Real Madrid may only be the fourth favorite in the books, but with their pedigree they cannot be overlooked.
The grueling Thursday-Sunday schedule turns the focus right back to La Liga. Atleti return home for a match vs. parent club Athletic Bilbao this weekend.
After a stretch of three games in which Atletico were not themselves, Simeone went back to basics and turned the team around. The question now is if they can sustain this form and outdo Barcelona for the title.
Juventus, who have won six consecutive championships, are defending their title. Napoli, who finished just five points back last season, lead the league this year, one point over Juventus.
In one of the biggest midseason roster overhauls ever, the Cleveland Cavaliers traded away Dwayne Wade, Channing Frye, Isaiah Thomas, Iman Shumpert, Jae Crowder, and Derrick Rose. They received Rodney Hood, George Hill, Jordan Clarkson, and Larry Nance, Jr.
Kyle Lowry scored 23 points, C.J. Miles added 20 off the bench, and the Toronto Raptors trounced the Boston Celtics 111-91 on Tuesday.
Roberto Pereyra scored a 91st minute goal and 11th-place Watford completed a 4-1 route of Chelsea, their second straight three-goal loss.
After Barcelona's 1-1 draw at Espanyol, Atletico have a chance to make up ground. However, defeating one of La Liga's most surprising and potent offenses will not be easy.
Premier League clubs spent 150 million pounds on Wednesday, breaking the 2011 record for money spent on the deadline day for January transfers.
Real Madrid have been knocked out the Copa del Rey. They sit 19 points adrift from Barcelona for La Liga. But they can still salvage a top three slot. Perhaps they can even win a 13th Champions league title, but only if they switch managers. Marcelino is the man to take the team back to glory.