Analysis: The (very) delicate situation of the Spanish in the NBA

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The 2021/22 season of the NBA it’s being utter chaos at this point in the course. The cataract of contagion by COVID-19 is forcing the teams in the league to face their respective games with at least 5-6-7 casualties per game.

This situation has caused that several rotation players of each franchise are managing to take advantage of the minutes that the stars have left free due to their income in the NBA’s own health prevention protocols. However, this is not being the case at all spanish players.

None of them (except Ricky Rubio), after almost half a disputed regular season, has managed to convince their respective coach and win the minutes within their team’s rotation. Next, the situation of each of the five players in Spain without counting Rubio (injured until the end of the season, he was at the best level of his career with the Cleveland Cavaliers):

Willy Hernangómez

Perhaps the one who has played the most of the unnamed Ricky Rubio. The older Hernangómez is averaging 14.9 minutes per game, a figure inflated due to his recent rise in the rotation. However, the Pelicans seem to have left him without a gap again with the return of their main players. In their last two games, five minutes in the penultimate and none in the most recent.

Juancho Hernangómez

Juancho’s season is simply irrelevant. He has played just 17 games, and most of them by minutes of the ‘garbage’. Average 5.5 minutes played in those games. The trust of coach Ime Udoka is by no means earned, and the Boston Celtics is most likely thinking more about his departure than anything else.

Serge Ibaka

The Ibaka and Los Angeles Clippers thing is very different. The Spaniard does play with the Los Angeles franchise (15.6 minutes per game in 19 played, recovered from injury). However, he is not at all happy with his new role as a second unit player. He is at 6.1 points and 3.9 rebounds, half his numbers from last season also with the Clippers (11.1 points and 6.7 rebounds).

Watch Serge Ibaka this possession. My oh my – pic.twitter.com/3cVmQlN4yx

– GodFather PeeWeeDaPlug (@PeeWeeDaPlug) December 27, 2021

Santi Aldama

Memphis Grizzlies uses Santi Aldama when forced by team casualties. It is a case similar to that of Willy Hernangómez in the sense that when he plays, he does it well. He has played 18 games so far averaging 10.3 minutes, but it seems that as soon as he is given the opportunity he will not lose his place in the rotation again.

Usman garuba

Garuba’s trip to the NBA doesn’t look good going forward. The Spaniard has already started badly with the decision of the Houston Rockets, one of the teams without aspirations this season and where he could play the most, to the G-League. In addition, his contagion of COVID-19 has prevented him from taking advantage of the NBA protocols and entering into rotation due to the assumptions of the main players.

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