Two years ago: Looking back at Larkinsanity

25/Jan/22 10:00 January 25, 2022

Antonis Stroggylakis

25/Jan/22 10:00

Eurohoops.net

In January 2020, Shane Larkin’s name became synonymous with MVP.

By Eurohoops team/ info@eurohoops.net

Exactly two years ago this week, Anadolu Efes superstar Shane Larkin achieved something unprecedented in the annals of the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague.

On January 25, 2020, Larkin became the first EuroLeague player ever to receive the MVP honor for a fourth straight round, something he did over a span of 14 days with a double-round week in the middle.

It was a stretch of pure Larkinsanity during a 2019-20 journey that could easily have finished with him as the season MVP, too, if the COVID-19 pandemic didn’t stop the season in its tracks.

From January 11 to 25, Larkin averaged 27.5 points, 5.0 assists and 4.5 rebounds during 34:29 minutes per game in Efes‘s wins at Barcelona (a favorite Larkin “victim”), over Milan and ASVEL at home, and then on the road again at Real Madrid.

His shooting was through the roof, with 64.0% accuracy on two-point tries, 58.0% on three-pointers and a perfect 24-24 from the free-throw line. He committed just 3.0 turnovers per game while handling scoring and playmaking duties, all the while facing defenses that were fully focused on stopping him. His opponents had done their homework and were locked in on making him suffer. But all those plans proved futile, and it was Larkin’s opponents who did the suffering.

Amazingly, those weren’t even Larkin’s most impressive performances that season in terms of performance index rating. He had two additional games with PIRs of 40 or more, making him the only player ever to do so three times in a single season. One came on the night he poured in 49 points to set the EuroLeague’s new single-game scoring record en route to a 53 PIR, the fourth-highest in competition history.

His displays during those two weeks in January, though, were so consistently unstoppable that they arguably marked the most dominant individual 14-day run in EuroLeague history. Here is how they unfolded.