Head-to-head: Nikola Mirotic vs. Guerschon Yabusele – News

An old rivalry will have a new matchup to focus on when scoring power forwards Nikola Mirotic of FC Barcelona and Guerschon Yabusele of Real Madrid face off against each other on Friday.

These two players have gone against each other before, just not in a Turkish Airlines EuroLeague clásico, which both enter as their respective teams’ top scoring options. Mirotic has been that for Barcelona ever since he joined the club in the summer of 2019, while this is Yabusele’s first season with Los Blancos after he previously played with LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne.

Through 13 rounds this season, Mirotic is EuroLeague’s third-best scorer, averaging 16.5 points per game. He has scored in double figures in 12 of those games, making 64.9% of his two-point shots and a league-leading 53.1% from long range.

Mirotic also averages 5.5 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 1.0 steals, ranking first in the league with an average PIR of 20.9.

Yabusele is Real’s leading scorer with 12.5 points per game. He has been very efficient inside, making just below 60% on two-point shots, while knocking down 35.9% from beyond the arc.

Mirotic also has an advantage on the glass, pulling down 1.0 more rebound than Yabusele, but Real’s forward contributes more than his Barcelona counterpart in assists, and only eight players this season have more steals than Yabusele’s 18 total.

Mirotic and Yabusele played against each other last season when Barcelona and ASVEL squared off twice, with intriguing outcomes. Mirotic outplayed Yabusele, however, ASVEL won both games.

The first time they were on opposite sides, ASVEL beat Barcelona 80-68 on its home floor with Yabusele scoring 7 points on 1-for-7 two-point shooting. On the other end, Mirotic collected 14 points and 9 rebounds in a losing effort.

When they faced each other at Palau Blaugrana, the site of Friday’s El Clásico, Yabusele scored just 4 points, going 2-of-5 on two-pointers and 0-for-2 on threes. He did pull down 8 rebounds to go with an assist and a block. Mirotic had 19 points and 5 rebounds, along with a steal and an assist, in that contest.

For Yabusele, who leads Real in field goal attempts his season, this clash is a new chance to have a productive game against Barcelona and Mirotic, who in turn goes against his former team, former coach and several his former teammates in one of the biggest sports rivalries.

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