EuroLeague last word (Round 27): Earning the opportunity

2020-03-05T09:22:27+00:00 2020-03-05T09:51:27+00:00.

Giannis Askounis

05/Mar/20 09:22

Upsets, breakout performances and more in the front end of the EuroLeague double-game week.

By John Askounis/

Midway through the week, Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Regular Season Round 27 is in the books. Round 28 immediately follows with games scheduled for Thursday and Friday, so no room for wasting time. The same can be said for our MVP of the round rushing to make his case in Europe’s premier club competition.

Eurohoops MVP

Shaquielle McKissic

A couple of weeks ago, Shaquielle McKissic had zero EuroLeague experience. Made a positive debut versus Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv, but really got it going for Olympiacos in the Greek derby against Panathinaikos OPAP. Masterfully pumped up a game-high 22 points including plenty of spectacular dunks. His 33:57 on the court was a game-high as well. Giorgos Bartzokas wasn’t going to pull him to the bench in this form.

Best Five

1. Mike James: Bounced back with a team-high 27 points for CSKA Moscow.
2. Shaquielle McKissic: Shaq Attack mode on for our MVP.
3. Alex Abrines: Season-high 21 PIR powered by 17 points for streaking FC Barcelona.
4. Zach LeDay: Ensures Zalgiris Kaunas remains on its playoffs push with 23 points to his name.
5. Walter Tavares: His second straight double-double keeps Real Madrid on its winning track.

Coach of the round: Giannis Sfairopoulos

Another slim victory for Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv masterminded by Giannis Sfairopoulos. This time around, the Israeli club stopped Anadolu Efes’ streak with solid defense down the stretch. The Greek head coach’s influence on his players is apparent with Maccabi remaining undefeated since late January. Surviving five consecutive close contests gains ground for the home-court advantage in the playoffs.

The big issue: Behind closed doors

Games played without fans are always weird. Euroleague Basketball’s decision for the Round 28 contest between Valencia Basket and AX Armani Exchange Milan is absolutely justified due to the risk of COVID-19 transmission. However, matches behind closed doors eliminate the most important part of basketball and sports, the spectators themselves, and it’s best to be avoided unless absolutely necessary.