Over more than 250 games, there was plenty to see, hear, absorb and analyze from a 2017-18 Turkish Airlines Euroleague season that kept fans on the edge of their seats for almost eight months. Take a look back at some of the biggest moments and players with these Top 10 individual performances of the season!
10.- Jan Vesely, Fenerbahce Dogus Istanbul at CSKA Moscow, Regular Season Round 8
Exciting things happen when CSKA and Fenerbahce share the same basketball court. In this game, fans were treated to an overtime thriller full of spectacular plays. None was better than a huge dunk by Vesely over Othello Hunter. Vesely was much more than a human highlight film; he scored a career-high 31 points against the Russian powerhouse on 14-of-19 two-point shooting. Vesely played a critical role for Fenerbahce down the stretch with 6 of his team's 12 points in overtime, which helped Fenerbahce win it at the buzzer on a tip-in by Nicolo Melli. The Czech Jet flew higher than ever against one of the toughest opponents possible.
9.- Luka Doncic, Real Madrid vs. AX Armani Exchange Olimpia Milan, Regular Season Round 3
Doncic had already delivered big performances in the first two games of the season, but if anyone doubted his potential, those fears were put to rest after his outstanding exhibition against Milan. Doncic set a career-high performance index rating of 41 with 27 points, 8 rebounds, 5 assists and 10 fouls drawn in leading Madrid to a 100-90 win. With Sergio Llull sidelined, Doncic was expected to have a much bigger role on the team and all of a sudden, he was leading the winningest squad in European basketball history. "The matchup with Doncic was very difficult for us," Milan head coach Simone Pianigiani said after the game. "He stopped the game in a phenomenal way."
8.- Pierre Jackson, Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv at Brose Bamberg, Regular Season Round 1
Three quarters into the opening night fixture between Maccabi and Brose, there was no sign of a magical finish for the visitors. However, that's when Pierre Jackson struck. The diminutive guard erupted for 14 fourth-quarter points to turn a 4-point deficit into a convincing win as he flirted with a triple-double. With the score tied at 67-67, Jackson hit a triple that sparked a 0-19 game-deciding run in which he scored 9 points and assisted on 5 others. Jackson finished with 27 points on 5-of-5 three-point shooting plus 7 rebounds and 9 assists for a performance index rating of 41. Only one player managed to better that number all season!
7.- Nick Calathes, Panathinaikos Superfoods Athens vs. Real Madrid, Playoffs Game 1
Panathinaikos was on a five-game winning streak entering the playoffs and kept its momentum going against Real Madrid, opening the game with a 20-0 run and never looking back. Nick Calathes dominated the first half with 9 points and 7 assists for a 46-30 Panathinaikos margin. Calathes kept finding open teammates throughout the second half and finished the game with 16 assists. That was a EuroLeague season-high, a career-best effort, and a new EuroLeague Playoffs record. He added 11 points for his record 11th point-assist double-double of the season and Panathinaikos ended up winning 95-67 in a laugher.
6.- Nicolo Melli, Fenerbahce Dogus Istanbul vs. Real Madrid, championship game
Fenerbahce faced foul trouble early in the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Championship Game when starting center Jan Vesely picked up an early pair and Ahmet Duverioglu joined him on the bench with two fouls after seven minutes. As always, Coach Zeljko Obradovic found alternatives and played a lot of pick-and-pop basketball with Melli against Gustavo Ayon and Walter Tavares. Melli did a little bit of everything - score off high post screens, drive to the basket and finish strong, challenge opponents in the low post – and scored 17 of his 28 points in the second half to keep Fenerbahce alive. His team did not win, but Melli had the best scoring night in a championship game this decade.
5.- Fabien Causeur, Real Madrid vs. Fenerbahce Dogus Istanbul, Championship Game
Every EuroLeague champion needs role players to step up in the most important moments and that is exactly what Fabien Causeur did in the championship game against Fenerbahce. On the biggest stage of his career, Causeur played one of the best games of his career. He hit his first shot – a three-pointer – and scored 12 points in the third quarter to help Madrid to an important 63-55 lead through 30 minutes of action. Causeur also hit a pair of free throws that allowed Madrid to put the victory on ice in the final seconds. He finished the game with team-highs of 17 points and a performance index rating of 21 in leading Madrid to a long-awaited 10th EuroLeague crown!
4.- Alexey Shved, Khimki Moscow Region vs. CSKA Moscow, Playoffs Game 4
Khimki had its back against the ball, down 2-1 in its playoffs series against CSKA and losing 44-57 at halftime. CSKA had limited Shved to 16 points in the opening 26 minutes and extended its margin to 52-69, but Khimki had not said its final word. Shved stepped up and played his best basketball of the season, scoring 21 points in the final 14 minutes and putting his team in charge, 87-85, with his eighth three-point shot. CSKA ended up winning the game down the stretch and qualifying for the Final Four, but Shved posted a EuroLeague season-high 36 points with 5 rebounds and 6 assists for a performance index rating of 37. An amazing game by the Alphonso Ford Top Scoring trophy winner!
3.- Sergio Rodriguez, CSKA Moscow vs. Khimki Moscow Region, Playoffs Game 2
CSKA was in trouble without two injured starters and stars – Nando De Colo and Kyle Hines – in its playoffs series against Khimki Moscow Region. Without De Colo, the rest of CSKA's backcourt had to step up against a dangerous opponent and Rodriguez did just that in Game 2. He delivered a career-high 26 points and added 10 assists for a double-double to spark CSKA to an 89-84 victory. His performance index rating of 36 was also the highest in his 199 EuroLeague career games. Rodriguez showcased the best version of himself when his team needed him most. "It was a tough and tight game, and Sergio decided it today with his great performance," Khimki head coach Georgios Bartzokas said after the game."
2.- Luka Doncic, Real Madrid at Fenerbahce Dogus Istanbul, Regular Season 15
Facing the defending Turkish Airlines EuroLeague champion is never an easy task, but doing it without five injured players - Anthony Randolph, Gustavo Ayon, Rudy Fernandez, Ognjen Kuzmic and Sergio Llull – is almost an impossible mission. Doncic stepped up big against Fenerbahce with one of the best games of his career. He finished it with 20 points, 8 rebounds and 10 assists for a performance index rating of 37 in leading Madrid to a 77-79 road win. Doncic was still 18 years old in that game and playing like a veteran. "Luka Doncic played an excellent game like he plays most of the season. Congratulations to him," Fenerbahce head coach Zeljko Obradovic said after the game.
1.- Nick Calathes, Panathinaikos Superfoods Athens at Anadolu Efes Istanbul, Regular Season Round 8
It takes a truly great effort to top this list and this is exactly what Calathes had against Efes. For the second time in his career, he narrowly missed a triple-double, finishing the game with a then career-high 29 points, 9 rebounds and 10 assists. One more rebound would have given Calathes just the third triple-double in EuroLeague history. Moreover, Calathes capped a dominant performance with a critical shot. He scored 13 points in the fourth quarter, including the go-ahead three-pointer in the final minute, leading Panathinaikos to a hard-fought 81-82 road win. Calathes had a performance index rating of 42, which was a EuroLeague season-high and the highest mark in his 150 career games.