Real Madrid Basketball has recovered quite well from Rudy Fernández's departure to play for the Denver Nuggets. The team played against Barcelona in the "Basketball Clásico" last Wednesday, when they fought to moved ahead in the Spanish Liga Endesa table. Los blancos earned a good win in the last few seconds with a huge play from Martynas Pocius and a great first half from Jaycee Carroll.
On Real Madrid's side, only Velickovic sat out during the game due to a knee injury. The Serbian player was not missed as Croatian Center Ante Tomic found his rhythm inside the paint very quickly. The game was a hard-fought one, but Barcelona allowed Madrid to finish the first half with a 12-point lead built on Jaycee Carroll's three-pointers. The American player is still coming off the bench even though Rudy Fernández is not on the team anymore. Carroll is showing that he is comfortable with the role Pablo Laso has given him.
Barcelona fought back and even tied up the score in the final quarter, but Pete Mickeal had foul trouble and Erazem Lorbek couldn't make a shot. Real Madrid made some bad decisions that allowed Barcelona to stay in the game. Martynas Pocius scored while he was fouled, missed the free throw but collected his own rebound to finish the game with a Real Madrid win.
Barcelona could not make the final three-pointer which would have kept them in first in the Liga Endesa (average number of points is very important in Spanish basketball league. They went to their locker room knowing they were no longer leading the table.
Carlos Súarez was great in the first half by knocking his shots down and grabbing some important offensive rebounds. Kyle Singler didn't play much and he is starting to look as if he has lost some confidence with his shot. The former Blue Devil doesn't need to hesitate so much before shooting the ball. Real Madrid is a fast-tempo team that allows him to shoot as much as he wants to.
The team went to Murcia Sunday to play against one of the worst teams in the Liga Endesa. Felipe Reyes and Carroll played well and allowed Madrid to just enjoy playing basketball during the whole second half.
By doing so, Real Madrid is still leading the Liga Endesa and is already waiting to start the EuroLeague Top16 group against Montepaschi Siena.
It's still too early to tell whether the team will miss Rudy's scoring, but Real Madrid is keeping up the high-scoring basketball they've performed when the now-a-Nugget was in town.