20 October, 2020
09 May, 2021
7 D'angelo Harrison (BRIN)
13/02/2021
Igor Curkovic's Champions League Help-Side
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Basketball Champions League MVP Race: Second checkpoint

ZAGREB (Croatia) - Regular Season is done, we're all set for the Play-Offs, played in four groups of four teams, with the top two advancing to the Final 8. Sounds like a great time to check up on the MVP Race of the Basketball Champions League 2020-21.

Have you read the First checkpoint of this column? If so, you know the method to this madness. If not, here's a quick breakdown:

  • It's not an official race.
  • It IS an actual update to see who's doing fine and who could end up winning the award at the end of the season.
  • First four questions are for real.
  • Fifth one is just random to lead you towards the leader of the MVP Race.
  • I avoid using my compatriots in the piece because I don't want to sound biased. But you should know that Miro Bilan is my actual pick for the MVP. See? Not biased at all.

It's extremely hard to narrow the list down to ten names. First of all, two of the finest teams of the League aren't here - Hereda San Pablo Burgos and Brose Bamberg. There's a reason for it. They are teams with clear team-first mentalities, so it's impossible to pick, I don't know, Vitor Benite or Chase Fieler for the MVP of the BCL when it's not clear if they are even MVPs of their own clubs.

(They are. In my books. Off the record.)

Without further ado, here are the questions to help us determine the leader of the MVP Race:
(1) Does your team have a winning record?
(2) Are you the reason they have a winning record?
(3) If your team needs a game-winning shot to make the Final 8, are you the one taking it?
(4) Do you have the numbers to be the MVP?
(5) Were you born in Alaska, USA which would explain your cold-blooded killer mentality on the floor?

(See? Number five is just random.)

#10 Sasu Salin (Lenovo Tenerife)

(1) Does your team have a winning record?
Yep, 4-2.
(2) Are you the reason they have a winning record?
Yep, won the game in Istanbul v Galatasaray by himself, basically.
(3) If your team needs a game-winning shot to make the Final 8, are you the one taking it?
Yep, either off of a Butler sideline out of bounds special, or in that Spain pick and roll fake, which turns into a flare screen by Shermadini to open Salin up on the wing. (Yep, I watched a lot of Lenovo Tenerife games this season...)
(4) Do you have the numbers to be the MVP?
15.8 points, 18-of-35 from beyond the arc, which is above 50 percent, so let's make this a "yes."
(5) Were you born in Alaska, USA which would explain your cold-blooded killer mentality on the floor?
Nope. But I imagine Helsinki isn't all that hot, either.

#9 DeVaughn Akoon-Purcell (Tofas Bursa)

(1) Does your team have a winning record?
Yep, 4-2.
(2) Are you the reason they have a winning record?
Double digits in scoring in each game, so this is not a yes, it's a YES.
(3) If your team needs a game-winning shot to make the Final 8, are you the one taking it?
He'll turn it into a game-winning one-handed scoop-layup and get 10 points in artistic merit, too.
(4) Do you have the numbers to be the MVP?
18.3 points, 7.3 rebounds (he's a guard, you know), 2.3 assists, 1.8 steals.
(5) Were you born in Alaska, USA which would explain your cold-blooded killer mentality on the floor?
Orlando, Florida. Hey, at least it explains his "hot" shooting.

#8 Sam Dekker (Turk Telekom)

(1) Does your team have a winning record?
Evet. 5-1.
(2) Are you the reason they have a winning record?
Game-winning shot against Limoges says yes.
(3) If your team needs a game-winning shot to make the Final 8, are you the one taking it?
Game-winning shot against Limoges says probably.
(4) Do you have the numbers to be the MVP?
15.2 points, 42 percent from deep, 7.7 rebounds, 3.2 assists. Oh, and 37.0 minutes per game. That's a lot.
(5) Were you born in Alaska, USA which would explain your cold-blooded killer mentality on the floor?
If you don't know by now that Sam is from Sheboygan, Wisconsin... Also a cold place, but not the answer we're looking for here.

#7 Bonzie Colson (SIG Strasbourg)

(1) Does your team have a winning record?
Oui, 4-2.
(2) Are you the reason they have a winning record?
Not one, but TWO clutch shots against VEF Riga this season. That's a YES!
(3) If your team needs a game-winning shot to make the Final 8, are you the one taking it?
Oh yes.
(4) Do you have the numbers to be the MVP?
20.2 points, 6.5 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 1.8 steals per game. One other thing, SIG Strasbourg are a +35 team in Bonzie's 178 minutes this season.
(5) Were you born in Alaska, USA which would explain your cold-blooded killer mentality on the floor?
Washington, DC.

