We come off a couple of good wins – against Panathinaikos at home and in Milan. We were without Luka Doncic, but everybody knows we have a deep roster and there are a lot of talented players on this team. Luka is very important for us, but we showed that even without him, we are a very competitive team. These two wins were very important for us to get to fourth place in the standing so we can fight for home-court advantage in the playoffs, which is what everybody wants. I was very happy with my performance against Panathinaikos, but especially about the win. Beating Panathinaikos, a direct opponent in the playoff race, was important and we had to give everything we had. We had lost at home against Olympiacos and Fenerbahce and needed to react and we did by winning this game against a great team, a top team in Europe that always fights for big goals. I had my best game of the season at the best moment, I would say, and I hope I can keep it up, maybe not with the same numbers, but by staying confident, aggressive and ready to help my team.
Facu Campazzo has been great all season, but even more so over the last few games. It is not just that he is putting up big numbers, but he has been running the team really well, which is even more important than his numbers. He always plays with great intensity on defense and then on offense, he creates a lot for his teammates. He is always ready to give an assist, but sometimes, the team depends on his shots and he is able to score, too. Off the court, he is always joking. He will go behind your back to play some trick on you. He is the type of guy who taps you on one shoulder when he is on the other side. He is always joking and it is in his blood, he has this outgoing, Argentinean character. Some days, when he is in a bad mood, it is better not to talk to him, but 99% of the time he is in a good mood and always joking and energetic. He does get some jokes about being short, but Campazzo has the last laugh.
We have four regular season games left, starting with Valencia and Zalgiris in the double week. This is the EuroLeague, so you can't ever relax. We have seen many times this season that teams at the bottom of the table have beaten the top teams. So, even if our schedule doesn't look like the most complicated one, we must play with high intensity and be focused. We cannot throw away all the work that we have done all season. Every team is dangerous, especially at home, and if some of them are eliminated, that doesn't change anything and the latest results prove it. We expect a tough basketball atmosphere in our road games in Valencia and Belgrade. And then everybody has seen the kind of season Zalgiris is having. We just need to focus on every game, like we have from the beginning of the season. We are playing the most important games of the season not only to get the playoffs, but to do it in a good spot. Every game should be like a final and we will try to win them all.
Some people say that the home-court advantage is critical. Others say that arriving in the right shape for the playoffs is even more important, but the truth is, what you really want to get is both - the home-court advantage and the momentum. Both are crucial for the playoffs. The home-court advantage is huge because you have your fans behind you and you don't have to travel at the beginning of the series, but it is dangerous because if you lose one of them, you are in trouble. The momentum is really important; everybody is back for us but Sergio Llull, who still needs some time. Everybody is confident. Yes, we are without Luka, but he will come back with a little bit of rest, which is also important. I am sure he will be back with a lot of energy. I believe we will arrive to the playoffs in great shape. As for Sergio, I believe that returning to his previous level would be the most important "trophy" in his career. Coming back from a big injury at the same level is a big challenge, but he is taking it really seriously. He is working very, very hard and I am sure he is practicing as hard as anyone else right now. He has posted a lot of pictures on social media, sharing his recovery process with everyone, which I think is amazing.
A little bit about what I am watching. It is an old show because most people have seen it already, but I am watching Suits right now. My girlfriend is a lawyer and watched it before me. I remember when she was watching it, I was playing video games or doing other stuff, and she suggested we should watch it together. In the end, I gave it a shot and loved it. I am hooked! I have been catching up pretty quickly on our last few trips. My girlfriend is catching up on Game of Thrones and I am watching it again with her. As for Suits, it is really linked to basketball and I like that. One of the main characters is supposed to be Michael Jordan's lawyer. He has six or seven basketball in his office, all signed by great players like Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan or Larry Bird. I like the way they dress too, really crafty, really nice.
So, on to the double week! Winning in Valencia would be very important for us because it is a tough team to beat, especially there. They are the reigning Spanish League champions and every time they face a Spanish team, they want to win to show they are competitive against all teams in the country. This is why we have to start the right way, like we did in the last couple of games in the EuroLeague. A good start is always important! See you on Thursday, Madrid fans! Hala Madrid!