one forgives him.

However, the great absentees were the ‘crazy little ones’. So much kendrick perry as Dario Brizuela they turned out to be a shadow of what they have displayed all season. It is not that the rest of the players were especially effective, but the lack of spark from both was lethal. Besides, Alberto Díaz was especially noted for the lack of competitive rhythm. Sufficient reasons to understand the lack of freshness and ideas from the direction of the game.

positive readings

However. Unicaja did many other good things that led them to have the game in their hands. As for names, there are two very clear ones: Melvin Ejim and Yankuba Sima. The two have reached this stage of the competition in a state of form, both physical and playing, plethoric. With the confidence of the coaching staff, they were not only key in defense, but also turned out to be the two top scorers of the match.

Precisely, both in charge of stopping players with the potential of Nikola Mirotic or Sertac Sanli. The blaugrana surpassed the ten in the annotation. Who was left halfway was Nico Laprovittola. Another of the great snipers that Ibon Navarro’s men stopped to keep the game on edge until the end. Because let no one forget that Unicaja handcuffed its rival for many moments, preventing him from doing his basketball placidly as he could be seen against Valencia Basket.

So yes, 1-0, but with positive feelings for Unicaja. This Friday will be another story. Very different? We will have to wait for what happens in these 40 minutes, but what is certain is that there should be no doubt that this team is going to put an entire Barça team in very serious trouble. And that is already great news.


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