Real Madrid destroyed Maccabi Tel Aviv 79-53 in the first round of Euroleague quarterfinals. Rudy Fernández and Sergio Rodríguez proved to be unstoppable for David Blatt, whose players had a bad night on offense.
Maccabi Tel Aviv started the game leading the score, thanks to an inspired Ricky Hickman, who scored 7 points in a rush, same as Caner-Medley, who netted a couple of key three-pointers. In addition to this, the home team couldn’t play as they usually do, unable to find free players to shoot. Only Rudy Fernández could score for his team.
All this changed in the second quarter. And when it did, the game was over. Just one name: Sergio Rodríguez. He took control of the ball and started to pace his team in a way that Maccabi players were desperate. 4 points scored the Israeli team in the second quarter. The situation was even more critical. The visiting team scored 23 points in the first quarter. During the rest of the game, they scored 30 points more. You cannot play like this in this time of the season, and the result was obvious.
Madrid started to run, and run, and let’s say, they defended pretty well too, because Maccabi couldn’t find a player to lead the team in the scoring. Not even Smith, usually a natural leader in this kind of game. It was just not their day. Not even Ricky Hickman, who got lost after some good ten first minutes. David Blatt understood this and decided to give his players a rest in the final quarter, letting Madrid to increase the gap more and more, up to 29 points.
Within two days the second match will take place. According to Rudy Fernández’s words, “it will be a completely different game against a different team”. You can’t always play that way, that’s for sure but, as Caner-Medley said “we will have to fix a lot of things and then we will be able to compete”. Let’s see if they can do so on Friday.