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Euroleague MVP Race

We are in the middle of the Top-16 phase of the 2011-12 Euroleague competition, which makes it an opportune time to check in on the favorites to win MVP.

- All records and stats through Game 4 of Top-16

1. Andrei Kirilenko - CSKA (13-1 season, 3-1 in Top 16)

12.7 points (44% 3FG), 7.4 rebounds, 2.9 assists, 2.6 blocks in 29 minutes

There isn't a single thing that Andrei Kirilenko couldn't do in Euroleague this season and there's a feeling we haven't seen the best yet. It is more than clear that Kirilenko, who turned 31 on Saturday, is head and shoulders above the other MVP candidates.

2. Bo McCalebb - Montepaschi (12-2, 4-0)

18.1 points (72% 2FG, 60% 3FG), 2.5 rebounds, 3 assists in 27 minutes

The domination of American-born Macedonian Bo McCalebb continues. The 6-foot guard is living a dream since the last EuroBasket and just when you think he can't play any better, he proves you wrong. McCaleebb is absolutely the best offensive player in Europe and facts speak for themselves. The Montepaschi's leader, who ranks third in scoring and second in 2FG percentage, scored no less than 13 points in all Euroleague games this season.

3. Erazem Lorbek - FC Barcelona Regal (13-1, 4-0)

15.2 points (46% 3FG), 4.9 rebounds in 26 minutes

Yes, FC Barcelona Regal is still Navarro's team, but Erazem Lorbek's consistency has been the main weapon for the Spanish club this season. The Slovene collected 15 or more performance index rating (PIR) points in all four Top 16 games.

4. Henry Domercant - Unics (10-4, 3-1)

16.4 points (52% 3FG), 4.2 rebounds in 31 minutes

The 31-year-old veteran Henry Domercant, Euroleague MVP of January, is the engine of Unics offense and the key of their success. Domercant, who ranks fourth in scoring, has made at least one 3-pointer in all 14 Euroleague games this season. It seems that the guard feels more comfortable shooting from beyond the arc as Domercant already made 38 3-pointers compared to 28 shots from short-range.

5. Nenad Krstic - CSKA (13-1, 3-1)

15.4 points, 6.6 rebounds in 24 minutes

Before coming back to Europe, Nenad Krstic revealed the NBA season sometimes missed pressure and that was one of the reasons why he turned his career into Eurolegue, where every game matters. So far, Krstic is perfectly dealing with the pressure well, as he is the leading scorer of undoubtedly the best team in the league.

6. Dimitris Diamantidis - Panathinaikos (10-4, 3-1)

10.1 points (48% 3FG), 3.3 rebounds, 5.1 assists in 29 minutes

Definitely, Dimitris Diamantidis' teammates took some of the load from his shoulders compared to last season, but still, Diamantidis is probably the player in the Euroleague you would want to have on your team in clutch situations. 

7. Vassilis Spanoulis - Olympiacos (8-6, 2-2)

18.4 points (41% 3FG), 4.2. assists, 3.9 turnovers in 31 minutes

Before the start of the season, it seemed that Olympiacos would remain a shadow of its past but thanks to Vassilis Spanoulis, Piraeus team remains competitive. Same as last season, Spanoulis is one the best players in the Euroleague in terms of scoring, but at the same time, he leads the league in turnovers for the second season in row.

8. Marko Banic - Bilbao Basket (7-7, 2-2)

14.3 points, 3.9 rebounds in 26 minutes

Marko Banic, who has been playing for Bilbao since 2005, is having a Euroleague debut of dreams. Banic, the main reason of the team's success, is playing like a real MVP, while his team grabs stunning wins against teams like Real Madrid.

9. Nikola Mirotic - Real Madrid (10-4, 2-2)

12 points (45% 3FG), 4.2 rebounds in 23 minutes

While Jonas Valanciunas steals all the spotlight as the best young player in Europe, Chicago Bulls draftee Nikola Mirotic became a starting center and a game-changer for Real Madrid this season. A few amazing performances, for example, against Maccabi or Partizan, made Mirotic an MVP candidate. Bulls fans should be thrilled to see their future player successfully competing in Euroleague and Spanish league (Liga Endesa), the two best competitions in Europe.

10. Sonny Weems - Zalgiris (4-10, 0-4)

16 points, 5.2 rebounds, 3 turnovers in 30 minutes

There's no doubt that Sonny Weems has been one of the best signings of last summer among all Euroleague teams. Weems has everything it takes to be a team leader, but that still was not enough for Zalgiris, who's been struggling all season long.

Honorable Mentions: Jaycee Carroll, Real; Joel Freeland, Unicaja; Viktor Khryapa, CSKA; Terrell Lyday, Unics; Juan Carlos Navarro, FC Barcelona Regal; Demond Mallet, Maccabi; Vladimir Micov, Bennet.

 

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