Week 2, co-MVPs: Tiago Splitter, Matt Walsh

Oct 30, 2009 by Euroleague.net Print
Tiago Splitter - Caja LaboralOne of the Euroleague's most consistent young stars, All-Euroleague center Tiago Splitter of Caja Laboral, and a rookie playing just his second game, Matt Walsh of Union Olimpija, put up singularly excellent performances to share the MVP honor for Week 2 of the regular season with performance index ratings of 36 each. Splitter, the young leader of a revamped team, showed the way to Caja Laboral's first victory of the season, 86-81 over visiting Maccabi Elite Tel Aviv. Splitter, in his seventh Euroleague season despite being just 24 years old still, poured in a career-high of 26 points - every one of them necessary - in a back-and-forth battle with Maccabi. Splitter was very efficient, making 10 of 14 two-point shots and downing 6 of his 8 free throws. He also collected 7 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals, a block and 9 fouls drawn for an index rating of 36. Again and again, when his team needed a big play, Splitter was there. While Splitter was dominating inside, Walsh was doing so outside, although Union Olimpija fell in the end to visiting Maroussi. Walsh buried 7 of 9 three-point shots on his way to 32 points, the most by any player in Week 2. Walsh also hit 3 of 4 two-pointers and all 5 of his free throws while pulling 4 rebounds. All in all, a great debut before the home fans in Ljubljana. Following those two for third-best performance of the week was Asvel Basket center Ali Traore, whose 29 points and 13 rebounds were not enough, however, to prevent Fenerbahce Ulker's overtime road win. Traore finished with an index rating of 34. That was one rating point above a familiar face in fourth place, Dimitris Diamantidis of Panathinaikos, whose 22 points on near-perfect shooting, 5 rebounds and 4 assists paced his team's massive 101-66 home win against Khimki Moscow Region. And not to be forgotten, in fifth place, was the Week 1 MVP, Darjus Lavrinovic of Real Madrid, whose big performance came with his team's first victory in Group D, against Asseco Prokom Gdynia. This time, Lavrinovic posted 19 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists and 4 steals for an index rating of 31.

Individual highs: Ryvon Covile, 4 blocks

Those 32 points by Matt Walsh for Union Olimpija were the most for the week, while the Lavrinovic twins - Ksistof of Montepaschi and Darjus of Real Madrid - top the overall scoring column after two weeks. Ksistof Lavrinoic retains the lead with a 26-point average, although he didn't play in Week 2, while Darjus Lavrinovic hast the best two-week average, 25.5 points. Traore's 13 rebounds for Asvel were the best of the week, tied with Ronnie Burrell of Asseco Prokom. Leading the overall rebounds table with 10 per game so far are Travis Watson of Zalgiris and Asseco Prokom teammates Burrell and Qyntel Woods. The top pass-maker for Week 2 was Bojan Popovic, who dished 9 assists to keep Lietuvos Rytas undefeated. After two weeks, Popovic is also the overall assists leader with 9.5 per game. Jamont Gordon of Cibona was the Week 2 steals leader with 4, the same average that Terrell McIntyre of Montepaschi Siena has to lead that category through two weeks. The top shot-blocker of the week was Ryvon Covile of Entente Orleans with 4. The leader in that category remains D'or Fischer of Maccabi, who has averaged 3.5 so far. There were five players with double-doubles in Week 2: Traore of Asvel, Burrell of Asseco Prokom, Joel Freeland of Unicaja, Omer Asik of Fenerbahce Ulker and Romain Sato of Montepaschi Siena.