FC Barcelona was among the better rebounding teams in the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague this season, but it couldn’t hold a candle to Real Madrid’s dominance on the boards.
Significant stat: Rebounding could be key for Barca against Real
Coach Sarunas Jasikevicius’s men allowed the second-fewest rebounds in the league this season, just 31.2 per game, and outrebounded opponents by 3.2 boards per game. It collected the third-most defensive boards (24.3 rpg.) and ranked fourth in total rebounds (34.4 rpg.).
Real’s rebounding dominance put it in a separate stratosphere. Los Blancos led the league in rebounds (38.3 rpg.) and defensive boards (26.8 drpg.) and ranked second with 11.6 offensive boards per game. It allowed the third-fewest rebounds (31.7 rpg.) and outrebounded opponents by an astounding 6.6 rebounds per game.
That was not the case when Real faced Barcelona this season. When they met in Round 14, Barcelona outrebounded Real 36-29. And then in Round 26, Barca won the battle of the boards 39-36. On average, Barcelona grabbed 5 more boards per game than the opponent in El Clasico this season.
Matching those strong defensive efforts could make all the difference for Barcelona as it faces what has been the EuroLeague’s best rebounding team in the semifinals.