Khimki Moscow Region might have been long eliminated from the playoff contention, but that has not stopped Jordan Mickey to be one of EuroLeague's top performers in recent weeks. Few players have hurt opposing defenses more than Mickey has over the past three rounds, and Mickey has been one of the hottest players in the league since late January.
Mickey was in search of consistency during the first part of the season. He was in double figures 11 times in his first 17 appearances up until Round 20 this season, but ever since Mickey's production skyrocketed and he has been playing the best basketball of his EuroLeague career.
Mickey averaged 11.4 points per game before Round 21, but scoring more than 14 points just three times during that portion of the season. He was pulling down 4.9 rebounds, and had an average PIR of 11.0. Over the last five games, however, Mickey doubled, or nearly doubled, all of that production.
His scoring went up to 21.8 points per contest in that span, as he has scored 19 or more points four times in his last five games. He has also improved his rebounding average to 7.2 rebounds, and has pulled down just two offensive rebounds fewer in the last five games than what he has done in his first 17 appearances.
Also, during the latest five-game span, Mickey has averaged a PIR 25.0, an increase of 14 index points compared to the his previous production.
Feeling that he is hot, his coach has kept him on the floor and his teammates have been feeding him the ball, so much so that Mickey has been making more field goals than what he was even attempting earlier. Khimki power forward has averaged 9.1 field goal attempts until Round 20, but since then he is making 9.4 per game.
Mickey's minutes per game went significantly up, and he has not played fewer than 33:35 in any of the last five games. Then, both Mickey's production and his minutes took another flight over the last two weeks.
While playing just little over 37 minutes per game in the last three rounds Mickey has posted 23.7 points, 8.7 rebounds for an average PIR 28.0, which ranks him second over the span of last three games in each of those categories.
Mickey had his second double-double of the season in Round 26, with 23 points and 11 rebounds, accumulating a PIR 29 in a road loss against AX Armani Exchange Milan. He made 9 of 16 two-point shots in that game, then shot 8-for-13 in a 78-77 upset of Real Madrid in Round 27 last week.
Mickey was everywhere in that game, finishing with 19 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists, a career-best 4 steals and had 2 blocks in that contest, playing a career-high 37:30 minutes. Three days later, in a loss against ALBA Berlin, Mickey had couple more career-highs, setting a new personal best with 29 points, and tying another by making 12 two-point shots on 16 attempts. He also had 9 rebounds in that game, and his PIR 31 was one shy of another career-mark.
Mickey enters this week's as arguably the hottest player in the EuroLeague, and will try to use Khimki's road trip to the Serbian capital and a game against Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade to keep it going.