Sunday, December 10, 2023

Facundo Campazzo: the colossal point guard

The 19-0 Real Madrid receives this Sunday Unicaja with the firm condition of being the best team in Europe in this brutal start to the season. There are many stars who have contributed to reaching these figures. However, since this summer, Chus Mateo has had a colossal leader on the track: Facundo Campazzoan unmatched point guard both in the Endesa League and in Europe for whom Ibon Navarro will have to invent a special defensive gear.

One of the meanings of the RAE defines the colossal term as “enormous, of extraordinary dimensions”. And the truth is that the Argentine’s performance is giving a good example of this. His name was, from the first moment, one of the focuses of attention in his return to Spanish basketball. After an experience without many opportunities in the NBA and a period of transit at Red Star, his return, to a team that had just won the Euroleague without him, was a more than evident leap in quality and this Sunday will be the great pain of head for Unicaja.

Your best numbers

His second stage as a white player is practically leaving the best numbers of his career. In Endesa League borders on excellence: 13.1 points, 6.4 assists (second best in the ACB) and 18.7 rating (second best in the ACB). There’s even more, he has a shooting card from 97.0% in free throws, 63.3% in 2-pointers and 41.0% in triples. Without letting it go that he is the player who averages the most points on his team with scorers of the stature of Musa, Hezonja or Tavares himself.

Unicaja already suffered a great version of Campazzo in the Super Cup final. ACBPHOTO/R.POZO

That is in Spain because in Euroleague it even goes further: 12.2 points, 3.4 rebounds, 7.8 assists and 19.6 efficiency. The best example are these last two European games against Valencia Basket and AS Mónaco: 13.5 points on average, 3 rebounds, 5 assists and 18.5 efficiency to complete before hosting Unicaja at the WiZink Center. Nor is it that Granada and Bilbao have great memories of him after his last two performances in the Endesa League.

Campazzo-Tavares, galactic duo

Ibon Navarro said it in the preview: «Determining players at the European level, or even more, such as Facu and Tavares». And only a select few in the world of basketball have the ability to be the first swords on the team while at the same time managing to make their teammates much better. It’s not that Tavares has taken a backseat to the Argentine. The center continues with the same dominance, but it is more than evident that the team no longer depends on a single player.

The cajista coach pointed squarely at that issue: «Yes, it is true that last year there was the feeling that when Tavares sat down, Madrid was a little more earthly and when this year he sits down, Poirier comes out, who is playing at an extraordinary level. . Right now I don’t know if it’s better for Tavares to be there or not. I have no doubt that Facu is at an intractable level and makes his teammates even better».

Campazzo and Tavares, against UCAM in the Endesa League. ACBPHOTO

It is not just about the genius with which he dazzles in each game or the spaces that he only knows how to see, it is the shooting conditions in which he always leaves his teammates: in the corners completely freed with absolute dominance for the centers. Without forgetting that, despite his height, he has a great physique to defend his rivals.

How do you stop it? So far no one has found the key. Sunday will be a test that will require honor registration from Ibon Navarro and to the coaching staff because he will be the first – of the many – players to stop. Facundo Campazzo has returned at the best moment of his career and will seek to do everything possible to make it 20-0. In front, nothing more and nothing less, than the cajista wall.


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