Taylor was Madrid's X-factor

Oct 04, 2019 by Euroleague.net Print

He is in his fifth season with Real Madrid and is well-known for his outstanding defense, but it seems that whenever Jeffery Taylor is given more of a presence in his team's offense, he does not disappoint.

Indeed, Real fans probably don't see Taylor as a great scorer. In his five seasons with Los Blancos, Taylor has averaged 5.3 points in 124 career games, with good shooting percentages (56.1% 2FG, 39.3% 3FG).

That was not the case in Real's EuroLeague season opener against Fenerbahce. Taylor started the game on fire, hitting a couple of three-pointers, scoring twice around the basket and collecting a steal which led to a dunk. All of a sudden, Madrid led 19-4 and Taylor had 12 points. He scored just three times in double digits throughout the entire 2018-19 EuroLeague regular season. This time, his first double-digit game came 6 minutes into the season!

Taylor did much more than that. When Kostas Sloukas hit a baseline jumper to tie the game at 73-73 with 3:25 left, Real called a timeout. In the next play, Taylor picked up a pass from Edy Tavares and scored near the basket. He did the same with 1:10 remaining and his layup gave the hosts a 79-75 lead, which Fenerbahce never overcame.

When the dust settled, Taylor had finished the game with 19 points on 5-of-5 two-point shooting and 3-of-4 on three-pointers. He also played a big role on defense, just as always, with 2 steals and a block. All in a career-high 33 minutes of action.

Real only made two signings this season and at this point, anyone on the roster can step up and win the game for Los Blancos against any opponent - and Taylor proved it against a true powerhouse for starters.