Chus Mateo: “Tavares is going to have an extraordinary playoff”

Chus Mateo appeared before the media before the start of the Euroleague quarterfinal playoff, which begins this Tuesday (8:45 p.m., Dazn) against Partizán just 48 hours after Real Madrid’s last league match, in Badalona against Joventut. The Merengue coach spoke about the team’s moment and what he wants from it, about Partizán’s offensive capacity, of the importance of Tavares, of what Obradovic represents, of Poirier’s options to play in the tie, among other things.

Key moment of the season. “Everyone understands what time it is, the hardest and most demanding of the year. I hope that we empty ourselves out so that when the playoffs are over we will each have given our maximum, and that we are united, because there will surely be difficult moments”.

Only two days off, less than any of the eight teams. “I am not going to go into that, whether we notice a lack of affection or not, because we have to play a very important game and I do not want to distract attention. The team is fine, we are recovered from the effort we made (on Sunday in Badalona) despite the fact that yesterday we went to bed at half past two in the morning. We are prepared, physically fit, recovered and together”.

Poirier’s play options. “We are going to see how it evolves, appendicitis is not a small thing and they operated on him relatively recently (on April 6). Obviously she won’t be there tomorrow, but I don’t know if she will be able to play a game. We demand a lot from the boys, great efforts and sometimes the recovery periods are impossible to skip. Everyone wants to play and they are going to do everything possible to be 100 percent, including Poirier. He and we will do what is in our hands so that he recovers as soon as possible, hopefully sooner rather than later.

How do you prepare for a playoff? “At the moment, what is being prepared is the first game, then the dynamics are important, because sometimes you grow during the playoffs. We have a very important appointment with our fans, it is best that we do not think beyond. That we start off strong and that we add good minutes in the playoffs”.

The duel with Obradovic on the benches. “Obradovic is one of a kind, a benchmark for all of us who aspire to be good coaches, from a very young age I saw him train and I even happened to be here in 1995 when I directed the youth academy and he won the European Cup with the first team. I have always admired him, a brutal coach, a beast on the bench, a benchmark for all of us who want to be good coaches. But what it is about is that the teams play well, that there are no doubts and that the block is one. The absolute protagonists are the teams and the players”.

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Is it dizzying to have to travel to Belgrade? “No, what makes you dizzy is thinking beyond the first game. A playoff is a bit like a game of chess, and not only do feelings affect it, but also what you show or what the opposing team shows you. There can be two completely different games two days apart. And now we are not in Belgrade, we are in Madrid”.

Tavares, unique piece of the board. “We know the importance of Tavares for us, and the importance when you have him in front of you, which makes it clear where the attacks from the opposing team are going to go… Yes, I talk a lot with him and we try to improve certain things, of course that it shows when Edy plays less than we expect; but I am absolutely convinced that Edy is going to have an extraordinary playoff, because he is a boy who gives us a lot of confidence, who works very well and is going to perform at his best in this playoff, always contributing a lot of things, which are sometimes hard to see at first glance. . When he is on the field he is decisive ”.

The high score of Partizan. “They score easily and are very talented one on one. A difficult team that plays very well, with very good offensive mechanisms, although they also concede a lot of points because they come from many possessions. Part of the success will come from defending one on one, not losing balls, rebounding and not conceding easy baskets. All of this is important against a Partizan that scores compulsively”.

The rival’s risks versus one’s own performance. “I am only concerned that we enjoy the moment we have in front of us, the effort, leaving our skins, that there are players who can do a job that is not very flashy, but effective. Knowing the Euroleague playoff, I want to convey to the boys that those of us who are on the court give everything and that we don’t leave anything out”.

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