Jasikevicius celebrates the Cup title with Abrines, Oriola and Smits Juan Carlos Hidalgo / EFE
The Cup endorsed in Madrid its spirit of emotional basketball symposium, a tournament in which the mood of each team becomes, due to the format and instantaneity, a factor, if possible, more important than usual. This was made clear by Barça and Real Madrid.
The feeling of helplessness of Laso's team in the empty WiZink Center was directly proportional to the voracity with which Barça attacked the duel. The unexpected imbalance that Mirotic and the Barça defense imposed to decant the game from the first bars, left Laso and his troops nailed. The coach from Vitoria opted for Thompkins and the American was not able to pin down his compatriot Davies. The rhythm of the game, dominated by the more vertical, harmonious and accurate Barça players, did not favor the Madrid pivot or his teammates either.
Mirotic's physical problems reduced his prominence, but when he had to be treated in the locker room before the break , much of the homework was done. The Montenegrin knew already that he was not going to miss his first Barça title, his first final won against his team until 2014. Barça's resources came to the fore. Higgins and Abrines verged on perfection throughout the weekend. The American forward sometimes recalls the majesty in the game of his godfather, a certain Michael Jordan. His three games in Madrid, and especially the final, have highlighted his quality and have justified the cache of figure with which he was signed in 2019, from CSKA, and the award for the MVP of the tournament. And the Mallorcan forward gave a course on what it means to be a shooter and at the same time a player subject to the needs of the group. He made all the triples he threw, against any rival, eight in total. But far from catching the ball, he only shot when the game and his position required it. With the wind in the face, more sober players like the Latvian Smits.
also spoke out. Real Madrid's ability to react in the second half honors it and gave the final the interest of seeing how far it was capable of going. The game had almost lost it from before the break, when it lost by 24 points. Their youngest players, their future, Abalde, Alocén and Garuba stood out. Although it was when Llull and Tavares got into rhythm in the third quarter that Madrid lowered their disadvantage further. The team's deficit in the rebound and the 11 triples that failed between Llull and Carroll took away many possibilities.
The passion and pressure generated by the traditional cupcake jumble of the fans in the WiZink stands was greatly missed. Even so, the classic was not lacking in attractiveness or intensity to several of the games that led to it, especially those that Brizuela and Unicaja, against Barça, and Tenerife, against Madrid, were about to end the long time of duopolio.
Jasikevicius already has his first trophy as coach of Barça. The Cup is the wild card that gives license to complete the year dreamed of by a team that made it very clear how far it can go.