Considering how unpredictable the Turkish Airlines Euroleague Regular Season has been so far, perhaps it’s no surprise that only one team survived the first full month of the season undefeated. That team, Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv, enjoyed a list of strong contributors, but none more influential than forward Chuck Eidson, who is Euroleague Basketball’s choice as Sportingbet MVP for November.
Eidson, 30, is playing his third Euroleague season, the second in a row with Maccabi, and although his numbers have always been good, his impact has never been greater. Throughout the team’s four victories in November, he was the axle around which Maccabi turned so smoothly. In road wins at Partizan and Khimki, at home against Prokom and Caja Laboral, Eidson was all over the place – making steals, running breaks, scoring points and directing the Maccabi offense. He was key to Maccabi taking big early leads in most of those games, and finished November with the Euroleague’s best performance index, while also leading the competition in steals. He also ranks third in assists and sixth in three-point shooting accuracy. His ability to put all his talents to work for what his team needed went a long way to help Maccabi finish the month 4-0, making Chuck Eidson a deserving Sportingbet MVP for November!
The Sportingbet MVP of the Month honor is now in its seventh season. Although statistics and performance 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 decided based upon the four Turkish Airlines Euroleague Regular Season games played during that month by all 24 teams. Sportingbet, a Euroleague Basketball partner, 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 Sportingbet’s sponsorship communicate its conviction to be the best betting brand in European basketball.
Maccabi started November on a mission to avenge its loss in last season’s Playoffs with a visit to play Partizan mt:s Belgrade, the team that prevailed last spring. it was a sign of how important Eidson is to Maccabi that he stayed on the floor 31 minutes despite not making a shot other than at the free throw line. Eidson set the tone early with 3 assists, a steal, 2 free throws and an offensive rebound as Maccabi raced to a 2-15 start that put Partizan on its heels the rest of the game. On the road again the next week at Khimki, Eidson’s shot started falling as his 7 first-quarter points propelled Maccabi to a 10-19 lead. Khimki eventually took back the lead, but Eidson’s triple with 2:49 to play tied the score, 72-72, and his steal with 16 seconds left gave Maccabi the final possession to win the game. Eidson finished with 16 points in that game, tied with Sofoklis Schortsanitis for the team’s high. At home next week against Asseco Prokom, Eidson was the catalyst for another early lead as his 9 points helped put Maccabi up 29-19 after one quarter. He was back with 6 points, including back-to-back dunks, plus 2 assists and 2 steals in a 19-0 run that blew the game open on either side of halftime. Eidson finished the game with 20 points and 5 steals in just 24 minutes, his shortest playing time of the season. The fourth and final game of November was much like the first, a matter of revenge, as Maccabi hosted the only team that had beaten it so far in Euroleague play, Spanish champions Caja Laboral. Eidson’s early steals again set the tone as Maccabi led for all but the game’s first basket. After that, any time that Caja Laboral got close, Eidson was a big part of Maccabi’s answer: he had 5 points and 4 assists as Maccabi went from 51-50 to 66-57 leads bridging the last two quarters, after which the fourth victory of the month was assured. Eidson finished with 12 points and 7 assists and Maccabi finished the month 4-0, with the Euroleague’s longest winning streak of the season.
By the end of November, Eidson had scored the second-most points (51) for Maccabi while leading the team in assists (16), steals (12) and three-pointers made (7). Most of all Eidson established himself as something very rare, an attacker at both ends of the court, on offense and defense, with or without the ball, as well as someone who could inspire his team to take big early leads. The Maccabi fans certainly enjoyed such a promising month, just as they will get to enjoy Eidson receiving his Sportingbet November MVP award at an upcoming home game!