By Vaggelis Patas/ firstname.lastname@example.org
Real Madrid got left out of the Euroleague Final Four last season and a second absence in a row is inexcusable. The Spanish champions have retained the largest part of their main body and they want to get themselves reinstated into the elite of European basketball, even without Sergio Rodriguez who went back to the NBA.
The Madrilenos decided to manage the new system of conducting the Euroleague with much greater depth in the roster, but with the natives Sergio Llull and Rudy Fernandez the clear leaders, as well as an overabundance of big men who can respond to many different styles of defense and adjustments in the modern style of basketball.
The changes Real made in their roster were few, they are not going to change their playing profile but they are important. The departure of Sergio Rodriguez forces Pablo Laso to change his plans, calling Draper back to Madrid and upgrading the talented youngster, Doncic. Randolph and Hunter have come in for Lima and Hernangomez, adding even more quality and depth, while the departure of K. C. Rivers will be covered from within.
Pablo Laso is getting ready to begin his sixth season with the Madrilenos, having celebrated a Euroleague trophy, three championships and four Spanish Cups. This season he has handed the team’s keys to Llull and Rudy and he is expecting that, by increasing the depth of the roster, he’ll be able to make the difference against the rest of the top teams.
They will be satisfied if…
… qualify for the Final Four and win the title. The “queen” cannot be satisfied with anything less, as in the last four years they were knocked out from the Final Four only last year, and have played in two more Euroleague titles.
We are anxiously waiting to see…
… whether Luka Doncic be able to do justice to the expectations and cover a big part of the gap of Sergio Rodriguez. At the same time the… congestion of many quality big men in the frontline is a luxury and a headache at the same time for Laso. The excellent last year Ayon and Reyes, as well as the sidelined Thompkins, are also going to have Hunter and Randolph competing for a role and playing time in the frontline, while Nocioni is still a quality option in the two forward positions.