After the huge boost of winning game one of the Liga Endesa Final in Madrid, Barça go back on court tonight (10.00 PM CET) seeking another road win in this best-of-five series. The pressure has been passed over to the home side.
The Barça players are in a fine mood after things went so well in the first match, and have preferred not to talk about anything that isn’t strictly basketball related. A 2-0 lead would mean they’d just need to win one of the next two games, both at the Palau, to take the title.
Pascual once again has no injuries to worry about, meaning he’ll have to drop two players from his roster tonight. In game one, it was youngsters Todorovic and Hezonja who had to watch from the stands.
Real Madrid will need to be especially careful with Ante Tomic, who has led the scoring in three of the last six meetings between the sides and led in rebounds in four. But Marcelo Huertas has also hit some fine form, and the likes of Nachbar and captain Juan Carlos Navarro are always going to be a danger.
Real Madrid are down but by no means out. They have been aiming to win everything this season and have a block of players that have been playing together for some time now. They’re under a lot of pressure after losing the series opener, and need to go out and make amends to get their championship bid back on track.
They scored high in the first match (93), but that meant nothing when they were unable to contain Barça’s offence (98). It gives Laso, who has torn his Achilles tendon, plenty to worry about, because if they try to keep the scoring low, that would be playing right into the hands of Barça’s style. A lot hangs on the tactics deployed by the home side’s head coach in front of a Palacio de los Deportes de la Comunidad de Madrid that is going to be packed to the rafters once again.