How basing the weekly MVP on index ratings alone fails

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The Euroleague’s vision of rewarding players with a weekly MVP award solely on the highest index rating went horrendously wrong in round four.

The award itself isn’t something that means a great deal to the player, as they know that winning as a unit is the main achievement on the road to the 2015 Euroleague crown at the Barclaycard Center in the heartland of Madrid’s main square.

It is however a pleasant accolade to own, as the player and indeed the team gets recognised for a job well done.

And while Nizhny Novgorod’s Artsiom Parakhouski claimed the week’s MVP honours with 27 points, 6 rebounds in 33 minutes, 10 seconds on the court, helping his side bag a notable 109-90 home win over a strong Anadolu Efes side. The sublime performance of CSKA Moscow’s Nando De Colo deserved more than a runners-up place.

The Russian champions resident Frenchman in just 24 minutes on court, posted 28 points, 2 rebounds and 2 assists. But what should have been De Colo’s clincher to the MVP for week four was his deadly accuracy. He went 100 percent from the field all night. 7/7 from inside the arc, 4/4 from outside and he took two strips to the charity stripe, connecting on both.

Yet, De Colo’s perfect 11/11 from the field in just 24 minutes was apparently “bettered” by Parakhouski as the Euroleague purely go on index rating. De Colo’s efforts earned him a +32 rating, while Parakhouski’s performance soared him to top spot with a +37.

Perhaps even more surprising was that De Colo’s showing was barely mentioned on the Euroleague website, Klay Thompson’s 37-point third quarter showing for the Golden State Warriors, going a perfect 9/9 from the field was “splashed” all over ESPN and, making De Colo’s similar feat of hard work, given that it was the entire game, go unnoticed.

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Parakhouski’s show was highly notable, he cleaned up the boards and his quick footwork and positioning was genuine class, allowing the 27-year-old Belarusian to out-maneuver the veteran Nenad Krstic, who was often leaving space to permit Parakhouski to cut down the middle of the lane.

But Parakhouski did that in just under 34 minutes on the court, in lesser time, De Colo’s faultless performance was key to helping the entire CSKA team step up and play undoubtedly their best basketball out of their 14 straight Euroleague victories this season, and that is saying something. Unicaja Malaga were the victims of an all-round show of class and dominance from the Russians.

It makes you wonder if the Euroleague team actually views the high performers and compares their efforts on the court rather than merely scrolling through the box scores looking for the highest rated player, on the winning side. Having covered many Final Fours, and regular season contests, I give the staff some credit; they are incredibly knowledgeable about the game of basketball, and encyclopedic on what they know about their own brand, as you would expect, but have they been caught out here? Is this an award that is given just to make the job’s minutes go quicker?

There have been a few awards handed out where I felt that some players deserved more recognition, but on this occasion, the Euroleague missed out here.

De Colo deserved more – way more.