By Lefteris Moutis/ firstname.lastname@example.org
The new era of Barcelona carries the signature of Georgios Bartzokas who is called upon to get the Catalans back on the title track. The succession of a coach that stayed for eight seasons in a team and left his mark, like Xavi Pascual did with the ‘Blaugrana’ from 2008 onwards, is not easy.
However, the first Greek coach to win the Euroleague arrived in Barcelona with his legacy being the excellent work he did after Olympiacos and with Lokomotiv Kuban, and he has already laid the foundation for a new team.
The Catalans did not have the luxury of making many changes in their roster because of contracts that were already in place, but the addition of Tyrese Rice, Victor Claver, and Petteri Koponen (the duration of his absence following the car accident that he suffered, and whether he will be replaced, remains to be seen) are definitely great. The departures of Arroyo and Samuels came following the coach’s decision, but those of Satoransky and Abrines after they heard the… siren song of the NBA, “ruining” Barcelona’s plans.
The duo of Rice and Koponen is a more athletic and pluralist version of the Satoransky-Arroyo duo. Claver is expected to help the ‘Blaugrana’ a lot, especially when factoring his previous collaboration with Georgios Bartzokas, while it was decided to renew the trust in Dorsey and Doellman, whose contracts expired in the summer.
Barcelona were the last Euroleague team to announce their coach for the new season and the “chosen one” of the Catalans’ management was Georgios Bartzokas after the saga that preceded with Sarunas Jasikevicius and the rest of the candidates. Coach ‘B’ is expected to modernize Barcelona’s playing style, adding athleticism even if the Tomic-Doellman duo has remained in the frontline.
They will be satisfied if…
… they at least qualify for the Final Four, of course the goal being winning the Euroleague, as it is every year. However, the absence from the Final Four in the last couple of years, but also the… shortage of titles has now made the return to the top imperative.
We are anxiously waiting to see…
… whether Tyrese Rice can become Georgios Bartzokas’s ‘Malcolm Delaney’. The ‘Blaugrana’ are expecting a lot from the American guard, who is called upon to become the leader of the back court. Furthermore, it’ll be interesting to see how Ante Tomic is going to be used, as he wasn’t effective in the second half of last season, but who is called upon to remind everyone of his good self, with the same partners in the frontline.