No one would have guessed that Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar was a Turkish Airlines Euroleague newcomer during four consecutive victories last month that earned the Russian team early entry into the Top 16. Lokomotiv won big and won dramatically, won at home and won away, but relied all month on one basic ingredient: star-quality numbers from forward Derrick Brown, Euroleague Basketball's choice as bwin MVP for November. From a pair of heart-stopping victories to start November to the Euroleague's biggest road win this season to end it, Lokomotiv was able to count on Brown, also playing his first season in the competition, as Mr. Consistency. He was the leading scorer in three of those games, while also taking care of business on defense as Lokomotiv's second-best performer in rebounds, steals and blocks. It all contributed greatly to Lokomotiv taking exclusive possession of first place in Group D, something no other first-year Euroleague team has done this late in a regular season. Brown was as efficient as he was spectacular, with no Euroleague player in November scoring more points at higher percentages than he did. For his steady excellence during a truly breakthrough month for his team, Derrick Brown of Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar is bwin MVP for November!
The bwin MVP of the Month honor is now in its 10th season. Although statistics and performance index ratings are taken into consideration for the award, they alone do not determine who is honored. The winner is named by Euroleague Basketball based on his and his team's performance. The award for November was based on the four regular season games that all teams played between November 7 and 29. Euroleague Basketball partner bwin is the sponsor of the MVP of the Month award. Just as the best Euroleague player each month combines performance and leadership for success, so does bwin's sponsorship communicate its conviction to be the best betting brand in European basketball.
Lokomotiv started November coming off a disappointing home loss and facing mighty Panathinaikos Athens on the road in Crete. Brown did his work on defense early before his 9 points bridging halftime led to double-digit leads that helped Lokomotiv hold on for a dramatic 72-69 win at the buzzer. He finished with 13 points, 8 rebounds and 2 blocks. Again the next week, Brown paced Lokomotiv to early double-digit leads with 10 points and 2 blocks in the first quarter at home against Laboral Kutxa Vitoria. He finished with 23 points on 10-for-12 shooting, all of which was needed as Lokomotiv won 85-84 in the closing seconds. At home again against Crvena Zvezda Telekom Belgrade the next week, Brown led his team in scoring with 16 points on the way to a 79-72 victory. And saving his best for last, Brown was unstoppable on the road against Lietuvos Rytas Vilnius last week, making 8 of 12 two-pointers and all 4 of his free throws to go with 8 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals and a block as Lokomotiv won 53-84 to make the Top 16 from its first place in Group D.
Brown finished as the Euroleague’s fourth-best scorer in November, with 18 points per game, while also contributing heavily on defense, posting 24 rebounds, 6 blocks and 5 steals. He did all of it with a true shooting percentage of 67.29%, meaning that for every 3 points he attempted, Brown made more than 2 of them. Keeping in mind that defenses were focused on stopping him every time he touched the ball, that efficiency is a big reason that Lokomotiv won four games and that Derrick Brown will receive his bwin MVP for November award at an upcoming home game in Krasnodar.