Panathinaikos Superfoods Athens point guard Nick Calathes flirted with history on Thursday in Istanbul, barely missing a triple-double, but his clutch performance not only netted the Greens a thrilling road win, but also earned him the MVP of the Round honors. In an 81-82 road win over Anadolu Efes, Calathes set career highs with 29 points and a performance index rating of 42. That was not only the highest index rating of Round 8, but also a new high in the 2017-18 Turkish Airlines EuroLeague. Calathes rose to the occasion with 13 fourth-quarter points, including the go-ahead triple in the final minute. He also dished 10 assists and pulled down 9 rebounds, coming 1 rebound shy of what would have been just the third triple-double in competition history, not to mention the first since 2006. In his memorable performance, Calathes shot 7-of-13 on two-pointers, 3-of-4 on threes, and 6-for-8 from the free throw line. He also picked up a steal and drew 7 fouls. This is the first MVP of the Round award for Calathes, who is in his sixth EuroLeague season and has played 127 games for the Greens. Behind Calathes in Round 8 came Jan Vesely of Fenerbahce Dogus Istanbul, who had an index rating of 30 in a thrilling 93-95 overtime road win against CSKA Moscow. Vesely scored a career-high 31 points, making 14 of 19 two-pointers, which is tied for the most shots made inside the arc since 2005. Vesely also had 5 rebounds, 2 steals and 1 assist in victory. Thomas Robinson of Khimki Moscow Region had a third-best PIR of 29 in this round, the highest of his rookie season so far. In a home loss against Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv, Robinson scored 17 points on 7-for-9 two-point shooting, pulled down a personal-best 13 rebounds, and also had 2 steals, 1 block, 1 assist and 5 fouls drawn. The fourth-best index rating of the round, 28, belonged to Luka Doncic of Real Madrid. In a big win over Unicaja Malaga, Doncic had an all-round performance with 13 points, 10 rebounds, 6 assists, 2 blocks, 1 steal and 4 fouls drawn. Rounding out the list of top performers of Round 8 is CSKA's Kyle Hines who collected 17 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals and 2 blocked shots for an index rating of 27.
Individual highs: Norris Cole of Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv, 6 steals
Vesely led all scorers in Round 8 with 31 points. Madrid's Doncic remains the EuroLeague's scoring leader with 19.8 points per game. Robinson's 13 rebounds for Khimki were the most in this round and he jumped to the top in the overall rankings, as well, with 8.1 per game. Calathes was the only player with double-digit assists in Round 8, dishing 10. Calathes is now the competition leader in that category with 7.4 per contest. Maccabi rookie guard Norris Cole had 6 steals, the most by any player this season. Khimki's Charles Jenkins is still the season-long leader with 1.9 steals per night. His teammate Sergey Monia led all players this round with 4 blocks. Madrid's injured big man Gustavo Ayon tops all shot-blockers with 1.6 on average. There were four double-doubles in Round 8: Calathes had 19 points and 10 assists, Robinson collected 17 points and 13 rebounds, Nikola Milutinov of Olympiacos Piraeus amassed 13 points plus 12 rebounds, while Doncic had 13 points and 10 rebounds.