By John Askounis/ firstname.lastname@example.org
EuroLeague Regular Season Round 21 is in the books. Anadolu Efes now holds a three-win advantage over the three teams tied in second place. Displaced Real Madrid from sole possession of the second spot prevailing at the WiZink Center with our MVP of the week largely responsible for the outcome.
It comes to be expected, but Shane Larkin added on his spectacular campaign with yet another MVP outing. At Spain’s capital poured 32 points with 10/14 from the field including 5/6 beyond the arc. Also racked up four assists, three boards and two steals, earned eight fouls as well. The former Miami standout seems unstoppable at the moment.
Eurohoops Best Five
1. Shane Larkin: Leading Anadolu Efes is his job.
2. Nihad Djedovic: FC Bayern Munich slowed down Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv with the seasoned swingman dropping a game-high 19 points.
3. Shavon Shields: The Nebraska alum guided KIROLBET Baskonia past Khimki Moscow Region with 5/7 field goals en route for his personal-best 22 points.
4. Nikola Mirotic: Game-high 25 points alongside six boards and six earned fouls kept FC Barcelona on track.
5. Johannes Voigtmann: The German big delivered a 19-point, 10-rebound double-double for CSKA Moscow that is tied with the Spanish powerhouses in second place.
Coach of the week: Rick Pitino
Panathinaikos OPAP sits in sixth place following three home wins in a row. Currently looking good for a playoffs berth. Fully understanding the task in hand and knowing the path from last season, Rick Pitino is certainly motivating his players. Against LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne this week it was mainly about making the shots with 60% inside the rainbow and 65% from three-point range.
The big issue: Distancing leading team
Anadolu Efes is separating itself from the rest of the pack. Up 18-3 emerges as a way too early lock for first place in the Regular Season. It will eventually come down to the playoffs and afterwards to the Final Four for the advancing sides, but the Turkish outlet is forcing opposition to aim no further than second place remaining undefeated for a whole month and snapping wins against formerly closer teams in the process.