When his team badly needed a victory to stay alive in the race to reach the Top 16, Jamel McLean produced a career-best night in leading EA7 Emporio Armani Milan to an 88-84 victory over Anadolu Efes Istanbul on Thursday and in so doing earned MVP honors for Round 7 of the Turkish Airlines Euroleague Regular Season. McLean was all over the floor as he amassed a career-high 26 points, shooting a near-perfect 9 of 10 for two-pointers and going 8-for-11 from the free throw line. He also added 5 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal and drew 9 fouls for his Euroleague career-best performance index rating of 36, the highest of any player in Round 7. It the first weekly MVP honor for McLean in his second season in the competition. Crvena Zvezda Telekom Belgrade center Maik Zirbes dominated late in a 94-88 victory over defending champion Real Madrid to post the second-highest index rating of the week, 32. Zirbes made 10 of 12 shots for 26 points plus 5 rebounds and 2 blocks in his career-best effort. Sergio Rodriguez, who was on the losing end in that game, was next in the weekly rakings with a 31 index. He had 16 points, 6 rebounds and 9 assists for the champs. Heiko Schaffartzik turned in his best performance yet in a Limoges CSP uniform with the fourth-high index rating of the week, 30, but it wasn’t enough as his team lost 69-78 to visiting Cedevita Zagreb. Schaffartzik finished with 17 points on 5-of-8 three-point shooting, 6 rebounds and a career-high 11 assists in the game. Rounding out the list of Round 7 stars was another Zvezda player, Quincy Miller. The forward scored 24 points on 5-of-7 three-point shooting, grabbed 7 rebounds and blocked 2 shots to rack up an index rating of 27 in that big home win over Madrid.
Individual leaders: Heiko Schaffartzik of Limoges CSP, 11 assists
With their 26 points each, McLean and Zirbes shared the spotlight as the top scorers in Round 7. McClean stepped into the void created by injured teammate Alessandro Gentile, whose average of 20 points per game remain the most in the league this season. In collecting 15 rebounds on Thursday, Laboral Kutxa Vitoria Gasteiz center Ioannis Bourousis not only recorded the most in the competition for the week, but raised his league-leading average to 10.1 rebounds per game. Schaffartzik's career-high 11 assists were the most by any player all week. His 5.6 assists per game place him sixth among the full-season standings, which are jointly led by Crvena Zvezda Telekom Belgrade point guard Stefan Jovic and Anadolu Efes Istanbul playmaker Thomas Heurtel with 7.7 per game. In his return from injury, Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar big man Anthony Randolph joined Pinar Karsiyaka Izmir guard Kenan Sipahi in topping the weekly standings with 4 steals each. David Logan of Dinamo Banco di Sardegna Sassari and Bradley Wanamaker of Brose Baskets Bamberg are the leaders this season in steals with 2.17 per game. Bamberg’s Nicolo Melli led the standings for Round 7 with 4 blocks; Olympiacos Piraeus’s injured center Patric Young remains this season’s leader with an average of 2.6 blocks per game. The list of players with double-doubles in Round 7 features Bourousis (16 points, 15 rebounds), Richard Hendrix (11 points, 12 rebounds) of Unicaja Malaga, Victor Claver (10 points, 10 rebounds) of Lokomotiv and Schaffartzik.