FC Barcelona vs. Real Madrid: Stats, highlights heading into El Clasico game five

What is the Mickeal Difference?

Tomorrow night will see game five of a series that has lived up to its billing as another “El Clasico.” After dramatic moments aplenty (yes, there will be clips), Real Madrid will head to the Palau Blaugrana for a decisive showdown with longtime rivals FC Barcelona.

The folks over at Liga Endesa headquarters have crunched a few numbers, sprinkling the results with a dash of numerology, on the first four games of the series. Stat geeks out there may want to consider the following.

• The 81-Point Threshold and the 29 Rule
In this series, at least 81 has proven to win in this series; game one and four, Barcelona won 81-80 and 81-75, respectively. More compelling is the “29 Rule” in this series, i.e. the first team to 29 points wins the given match. It should be noted, however, that both Barcelona in game one and Real in game two would have to come back in the fourth quarter after getting overtaken at 29.

• The Navarro Factor
Once again, as goes Juan Carlos Navarro, so goes FC Barcelona. A marked contrast colors Navarro’s numbers when comparing the Barça wins to losses. One indication of defeat early on tomorrow night: Barcelona’s dependence of his three-point shooting. In the first three games, Barcelona went an uncharacteristically awful 18-of-69 (26%) as Navarro was just 6-of-18 – including 4-of-9 in the game one win. Game four? Barcelona went 10-of-20 while Juan Carlos did more facilitating and took only one shot from beyond the arc.

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Monday videos: Barcelona beaten, Cook cookin’, remembering Moses and more

Welcome to the week, BallinEurope readers. We’ll get Monday started with a few video clips, stories, links, and some apocalyptic thinking about FC Barcelona.

• Now here’s some motivation for Ricky Rubio to, you know, give that Minnesota Timberwolves thing a try: The decent possibility that Barcelona will not recapture the ACB championship title and, unlike last offseason, will blow up the team and reshape the roster.

That’s certainly how it looks from this perspective right now; surely BiE is pulling the trigger quickly on this one, but Barça is proving quite vulnerable right now. After dropping three straight to Panathinaikos, the Blaugrana lost *at home* to ACB fifth-place team Bizkaia Bilbao Basket, representing Barcelona’s first L in el Palau since October – and Bizkaia’s first-ever win there.

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Three games remain; records will fall in Spain

Ahearn: He came, he shot free throws, he left

With three games left to play in what has been another truly great ACB season, some folks are thumbing through the league record books to see which bits of 2009-10 might be immortalized in statistics when it’s over.

Over at the league’s official website, Daniel Barranquero takes a long look – no, a loooooooooooong look – at the facts, figures and numbers of 2009-10 ACB play. Some of the stats to watch for as Spanish baloncesto closes the season are listed below the break.

(Serious number junkies, Hispanophones, ACB fans/historians and all those into the general statistical voodoo should read the entire article packed with 50 figures to put things in numerical perspective — some really outstanding work by Sr. Barranquero.)

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Everything you’ve always wanted to know about Barcelona vs. Unicaja (in English)

On Saturday, perhaps the marquee matchup on the ACB slate – if for historical significance only – will be the FC Barcelona vs. Unicaja match. The league’s official website has quite the extensive collection of facts ‘n’ figures about this match and the 15-year record of meetings between these two clubs, of which BallinEurope attempted to extract the most useful bits.

The vital stats
The game tips off in Barcelona (you can watch it live online at ACB 360). Barça attempts to continue its home-winning streak, now at 28 games. Unicaja is riding a three-game win streak in the ACB, its second such this season.

Jimenez and Navarro: Team Spain’s last two captains face off
Carlos Jimenez passed Spain’s national team captaincy baton to former Memphis Grizzlies/current Blaugrana player Juan Carlos Navarro this past summer. With Navarro at the head, Spain took the 2009 Eurobasket title. Of course, under Jimenez, the Spainards took gold in Japan at the FIBA World Championship in 2006.

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Better watch out: Barcelona destroys Gran Canaria, 105-55

Navarro: Gran Canarias nightmare

Navarro: Gran Canaria's nightmare

Guess FC Barcelona does have that “killer instinct” after all.

Just three days after head coach Xavi Pascual called out his team a bit for lacking “el instinto asesino” following a “mere” ten-point win over Maroussi BC and a week after Valencia brought Barça’s 26-game winning streak to a halt with a three-point dagger, the Spanish juggernaut showed no mercy in dispatching Gran Canaria 2014 by a score of 105-55 on Sunday.

Gran Canaria (now 9-11 and tied for ninth place on the ACB table) was the team that precipitated that win streak, when in October, the team defended its home court against Barcelona and held on for a 67-65 win. That would be the last loss for Barça until late January.

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