The 2018-19 Turkish Airlines EuroLeague season was full of standout performances but statistically speaking, no one did better in any single game than Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv big man Johnny O'Bryant. His performance index rating of 44 matched the EuroLeague's highest in five years, and he did it in his first season in the competition. It was also the highest PIR this decade by a EuroLeague newcomer. Most important, he led Maccabi to a win.
When did it happen?
O'Bryant had his monster performance on December 27, 2018, during Round 15 of the regular season, when Maccabi beat visiting AX Armani Exchange Olimpia Milan 94-92. After a 1-8 start, Maccabi had already found a new coach in Ioannis Sfairopoulos, and every bit of O'Bryant's big performance was needed for the team's fourth win in six games. Maccabi would finish the regular season 10th with a 14-16 record -- only one win away from reaching the playoffs.
Did you know?
O'Bryant had 32 points against Milan. It is the best scoring mark by a Maccabi player since Nikola Vujcic scored 33 in a game against Lottomatica Roma on January 4, 2007. The last Maccabi player to draw 10 fouls had been Tyrese Rice in the 2014 championship game, when he led the team to its last EuroLeague title as the Final Four MVP.
O'Bryant hit 5 of 8 two-point shots, 5 of 7 three-pointers and 7 of 8 free throws. He downed 14 points in the third quarter and buried of all his 5 three-pointers in the second half. He didn't make more than 3 triples in any other game and was 37-for-121 from downtown (30.6%) for the season. Added to his 10 fouls drawn, O'Bryant had 5 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 steals against Milan.
Place in history
O'Bryant's was the third-highest PIR for a Maccabi player in EuroLeague history. Two-time EuroLeague MVP Anthony Parker holds the club record with a single-game PIR of 47 against ASVEL Villeurbanne on November 18, 2004. Vujcic had a PIR of 46 against Union Olimpija Ljubljana on November 30, 2006, while recording the competition's second-ever triple-double: 27 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists.
One for the decade
O'Bryant monster performance against Milan tied him with Ioannis Bourousis and Darius Lavrinovic for the third-best PIR in the EuroLeague this decade. Bobby Brown of Montepaschi Siena owns the highest PIR from 2010 until now, 50, against Fenerbahce Ulker Istanbul on January 4, 2013. That day, Brown tied the competition's all-time scoring record with 41 points. Samardo Samuels of EA7 Emporio Armani Milan had a PIR of 47 in a win against Nizhny Novgorod on February 26, 2015.