Finals matchup: Smith vs. Gray at shooting guard

Apr 26, 2021 by Print
Finals matchup: Smith vs. Gray at shooting guard

The top two scorers for 7DAYS EuroCup Finalists UNICS Kazan and AS Monaco operate in the backcourt. UNICS sharpshooter Jamar Smith is a veteran and one of the greatest to ever play in the competition, while Rob Gray has proven to be a perfect mid-season addition for Monaco and the scorer of one of the most famous baskets in club history. The two will look to continue lighting up the scoreboards when the EuroCup Finals top off on Tuesday, April 27.

Jamar Smith, UNICS Kazan

The freshly crowned EuroCup MVP and a former EuroCup champion, Jamar Smith is the all-time EuroCup leader in three-pointers made and second-best all-time scorer. This season may be the best and the most complete season of his career. One of the greatest sharpshooters who ever played in the competition, Smith ranks fourth this season with 17.1 points per game while leading the EuroCup with 2.9 three-pointers per game. Even though he came off the bench in 14 of his 20 appearances, Smith also leads UNICS in minutes (27:46), and is second in both assists (3.5 apg.) and steals (1.2 spg.). He is a veteran of 108 appearances entering the EuroCup Finals and posted career-highs this season in scoring (32), PIR (34), rebounds (6) and steals (4). He averaged 18.7 points in three quarterfinals games against Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar and then dropped 22 points in Game 1 of the semifinals against Virtus. Smith topped it with 24 points and 5 assists in a memorable and a record-setting 100-107 win in Game 3 to earn a chance to compete in another final series and add to his legacy.

Rob Gray, AS Monaco

Gray opened the season with Boulogne Metropolitans 92, which was the reason he was not eligible to play in a Monaco uniform until the Top 16. But once he did, Gray immediately became the team's best scoring option. Gray has come off the bench in all but one of his 11 appearances for Monaco and nevertheless leads the team with 17.1 points on 51% three-point shooting in just 24:24 minutes per game. In the Top 16, Gray averaged 18.5 points on 17-for-27 three-point shooting (63.0%), with 2.0 assists, pacing Monaco to first place in the group and home-court advantage for the playoffs. Gray was slowed down in the quarterfinals against Buducnost, but still posted 14.3 points and 3.3 rebounds before earning the Semifinals MVP award for his heroics in two games against Herbalife Gran Canaria. Gray netted 25 points on 5-for-6 shooting beyond the arc in a Game 1 win before knocking down the game-winner with 0.3 seconds in Game 2 to sweep the series, make Monaco history and send his team into the EuroCup Finals.