Real Madrid - Valencia Basket

Real Madrid v Khimki: week featuring three games in five days gets underway

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NEWS | 14/10/2020 | Edu Bueno

The team hosts the Russians tonight (9pm CET), before travelling to Olimpia Milan on Friday and then facing off against Bilbao Basket on Sunday.
Tonight sees Real Madrid begin an extremely tough week in which the team will play three games with less than 48 hours between each match-up. The first of these is tonight's contest at the WiZink Center against Russian team Khimki in the opening match of this EuroLeague double-game week, which sees the team travel to Olimpia Milan’s court on Friday. The curtain will come down on this mini- marathon of matches on Sunday with a road trip to Bilbao Basket in the league. Pablo Laso’s charges will be seeking to record a maiden victory in this season's EuroLeague campaign against opponents who are themselves yet to have chalked up a win in the competition.

The Whites will be looking to take their fine form from the domestic competition, where they lie top of the pile and are unbeaten with four wins and an average points difference of 20.7 to their name, into this hard-fought continental competition. Even the most fleeting of glances at the league standings, in which three of the four finalists from last year's Final Four (Real Madrid, CSKA and Anadolu Efes) find themselves in the lower reaches, proves just what a competitive tournament this is. The madridistas' next opponents are themselves currently languishing in the standings. Khimki has suffered two defeats, both of which came on its own court, against Panathinaikos and Zalgiris, with this match-up representing the team's first road trip of the campaign.

Campazzo, Tavares and Carroll are proving to be Real Madrid's leading lights in offense in the EuroLeague.  

The route to follow in terms of form is that of the league campaign, where the team has netted 91.2 points compared to 70.5 in the EuroLeague, whilst in defense the Whites have allowed almost 15 points less than in the continental competition. One of the key factors behind this is that more members of the roster are contributing alongside the trident who are leading the way in Real Madrid’s offensive game: Campazzo (15.5 points) Tavares (12.5) and Carroll (10). In last Sunday's 65-90 win over Herbalife Gran Canaria, five madridistas ended the game in double digits in the scoring and PIR stakes. Khimki travels to Madrid weakened by the unavailability of the five players who tested positive for COVID-19 (Mickey, Timma, Voronov, Monroe and Barashkov). Meanwhile, Shved, Jovic and McCollum have missed out on recent games through injury.

Full focus
Two players who will be involved are Jerebko and Booker, the guests’  biggest threats, who pulled out all the stops against Zalgiris, although it ultimately wasn’t enough. The Whites have the upper hand in the previous head-to-head meetings, having won eight compared to the Russian’s six victories, with the winners of the sides’ last three meetings having surpassed the 100-point mark. Speaking in his pre-match press conference, Laso noted the importance of remaining faithful to the team's style in a bid to rack up a first win of the current EuroLeague campaign: “Against Kihimki, we’ll try and stick to our playing style: reduce the number of mistakes, be strong on rebounds, reduce the number of turnovers and be accurate”.