By Eurohoops team/ firstname.lastname@example.org
The second Turkish Airlines EuroLeague season under a revolutionary format in which all teams play each other twice in a 30-round regular season has again delivered an impressive boost of excitement in the form of record-breaking offensive production and efficiency.
Players and teams again thrived under the new format, applying their collective skills to set a series of scoring, passing, shooting accuracy and offensive efficiency records during the 2017-18 season.
Most notable among the role of records were those related to scoring. The average of 161.71 points scored by both teams per game was not only a record, but the first time teams averaged more than 160 points since the 2001-02 campaign.
Among several reasons for that scoring mark was another full-season record set by all teams, 0.998 points scored per possession this season, one of the highest such efficiency figures in world basketball.
Indeed, when it came to offense, EuroLeague teams spent the season racking up one all-time best after another. Long-range shooters made more three-pointers per game (17.1) at a higher accuracy rate (45.6%) than ever before. This season’s free-throw shooters were also the most efficient in the Euroleague’s 18-year history, making 76.4% of their attempts.
To be sure, EuroLeague ballhandlers were just as proficient — and no doubt helped their teammate shooters be better. Passing the ball, EuroLeague players connected for more assists than ever before, 35.38 per game. At the same time, they were safer with the ball than the players in any other season this century, committed an all-time low 22.8 turnovers on average.
Every team contributed to the season’s collective rise in quality, but the big winners were the fans, who saw scoring and offensive efficiency in unprecedented numbers for a second year in a row.
Let’s review the numbers that show what an amazing season the EuroLeague teams and their stars put together in 2017-18.
In 2017-18, EuroLeague teams posted the most points in competition history, 161.7 points per game, eclipsing the record of 161.6 from the 2001-02 campaign. It was the first time the league saw games averaging at least 160 points in the last 16 seasons.
With 0.998 points scored per possession, EuroLeague teams not only set a new competition record, but the league was the most-efficient in terms of scoring of all major basketball competitions. The previous EuroLeague high was 0.964 points per possession in 2016-17.
The trend of three-pointers on the rise continued this season with more three-pointers made and attempted and at a better rate than ever before.
• 17.1 three-pointers made per game marked the fourth year in a row that a record was set in this category
• 45.61 three-pointers attempted per game marked the fourth year in a row that a record was set in this category
• 37.5% is the highest percentage of three-pointers made in EuroLeague history, topping the previous record of 37.1% from last season.
Despite a low number of fouls committed and, correspondingly, of free throws attempted, the skill part of the equation is better than ever with the league’s players making a record 76.4% of their free throws. That record is more than half a percentage point better than the previous mark, 75.7%, set the season before.
For the second season in a row, a record was set in assists per game. The 35.4 assists per game for the 2017-18 campaign was half an assist better than the previous record of 34.9 from the season before.
While scoring and assists were again on the rise, EuroLeague player proved more adept than ever before at handling the ball, with a record low 22.4 turnovers committed. That is a drop of more than 2 turnovers from what fans witnessed last season (24.6). The previous record low was 23.8 turnovers in the 2013-14 season.
Offensive efficiency was on the rise across the league this season. Alongside records set in three-point and free-throw shooting, two-point shooting (52.8%) was the second-best ever – and the highest since the 2003-04 campaign (53.1%).
Valencia Basket set a single-season free throw accuracy record by making 82.9% of its free throws, breaking the previous best of 82.6% set by KK Zagreb in the 2011-12 season.
FC Barcelona Lassa’s 20.5-assist per game average is the third-highest average in EuroLeague history. The record was set by Real Madrid with 21.5 in 2014-15.
Real Madrid’s 1.68.7-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio this season was the third highest in EuroLeague history; FC Barcelona Lassa’s 1.68.5-to-1 was fourth. Madrid set the record at 225.2-to-1 in 2014-15.
Alexey Shved of Khimki Moscow set a single-season scoring record with 740 points, smashing the previous mark of 609 set by Keith Langford in the 2016-17 season.
Alexey Shved set a single-season mark for three-pointers made with 107, surpassing the previous mark of 78 set by Ali Muhammed in the 2016-17 season. CSKA Moscow guard Sergio Rodriguez made 92 threes, which is the second-most in EuroLeague history.
Shved’s 324 three-pointers attempted is also the new single-season mark. KIROLBET Baskonia Vitoria Gasteiz big man Johannes Voigtmann made 30 of 52 three-pointers to record the third-best three-point percentage in EuroLeague history, 57.7%.
This season witnessed some of the best free throw shooting exhibitions in professional basketball. Brock Motum of Anadolu Efes Istanbul made 29 of 30 free throws; his 96.67% success rate is the fourth highest ever in the EuroLeague and the best for a big man. Brian Roberts of Olympiacos Piraeus made 55 of 57 free throws (96.49%) for the fifth best in competition history. Real Madrid’s Jaycee Carroll made 45 of 47 free throws (95.74) for eighth best. The record belongs to Marcelinho Huertas, who made 97.22% (35 of 36) in the 2012-13 season.
Nick Calathes of Panathinaikos Superfoods Athens set a single-season mark for assists with 249, surpassing the previous record of 201 by Vassilis Spanoulis in 2016-17. Zalgiris Kaunas guard Kevin Pangos’s 212 assists were the second-most in a single season.
Nick Calathes averaged 8.03 assists per game, the highest ever single-season average, besting the 7.92 per game set by Thomas Heurtel in 2015-16.