Round 16 MVP: Nikola Milutinov, Olympiacos Piraeus

Jan 05, 2019 by Print

Olympiacos Piraeus not only aced the Greek derby against Panathinaikos OPAP Athens in Round 16 of the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Regular Season, but one of its stars, center Nikola Milutinov, earned the MVP of the Round honor for the third time this season. Milutinov dominated with 18 points, 18 rebounds and a career-high performance index rating of 41 as Olympiacos topped its archrival 79-65 on Friday. His rebounds total established a new Olympiacos record in the team's 443 EuroLeague games played this century, and his 13 defensive boards matched the EuroLeague's high since 2015. Milutinov downed 5 of 8 two-point shots and 8 of 10 free throws while drawing 11 fouls for what was the third-highest PIR of the EuroLeague season so far. Milutinov was previously MVP in Round 2 and Round 13 this season. Gustavo Ayon of Real Madrid and Goga Bitadze of Buducnost VOLI Podgorica followed Milutinov with PIRs of 31 in Round 16. Ayon led Madrid to a 91-79 home win against Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv. He finished the game with 18 points on 9-of-10 two-point shooting, 9 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals. In just his second EuroLeague game, Bitadze had 23 points, 8 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 blocks and 8 fouls drawn in his team's 111-94 road loss to AX Armani Exchange Olimpia Milan. Vasilije Micic of Anadolu Efes Istanbul had a PIR of 29 while Michael Roll of Maccabi, Thomas Heurtel of FC Barcelona Lassa and Arturas Gudaitis of Milan each posted a PIR of 26 to complete the top individual performances in Round 16.

Individual highs: Sergio Llull, Real Madrid, 10 assists

Roll, Bitadze and Toney Douglas of Darussafaka Tekfen Istanbul each scored 23 points, the most in Round 16. With Khimki Moscow Region guard Alexey Shved now off the leader board for not playing more than half of this season's games, Mike James of Milan is the new top scorer in the competition at 19.3 points per game. Milutinov led all rebounders with 18 boards and is ranked first overall, too, at 8.4 per night. Sergio Llull of Real Madrid was the only player to reach double digits in assists, dishing 10 against Maccabi. Nick Calathes of Panathinaikos continues leading the overall rankings at 8.1 assists per game. Jan Vesely of Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul, Kostas Papanikolaou of Olympiacos and Ray McCallum of Darussafaka each collected 4 steals in Round 16. Facu Campazzo of Madrid leads the overall standings at 1.7 steals per game. Bitadze, Gudaitis and Aaron White of Zalgiris Kaunas had 3 blocks apiece in this round. Edy Tavares of Real Madrid remains the best shot blocker in the competition with 1.9 per outing. Milutinov, Gudaitis and Llull were the only three players to record double-doubles in this round.