Winning titles is now NOT a priority for Barcelona

By their standards, Barcelona have had a nightmare season. They sit in fifth place in the Liga Endesa ahead of Sundays’s el’ Clasico against Real Madrid and even more astounding is that they are down in 11th spot in the EuroLeague, three wins off the Playoff pace with five games remaining.

Under fire head coach Georgios Bartzokas, who has been assured that his job is safe for now has now seemed to concede that this season is not about winning titles but to finish as strong as possible.

This season has been a new experience for Bartzokas and his players. A new format of the EuroLeague, multiple injuries, the Greek playcaller is looking to develop the team, game-by-game.

Georgios Bartzokas laying out instructions to Pau Ribas, who is just one of many Barcelona players out with injury.

Everyone, especially the coaches, work day by day,” Bartzokas said to Spanish outlet Mundo Deportivo. 

“You have to go game by game. If you ask the management of the club, they will tell you we are in a constant transition. Probably because there is a new coach and the team has to be rebuilt. Now we must do everything possible to develop our game and our mentality for the rest of the season and then we will see. That is the priority now, not the titles.”

Barcelona were victorious in their latest EuroLeague fixture as a 70-62 win over Unics Kazan handed the Catalan giants their second victory in three games having lost their previous four.

Barcelona guard Tyrese Rice has led from the front with an average of 13.7 points a game in the EuroLeague, but with constant roster changes and injury lay-offs, he has found the season hard going. Photo: EuroLeague Basketball

So far in all competitions though, Barca have lost 23 games for a record of 46 percent, something that Barcelona are not accustomed to.

“I think we can not compare this season with the previous ones, given the new Euroleague format,” Bartzokas admits. “These are no easy games. Teams like CSKA, Real Madrid or Fenerbahçe are also losing more games than expected.

“I’m not happy with our season so far, but everyone can see that we are in the middle of a team reconstruction. And that means new philosophy, with a new coach, which is very difficult when you’ve worked with the previous one for so many years. This process takes time. On the other hand, the circumstances have not helped us either, with so many injuries.”