#6 Retin Obasohan (ERA Nymburk)

(1) Does your team have a winning record?
Ano, 4-2.
(2) Are you the reason they have a winning record?
ERA Nymburk are +73 in Retin's 161 minutes this season. That's a fancy way of saying "OH YES."
(3) If your team needs a game-winning shot to make the Final 8, are you the one taking it?
Debatable. Because Vojtech Hruban is still the Czech Klay Thompson. But Retin could do it, too. Sure.
(4) Do you have the numbers to be the MVP?
14.2 points, 5.7 assists, 4.5 rebounds, 1.3 steals. All-round.
(5) Were you born in Alaska, USA which would explain your cold-blooded killer mentality on the floor?
Born in Antwerp, Belgium. I remember it being cold, but not Alaska-kind-of-cold.

#5 Kyle Allman (VEF Riga)

(1) Does your team have a winning record?
Yes, 4-2.
(2) Are you the reason they have a winning record?
Oh yes, he does it all, man.
(3) If your team needs a game-winning shot to make the Final 8, are you the one taking it?
Kristers Zoriks took one already, but Allman is definitely an option, yep.
(4) Do you have the numbers to be the MVP?
16.8 points, 6.5 assists, 3.5 rebounds. Crazy thing is that he could still be even better.
(5) Were you born in Alaska, USA which would explain your cold-blooded killer mentality on the floor?
Brooklyn, New York. Popular place in terms of basketball these days.

 

#4 Marco Spissu (Dinamo Sassari)

(1) Does your team have a winning record?
Si, 4-2.
(2) Are you the reason they have a winning record?
Yep. Big game to take down Tenerife, even bigger one to defeat Galatasaray on the road and advance.
(3) If your team needs a game-winning shot to make the Final 8, are you the one taking it?
Stefano Gentile took one in the Italian Cup, but I'd still give the ball to Spissu, anytime, anywhere.
(4) Do you have the numbers to be the MVP?
12.8 points, 7.2 assists, 4.0 rebounds. Oh, and he's 18-of-29 from beyond the arc, good for 62 percent on five attempts per game.
(5) Were you born in Alaska, USA which would explain your cold-blooded killer mentality on the floor?
Straight out of Sassari, playing for Sassari. It's a love story over there.

 

#3 Yanick Moreira (AEK)

(1) Does your team have a winning record?
Yep, 4-2.
(2) Are you the reason they have a winning record?
Yep, double digits in all but one game, two double-doubles, MVP of the month award...
(3) If your team needs a game-winning shot to make the Final 8, are you the one taking it?
Probably not, since that man Keith Langford is on your team. But then again, maybe they use Langford as a decoy, and Moreira dunks it home.
(4) Do you have the numbers to be the MVP?
17.0 points, 64 percent from the field, 75 percent from the free throw line, 7.3 rebounds, 1.8 assists. About as efficient as they get in less than 26 minutes per game.
(5) Were you born in Alaska, USA which would explain your cold-blooded killer mentality on the floor?
Luanda, Angola. Hey, we got a lot of international talent here.

 

#2 Raymar Morgan (Pinar Karsiyaka)

(1) Does your team have a winning record?
Yes, 4-2.
(2) Are you the reason they have a winning record?
Yes, yes, Yes, YES, YES!
(3) If your team needs a game-winning shot to make the Final 8, are you the one taking it?
Nope. He's dunking it.
(4) Do you have the numbers to be the MVP?
19.5 points, 68 percent from the field, 44 percent from deep, 4.0 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 1.3 steals. Crazy good.
(5) Were you born in Alaska, USA which would explain your cold-blooded killer mentality on the floor?
Canton, Ohio. Close, but not close enough.

 

#1 D'Angelo Harrison (Happy Casa Brindisi)

(1) Does your team have a winning record?
Yep, 5-1.
(2) Are you the reason they have a winning record?
Come on, man.
(3) If your team needs a game-winning shot to make the Final 8, are you the one taking it?
Probably from halfcourt. And making it.
(4) Do you have the numbers to be the MVP?
19.3 points, 39 percent from deep on seven attempts per game, 4.3 assists, 4.2 rebounds, 1.3 steals. Oh, and he's 40-of-40 from the charity stripe!
(5) Were you born in Alaska, USA which would explain your cold-blooded killer mentality on the floor?
YEEEEAAAAH!!! Born in Anchorage, Alaska, moved to Texas where he played high school basketball, then went through St. John's Red Storm college program, before moving on to Turkey, Israel, Russia, France and Italy. Mr Worldwide is your current leader in the MVP Race!

 

The Basketball Champions League's columnists write on a wide range of topics relating to basketball that are of interest to them. The opinions they express are their own and in no way reflect those of FIBA or the Basketball Champions League.

The Basketball Champions League's takes no responsibility and gives no guarantees, warranties or representations, implied or otherwise, for the content or accuracy of the content and opinion expressed in the above article.

Igor Curkovic

Igor Curkovic

Igor Curkovic is Basketball Champions League's writer and editor since day one of the competition, specializing in Live Blog coverage of the games and sorting out the teams on Mondays, in the Power Rankings. When he's not watching basketball, he's commentating Croatian Second Division soccer games for TV.