MVP of the Week: Mindaugas Kuzminskas, Lokomotiv

Mar 11, 2021 by Print

In a must-win situation on the final day of the 7DAYS EuroCup Top 16, Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar forward Mindaugas Kuzminskas stepped up to the task of carrying his team to a win just big enough for a place in the quarterfinals and, in so doing, earned the MVP of the Week award. Lokomotiv clinched its seventh quarterfinals berth in eight EuroCup seasons with a 100-86 win over Dolomiti Energia Trento. Kuzminskas led the way with a career-best 26 points by making 6 of 10 two-point shots, 3 of 5 threes and 5 of 6 free throws. Kuzminskas had another pair of career highs, 37:42 minutes played and 9 rebounds, contributing to a performance index rating of 33, the highest in Top 16 Round 6 and the second-best of his EuroCup career. Two players, Rashawn Thomas of Partizan NIS Belgrade and Mathias Lessort of AS Monaco, came next with PIRs of 31 each. Thomas compiled 20 points, 6 rebounds, 6 steals, 2 assists and 1 block despite his team being eliminated against Boulogne Metropolitans 92. Lessort posted career highs of 21 points and 11 rebounds in a road win over his former team, Unicaja Malaga. Lokomotiv point guard Mantas Kalnietis followed with a PIR of 30 based on his 21 points, 10 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 steals in that win over Trento, whose center Jacorey Williams was among three players, along with UNICS Kazan teammates Jamar Smith and Jordan Morgan of UNICS Kazan, who rounded out this week's top performances with PIRs of 29 each.

Individual highs: Rashawn Thomas, Partizan, 6 steals

Jamar Smith had 32 points in Round 6, the most of any player in any Top 16 game this season. Jaka Blazic of Cedevita Olimpija Ljubljana finished as the Top 16's leading scorer with 21.2 points per game. Lessort of Monaco had 11 rebounds, the most of any player this week. Morgan was the best rebounder in the Top 16 with 9.0 rebounds per game. Kalnietis and Trento's Gary Browne each dished 10 assists to lead all players in Top 16 Round 6. Milos Teodosic of undefeated Virtus Segafredo Bologna ranked first on the final Top 16 assists chart with 7.2 per game. Thomas of Partizan had 6 steals to lead all players this week and increase his Top 16 average to 2.4, joining Marcquise Reed of Nanterre 92 as the co-leaders of that category. Unicaja big man Yannick Nzosa had 4 blocks, more than any player this week. Maxime Roos finished as the Top 16's shot-blocking leader with 2.5 rejections on average.