Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Round 31 co-MVP's: Maik Kotsar, Cazoo Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz and Geo
Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Round 31 co-MVP's: Maik Kotsar, Cazoo Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz and Georgios Papagiannis, Panathinaikos AthensTwo big men who propelled their teams to home victories to start the double-round week, Maik Kotsar of Cazoo Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz and Georgios Papagiannis of Panathinaikos Athens, are the co-MVPs for Round 31, the second such accolade for each in their careers. Their joint PIR of 40 was a career high for each. Kotsar led Baskonia in points (23), rebounds (10) and blocks (2) in 30 minutes of a pivotal 93-87 home win over ALBA Berlin. Papagiannis paced Panathinaikos Athens to an 86-76 success over visiting FC Bayern Munich. The big man led the Greens in points (24), rebounds (11) and blocks (3) in 28 minutes on court during which he did not miss a single shot: 7 of 7 two-pointers, 3 of 3 threes and 1 of 1 free throws. He had the highest PIR in Turkish Airlines EuroLeague for a player who shot perfectly in the same game.
The third-best Round 31 performance came from Kotsar's teammate, point guard Darius Thompson, who set or matched career highs of 38 PIR, 21 points and 4 steals while also dishing 11 assists in Baskonia’s victory. FC Barcelona guard Nicolas Laprovittola followed with a career-high PIR of 32 in his team's 80-89 road win at Partizan Mozzart Bet Belgrade thanks to his 25 points, including 11-for-13 free-throw shooting, and 7 assists. His teammate, forward Nikola Mirotic, came in fifth for Round 21 with a PIR of 27 based on his 19 points and 8 rebounds in Barca's victory.
Individual Highs: Will Clyburn, Efes, 5 steals
Nicolas Laprovittola of FC Barcelona was Round 31's top scorer with 25 points. Sasha Vezenkov of Olympiacos Piraeus continues leading the overall standings with 17.5 points per game. The top rebounder of Round 15 was co-MVP Georgios Papagiannis of Panathinaikos Athens with 11. Vezenkov and Mathias Lessort of Partizan Mozzart Bet Belgrade top the season-long charts with 7.1 boards per game. Paris Lee of Panathinaikos and Darius Thompson of Cazoo Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz each dished 11 assists for the round, with Thompson pushing up his league-leading average to 6.6. Will Clyburn of Anadolu Efes Istanbul swiped the most steals, 5, in Round 15. The league leader is Thomas Walkup of Olympiacos at 1.9 on average. Papagiannis and Donta Hall of AS Monaco each had 3 blocks in this round. Real Madrid's Walter Tavares is way above the pack for the season with 2.3 per game. The other co-MVP, Maik Kotsar of Baskonia (23 points, 10 rebounds) joined Papagiannis (24 points, 11 rebounds), Lee (10 points, 11 assists) and Thompson (21 points, 11 assists) in the double-double department for Round 15.