Justin Cobbs of Buducnost VOLI Podgorica was already having his best 7DAYS EuroCup season yet, but the 30-year-old point guard has been playing lights out the last three rounds, leading his team to a Group B-best 5-2 record while outperforming every other player in the competition.
With a half-dozen players missing time, including All-EuroCup center Willie Reed, it was time for other Buducnost players to step up.
Cobbs, one of the top players in the competition since 2018 and already considered a team leader in his third consecutive season in Podgrocia, took responsibility to turn his game up a couple of notches and produce at career-high levels.
To get to so high, he had to start low, and that for Cobbs was Buducnost's first loss of the season in Round 4 at Umana Reyer Venice, where he had 12 points and 0 assists with 3 turnovers. But Cobbs bounced right back the following week with the best performance of his career.
Cobbs scored a career-high 33 points while making 3 of 3 triples and 12 of 12 foul shots in a 31-point Round 5 victory over Cedevita Olimpija Ljubljana. He dished 5 assists and picked up a career-high 4 steals, accumulating a PIR of 44, not only his personal best but higher than any player in the competition since January 2020.
The Buducnost playmaker backed up that performance with a 17-point night a week later in Round 6, on the road against Promitheas Patras. Cobbs had 5 assists and pulled down 5 rebounds, tying his previous best, and also added 3 steals in helping Buducnost to a 29-point road win with his 26 PIR, the sixth-best of his career.
Cobbs went on to top that last week, with a PIR of 27 in a home loss against Gran Canaria. He scored 18 points along with 5 assists, 3 rebounds and a pair of steals, also drawing 9 fouls to make 10 of 12 free throws.
Cobbs has scored in double figures in every game and has dished at least 5 assists in six of the seven so far. Over the last three, however, no EuroCup player has flown higher than his accumulated 97 PIR.
Each of his performances in that span ranks among the seven best of Cobbs's 64-game EuroCup career. Not only is his PIR average of 32.3 over that span is 4 points higher than the next-best player, but his per-40 minute PIR of 40.2 leads the league since Round 5, too.
His average of 22.7 points ranks third over the last three games and nearly doubles what he averaged before this season. Cobbs entered this campaign putting up 11.5 points per game for his career. His best scoring season was 2019-20, when he averaged 15.4 over nine games.
After his latest scoring spree, Cobbs is posting 18.7 points along with 4.9 assists and career-best 2.0 steals this season.
Buducnost and head coach Aleksandar Dzikic would like to see Cobbs keep it going, of course, and he will try that this week when Buducnost travels to face Mincidelice JL Bourg en Bresse on Tuesday.