By: Sam Meyerkopf / @euro_adventures
Two weeks deep into the Euroleague season, one thing’s pretty clear: Andrei Kirilenko is an animal. But right on his heels is Nicolas Batum, who’s putting up an insane line of 20 points, seven rebounds and a league leading eights assists.
But there’s only one problem: there are six undefeated Euroleague teams, and Batum’s Sluc Nancy squad isn’t one of them. So for an award that factors in winning more than numbers, Nicolas didn’t make the cut.
But if Nancy keeps winning, it might not stay like that for long. Who did I miss? Vote in the poll and let me know.
1. Andrei Kirilenko, SF, CSKA Moscow
Points: 14.5 Rebounds: 9.5 Assists: 5.5
You really can’t argue against this pick any way you try. Kirilenko has been just like the tattoo on his back: a Pterodactyl. Flying all over the court, he can change the entire game without even getting five shots up, and he leads what might be the longest Euroleague team we’ve ever seen. Whether it’s getting to the free throw line at will, tipping passes all over the court, continually cutting through defenses, or being an unbelievable rebounder, AK does it all. With the weakest team in the Euroleague next on tap (KK Zagreb), we won’t be able to get another full dose of Andrei’s and CSKA’s prowess until they head to Athens in two weeks.
Did I mention he’s leading the Euroleague in ranking, too?
2. Mirza Teletovic, PF, Caja Laboral
Points: 22.5 Rebounds: 4.5 3-Point FG %: 46.2%
The butterfly has finally broken out of its three point shooting cocoon this season. Always known for being a marksman from anywhere around the court for Vitoria, Teletovic has added new elements to his game this year. He’s grinding it out in the post and making defenders look foolish with his turnaround jumpers and dare I say it, highlight reel dunks:
3. Bo McCalebb, PG, Montepaschi Siena
Points: 17.0 Assists: 3.5 Steals: 2.0
Siena is another 2-0 team on a roll. There are few point guards walking the earth right now that can do the things Bo can on the court, with his explosiveness and leadership abilities. A meeting in Barcelona in two weeks versus Marcelinho Huertas will be a great test for the naturalized Macedonian, but so far defenders have had trouble staying anywhere close to him.
4. Juan Carlos Navarro, SG, FC Barcelona Regal
Points: 11.5 Assists: 3.5 Steals: 1.5
Barcelona is a top two team in the competition so far, with Juan Carlos leading the charge. He hasn’t had to do a whole lot so far, but the minutes he has played have been incredibly impactful. How many other players do you know that can demand a triple team on the perimeter?
5. Dimitris Diamantidis, PG, Panathinaikos
Points: 9.5 Assists: 7.5 Steals: 3.0
There isn’t a more efficient player in the galaxy and Panathinaikos has made their opponents look downright foolish so far. Right now he’s second in the Euroleague in assists and third in steals, and I’d be more shocked if he weren’t leading those categories soon enough. As I mentioned above, Dimitris’ week four match-up against CSKA has me salivating.