Just when his team needed it most, Shane Larkin had a monster game to assure Anadolu Efes Istanbul a much-needed home win and earn his first MVP of the Week honor this season. Larkin was everywhere in Tuesday’s 86-79 victory over visiting FC Barcelona, with 23 points, 8 assists, 7 rebounds, 2 steals and 9 drawn fouls for a performance index rating of 37, the best this week by a winning player. It marks Larkin’s 10th such MVP honor, all since March of 2018, tying him for the second-most ever, and he’s had five of those performances against Barcelona. Nemanja Nedovic of Panathinaikos OPAP Athens had the week’s highest PIR but the Greens lost to host Maccabi Playtika Tel Aviv, 89-81. Nedovic shattered his career highs 39 points and a 45 PIR, which also included 6 assists, 2 rebounds and 2 steals. His 7 triples made in 13 tries matched Nedovic’s best in 108 EuroLeague games to date. Nikola Milutinov of CSKA Moscow was third with a PIR of 30 as he put up 17 points and 14 rebounds in a 78-87 road win at LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne, marking his fourth consecutive double-double. Right behind him came Jan Vesely, who returned after missing two games to lead Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul to a much-needed 84-77 home win over Olympiacos Piraeus. Vesely scored 17 points on perfect 8-for-8 two-point shooting and dished 5 assists. Walter “Edy” Tavares of Real Madrid rounded out the top five of the week with 16 points, 11 rebounds and 3 steals in a blowout 91-62 victory against visiting ALBA Berlin.
Individual highs: Nemanja Nedovic, Panathinaikos, 39 points
Nedovic’s 39 points for Panathinaikos were not only his best ever and the most this week, but also the high by any EuroLeague player this season and tied for the second-highest in his club this century. Mike James of CSKA continues as the overall scoring leader with 20.6 points per game. The 14 boards by Milutinov, his CSKA teammate, topped all rebounders this week and propelled him to the league lead with 8.0 per game. Martin Hermannsson of Valencia Basket led all passers with 9 assists in a win over Khimki Moscow Region, whose star Alexey Shved averages a league-high 8.3 per game. Several players had 3 steals this weak, leaving Pierria Henry of TD Systems Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz as the league leader with 2.0 on average. And the week’s top shot-blocker was Georgios Papagiannis of Panathinaikos, with 4. He and Tavares share the overall lead with 1.9 per game. Milutinov, Tavares and Tonye Jekiri of Baskonia (12 points, 12 rebounds) had the only double-doubles of the week.