The first leg of the Intercontinental Cup clash between Real Madrid and Bauru took place last night with the Brazilians winning 91-90. Emmet Ryan stayed up late to watch
No rest for the wicked
Several of Real’s stars were playing this game just 5 nights removed from EuroBasket. With celebrations and transatlantic flights to deal with it was a little surprising to see so many of those involved in the competition log heavy minutes. Sergio Llull logged 33 minutes while Rudy Fernandez and Sergio Rodriguez played 19 and 21 minutes respectively. Jonas Maciulis (17 mins) and Felipe Reyes (16) put in significant shifts too. Pablo Laso’s thinking was likely that these guys were used to minutes while a few more bodies still needed to get up to speed. Jaycee Carroll and Gustavo Ayon carried the load for large chunks of the game to relieve their team mates a tad.
Luka Doncic gets some time
The 16 year old looked comfortable in his 7 minutes of action. Doncic is the latest youngster that Euro followers have fallen in love with and his performance in the Adidas NGT this year showed why. Doncic didn’t do a lot in his time on the floor but he looked happy to charge into opponents and get physical despite his still developing body. What amount of action he gets with Real’s first team this year will be interesting to see. He still has youth eligibility but he is clearly a member of the main roster now and if he’s in Berlin next May it will be with the big boys. Doncic looks to have bulked up a touch over the summer and his energy is going to be the main appeal this season although hopefully we’ll get to see some odd flashes of brilliance.
Brazil’s love affair with long 3s
This is all Oscar Schmidt’s fault. The long three, I mean the needlessly long three from way back, is a trait associated with Brazilian hoops. As a core part of strategy it’s not the best idea but it can be great as a change of pace to keep defences honest. Bauru tried a few of these in the first half, rarely in a tactically smart position, but vive la difference.
Rafael Hettsheimer got his
Hettsheimer had a forgettable single season stay with Los Blancos back in the 2012/2013 season, not making much of an impact and being used sparingly. Last night he got the chance to take on his old team and made full use of the opportunity, scoring 27 points and grabbing three boards. The big takeaway from following was that for all of Real’s travel and fatigue issues, it’s even earlier in pre-season for Bauru who don’t begin Brazilian league play until the first weekend of November.