Thursday, November 30, 2023

Unicaja 79-90 Barça: Against the ropes

The dream of Carpena being a judge and part of the Endesa League semifinal tie that Unicaja has been playing against Barça since last week vanished this Sunday. The rival stormed the Palace after 40 minutes in which the two teams left everything on the floor. Despite the bulky final result, 79-90, the truth is that anyone could have won. A pity, but you have to continue.

The truth is that Barça was a lot of Barça. this time yeah. He improved many of his performances, especially with regard to the second game of the semifinal, to overcome a Unicaja from whom much more cannot be demanded. Laprovittola, Satoransky, Kalinic, Kuric appeared… The entire arsenal of a team that has the ability that the more they push in defense, the fewer personal fouls they call. Their arm movements and their contacts are made with such glamour, with such class, with such distinction that the referees don’t even see them. And that has a lot of merit. We would like that to happen to Unicaja. This time, of course, it earned them a victory that could be key in the playoffs.

Unicaja lost, but once again had a 5-star Martín Carpena in their favor. And it is that the Palace was a “hell”. Filled to the brim, it burned from the warm-up round until defeat was consummated. The “green tide” suffered, enjoyed, shouted, got angry, protested, applauded… it went through all possible states during 40 dizzying minutes. It was a lesson in total support, which only lacked the cherry on top of a happy ending to be perfect.. Congratulations, of course, for what is, to this day, the best basketball fans in the entire Endesa League.

numbers against

Unicaja did not display such convincing numbers as in the Palau matches. This time he lost the fight for the rebound (31-34), but it is also shot with worse percentages from 2, shot with worse percentages from the line of 3 and shot with worse percentages from the free throw. Four key issues to understand defeat.

It was a more exciting match than the final score showed. The first room was electric. With exchange of blows on both sides of the track. Good for Unicaja and good for Barça. A lot of rhythm in a great match in which, despite a +5 for the compositors, the score closed the first 10 minutes with an advantage for the Catalans: 17-20.

Unicaja came back crazy. Will Thomas made his mark in a couple of plays, Alberto stole a ball, Djedovic hit a triple… and 24-22. 7-0 in the first 70 seconds of the second quarter. The game turned into a guerrilla war, with two teams using their physique to the limit of what was prescribed. Osetkowski’s third, 3.18 minutes from the break, was a setback. The team did not break down, although a more than doubtful unsportsmanlike play against Carter did turn Carpena on. Unicaja held up and went into the break with a 3-lead lead, 43-40. Good first 20 minutes, with two teams dedicated to the cause.

The team tightened in defense, improved its rebounding activity and Barça had to stop the game, at 49-45, after two and a half plays in the third act. The rival responded with a 0-7, 49-53. Barça activated the “Euroleague mode”, began to put and put and Carpena saw it black, with 53-60, the maximum for the Catalans. Ejim took center stage, kept Unicaja with their points, but the game entered the last quarter with 6 in favor of the culés, 60-66.

Unicaja could not this Sunday with Barça. Gregory Marrero

Unicaja suffered a lot at the beginning of the last quarter. Nothing went in. Good shots, after moving the ball well, they went to limbo. The rival turned on the final alarm light with 64-73, at 6:22 from the end. No.avarro tried in every way. With a more scoring five on the court, with a more defensive five, with a pressing defense, with a more physical team, with a shorter one… Impossible because Barça always responded to each arreón. In the end, 79-90. He escaped.

There is no time to regret. And if there was time, it wouldn’t be worth it either. It is better to look ahead. The countdown to the fourth game is already underway. On Tuesday, starting at 9:00 p.m., a new appointment between compositors and culés in the same place. That day and at that time, Unicaja will have a match without a net. Either he wins and forces the fifth and final tiebreaker or he loses and goes on (deserved) vacation. Carpena will witness everything again.


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