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In the recent history of the Endesa League there have been short explosives (Nicolás Laprovittola, Luka Doncic, Sergio Llull…) who have managed to win the MVP of the ACB season, but basketball is a high-altitude sport and the best it shows this season. The six most valued players of the course are inside: Giorgi Shermadini (2.17), Ante Tomic (2.17), Ethan Happ (2.08), Edy Tavares (2.20), Marc Gasol (2.15) and Jasiel Rivero (2.06). The guard-guard Shannon Evans led this top of giants for part of the campaign, but he did so when he played for Real Betis. His move to Valencia in the middle of the season has made him lose several places in the table and he is no longer the most prominent among the foreigners. That honor goes to Dzanan Musa, seventh with an average of 15.9 credits and current MVP (he did it last year with the Breogán River). The Bosnian forward is one of the five outside players who have been able to be crowned the best of the campaign in the last 15 years. The other ten were centers.

Hence, a Top-5 full of interiors is not so strange either. Last year Musa (1st) and Evans (4th) slipped into the ranking of the best, but in the 2020-21 season there were also plenty of pivots: Shermadini, Ondrej Balvin, Tavares, Bojan Dubljevic and Nikola Mirotic. In the last ten seasons there has also been another course marked by the inside game with Dejan Musli, Ioannis Bourousis, Gustavo Ayón, Tomic and Shermadini as the top five. It was in 2015-16 and Bourousis, at the time a Baskonia player, ended up as the MVP.

In the last ten seasons only two shorties have been the most valued of the season: Musa (2022) and Edwin Jackson (2017). The year in which Laprovittola was MVP (17.2), Shermadini surpassed him in valuation (17-2); as happened to Doncic (19.4) with Henk Norel (19.5). Sergi Llullthe season of his MVP (2016-17), he was fourth in efficiency (16.7) behind Edwin Jackson (21.8), Shermadini (21.3) and Tomic (20).

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This afternoon (18:00, #Vamos), two of these giants will face each other at the Palau Olímpic. Tomic, who has finished among the five most valued three seasons and closed 2022 as the best in the entire ACB in this section (822 credits in 41 games), is second with an average of 18 credits, while Tavares is fourth with 17 ,3. The Cape Verdean, the five healthy that Chus Mateo will have due to the loss of Vincent Poirier (acute appendicitis), he closed 2022 third in valuation (696), second in rebounds (275, behind only Tomic) and as the best shooter (74). Despite the fact that he is the most intimidating center in all of Europe, he has not yet managed to be the best in a season. Yes, he has finished in the first five on two occasions (2019 and 2021) and was the MVP of last year’s final and of the last Super Cup. Tomic has not been the highlight of a course either but, like Tavares, He was a member of the ACB’s ideal five in 2011 (Madrid) and 2013 (Barça), and he has also been a member of the Euroleague (2013 and 2014, both with the Barça team).

More than eleven years without winning against Real Madrid

Joventut is strong at home (22 victories in 25 games between ACB and Eurocup), but the last time they beat Madrid at the Olímpic (December 2011) Tomic wore white. La Penya wants to secure a place in the playoffs and Real is hunting Barça and Baskonia. Both have decisive duels in Europe (the whites, on Tuesday against Partizan in the Euroleague playoff and the green-and-blacks, on Wednesday against Granca in the Eurocup semifinals), so they would have preferred to play yesterday, but the television set the duel for today. Chus Mateo has 15 players after the recovery of Deck, Hezonja and Rudy and he has to make three discards.

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