Week 1 bwin MVP: Andrei Kirilenko, CSKA Moscow

Oct 21, 2011 by Euroleague.net Print
Week 1 bwin MVP: Andrei Kirilenko, CSKA Moscow
One player's return to his former club to start the Turkish Airlines Euroleague season couldn't have gone better if he had scripted it himself. Forward Andrei Kirilenko was simply unstoppable as CSKA Moscow defeated Zalgiris Kaunas 74-87 in Monday's opening game of the season. Kirilenko's performance index rating of 37 would prove the highest among all Euroleague players, earning him the bwin MVP honor for regular season Week 1! Kirilenko played inspired basketball from the opening tip in Kaunas, en route to an amazing performance that included 17 points on 6 of 10 two-point shots, 1 of 2 threes and 2 of 4 free throws. He also added 15 rebounds, the most of any player this week, to go with 5 assists, 4 blocks and 5 drawn fouls in 32 minutes. Following him with the second-best performances of the week was a veteran on a rookie team, Henry Domercant, whose 30 points scored led to an index rating of 35, although Unics Kazan lost at home to Montepaschi Siena. Malik Hairston was third (index rating 33) after his 25-point, 6-assist show in EA7 Emporio Armani Milan's home win against Maccabi Electra. In the same game, Lior Eliyahu of Maccabi (30) had 21 points, 8 rebounds. The fifth-best performance (29) was Nikola Pekovic's return to Partizan mt:s with 21 points, but his team couldn't overcome Anadolu Efes.

Individual highs: Pablo Prigioni, 6 steals

Domercant of Unics was the best scorer of the week, reaching 30 points, the most points scored in a Euroleague game in 2011. That figure was also Domercant's career high in six Euroleague seasons. CSKA's Kirilenko was the best man under the boards with an impressive 15 rebounds. Milos Teodosic of CSKA and Marcelinho Huertas of FC Barcelona Regal dished 8 assists each in their respective road wins. Nicolas Batum of SLUC Nancy also had 8 assists in a losing effort, his career high as he starts his third Euroleague season. Pablo Prigioni of Caja Laboral celebrated a return to his old team with the most steals this week, 6, in a road win at Fenerbahce Ulker. The steals made Prigioni the second Euroleague player, after Theo Papaloukas, to surpass 300 in his career. Finally, two players started the season with 4 blocks: Kirilenko of CSKA and Tarence Kinsey of Anadolu Efes. There were three players who registered double-doubles: Kirilenko, Marcus Slaughter of Brose Baskets (16 points, 10 rebounds) and Ioannis Bourousis of EA7 MIlano (13 points, 10 rebounds).