EuroLeague 2022-23 MVP Ladder by Eurohoops Vol. 2

21/Dec/22 15:59 December 21, 2022

Antonis Stroggylakis

21/Dec/22 15:59

Eurohoops presents the second edition of the 2022-23 EuroLeague MVP Ladder.

By Antonis Stroggylakis/

Fourteen rounds have been completed in the 2022-23 Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Regular Season and the competition seems more thrilling than ever: There’s a three-way tie for first place and four teams with the same record at the tail end of the playoff zone as well as another quartet that shares positions 11 to 14.

Everything is up for grabs and we wouldn’t want it any other way.

Likewise, the MVP race is also pretty intense. While several teams are bouncing back from lackluster starts, so too their star players are now entering the MVP conversation since their numbers are now translating into wins. This is why only two players from Eurohoops’ first edition of the 2022-23 EuroLeague MVP Ladder also appear in this list while there are three new, well-deserved entries.

Once again, numbers were just one of the factors that decided which players make the top five. There’s also efficiency to consider, how much of an overall impact a player has and how many games his team has won.

1. Sasha Vezenkov – Olympiacos Piraeus

Season Stats: 19.6 points (2nd overall), 7.3 rebounds (3rd overall), 2.1 assists, 25.9 PIR (1st overall) in 29:45 minutes

Team Record: 9-5 (tied for 2nd)

Previous Spot on the MVP Ladder: 1st

During the first half of the recent game between ASVEL Villeurbanne and Olympiacos and while Sasha Vezenkov had 11 points in 11 minutes, Mike James wondered out loud on Twitter |why is Vezenkov always open” and why his opponents “don’t scout” to “try to limit” his “elite” off-ball movement.

By describing the quality of Vezenkov’s motion off the ball as such, James himself gave an answer to his questions. It’s one thing to want and plan to stop Vezenkov’s shenanigans and another to actually neutralize him and prevent him from playing the way he wants and finding his sweet spots. When the forward isn’t accurately bombarding from long or mid-range, he cuts to the basket very fast for a player of his size (2.06 meters) with devastating results. What’s more impressive than the way he’s maneuvering is the quickness with which he sees every single gap on the defense and punishes all mistakes, how well he anticipates and reads the actions and reactions of both his opponents and his teammates in order to be at the right place at the right time and create a situation in which he scores with ease, mostly. It doesn’t start easy, he just makes it look easy in the end and the other side doesn’t know what hit them.

Then, of course, there’s Vezenkov’s shooting technique and ever-rising confidence that allows him to release the ball above the opponent, often with no regard for distance or who’s in front of him.

Teams often find it difficult to double-team Vezenkov since he’s mastered catch-and-execute situations, wasting no time to finish the play in the blink of an eye. Even if they do send help defense on him, on one hand, he can finish through heavy contact, and, on the other, he has both the mind and the aptitude for passing the ball as is also visible in his increasing number of assists.

Vezenkov had a career night at FC Bayern Munich with 20 points, 13 rebounds and 43 PIR in Round 8 and won EuroLeague’s November MVP after a decisive performance of 24 points plus 6 rebounds in a victory over ALBA Berlin in Round 10. His hand remained hot to light the Olympiacos fire in the blowout wins over Virtus Segafredo Bologna and Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul with an average of 20.0 points and 16-21 shots combined earlier this month.

Olympiacos went 4-3 during this period with, perhaps, the most disappointing loss arriving at ASVEL where the team blew a 21-point lead. Vezenkov had 16 points on 7-of-8 shooting, but attempted only 2 shots in the last 13 minutes. If he was more aggressive or the Reds played more through him in the second half, maybe the result would’ve been different.

A synonym for efficiency, the very prolific Vezenkov now displays a spectacular 73.0% on True Shooting which is the best among the EuroLeague’s 20 highest-scoring players. He’s also the only player in double figures with more than 70% shooting (70.8%) on two-pointers. His 45.9% on a hefty 5.2 three-point attempts per game is the icing on the cake.