Euroleague: Trio named Top 16 Week 8 MVPs

EuroleagueFor the first time in over two years, the weekly Euroleague MVP honor is shared by three players! Devin Smith of Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv, Roko Ukic of Panathinaikos Athens and Luka Zoric of Unicaja Malaga all played significant roles in their respective team’s victories. And they each had performance index ratings of 28, which led all players and granted them the title as Top 16 Game 8 bwin tri-MVPs. Smith racked up 19 points on 5-of-6 three-point shooting as Maccabi routed Montepaschi Siena 92-61 in Tel Aviv. He also was perfect in 4 trips to the line, grabbed 8 rebounds and dished 4 assists in compiling his 28 index. Ukic shook off a back injury earlier in the week to lead the Greens to a vital road win at Zalgiris Kaunas, 73-78. He only missed 2 shots in scoring a season-high 21 points in addition to 4 rebounds and 6 assists. Zoric amassed 26 points as Unicaja bested Brose Baskets 65-68 in Bamberg. He made 8 of 10 free throws, grabbed 5 rebounds and blocked a shot. The list of the week’s best also includes BC Khimki Moscow Region center Paul Davis, Maccabi center Shawn James and FC Barcelona Regal playmaker Marcelinho Huertas. Davis helped Khimki coast to an 87-56 victory over Besiktas with 18 points on 6-of-8 shooting, 6 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals and 1 block for a 27 index. James amassed 14 points with just 1 missed shot, 6 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals and 4 blocks. Marcelinho starred in Barcelona’s 60-99 pasting of Fenerbahce Ulker with 14 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 steals.

Individual leaders: Dimitris Diamantidis of Panathinaikos, 10 assists and career steals record

Luka Zoric tied with CSKA guard Milos Teodosic as the week’s leading scorer with 26 points. Teodosic moved up to third place on the Top 16 scoring charts with an average of 18.1 points per game. Fenerbahce Ulker swingman Bojan Bogdanovic remains atop that list with 21.3 points per game. Anadolu Efes Istanbul guard Jamon Lucas was the week’s best rebounder with 11. Injured CSKA forward Viktor Khryapa, who did not play this week, remains atop the Top 16 standings with 8.2 per game. Dimitris Diamantidis of Panathinaikos, who made history this week be becoming the competition’s career leader in steals, was also its top assist man with 10 dishes. His 6.5 assists per game are second only to Zoran Planinic’s 7.6 in the Top 16, however Diamantidis is the full season leader with 6.4 per game. Four players topped the week’s steals charts with 3 each: Marcelinho Huertas, Bo McCalebb of Fenerbahce Ulker and the Olympiacos duo of Kostas Papanikolaou and Vassilis Spanoulis. Jamon Lucas is the best ball thief in the Top 16 with 2.4 steals per game, though McCalebb is second at 2.1. Shawn James swatted 4 shots, which was the most of any player in Top 16 Game 8. His 1.9 blocks per game rank him behind only CSKA’s Sasha Kaun (2 bpg.) in the Top 16. Lucas (14 points, 11 rebounds) and Diamantidis (13 points, 10 assists) recorded the week’s only double doubles.

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