The Barça plays the Final Four to a letter

With the series even (2-2), the Barça, favorite before the ‘play-offs’, and the Saint Petersburg Zenith, without pressure after setting the rhythm of the tie, they have this Tuesday (9:00 p.m.) in the Palau Blaugrana the last train for the Final to Four of the Euroleague that will be disputed in Cologne.

The Catalan team dreams of returning to the final phase of the top European competition seven years later. The last time he played it dates back to 2014. His coach was then Xavi Pascual, also protagonist in 2021 of a series more even than expected.

The Russian team has become a toothache for the leader of the regular phase. The Zenith He has competed in the first four play-off matches. With its defensive web, Paschal has neutralized the Barcelona talent.

Power forward Nikola Mirotic and point guard Nick Calathes they have been the players most affected by the approach of the Russian team.

The case of the Spanish-Montenegrin player is the most obvious. In the four games of the tie he has scored an average of 9 points, far from the 16.8 he scored in the regular phase.

These figures are explained by the team’s difficulty in finding its star near the rim. In the 112 minutes he has played in the tie, Mirotic He has scored 7 baskets of 25 attempts on shots of 2. That is, he has registered a 28% success rate, a very far from the 65.2% he registered in the 30 games he played in the regular phase.

In addition, the Barça is suffering in static attack. It seems to have caught the slow pace that Zenit poses and it shows, especially, in the offensive fluidity.

The Barça team is registering an average of 12.5 assists in this tie, which contrasts with the nearly 19 it distributed in the regular phase.

Thus, the Barça is surviving thanks to the sparks of Cory
Higgins and solvency in the area of Brandon davies, whose offensive contribution was especially outstanding in the first three games.

But beyond the offensive sensations, the two games that Barça have lost have coincided with excellent performances by Kevin Pangos.

In the first game (74-76), the Canadian point guard scored 19 points and distributed 9 assists; in the fourth (74-61), the least even of the series, he added 22 points and 8 assists.

Stopping the ex-azulgrana will be one of the keys to the fifth game, although the mental aspect is expected to be more important to win a decisive match in which the ‘Palau effect’, without an audience due to the pandemic, will not have any influence. On St. Petersburg, on the other hand, some 5,000 spectators cheered the Zenith.

Leave a Comment