Among the many players who tipped off the Turkish Airlines Euroleague season in style, here are a few who stood out particularly.
Round 1 roll call: Impact performers
Brown matched Maccabi's assist record
For his first game in yellow, point guard Lorenzo Brown matched the best passing performances by any Maccabi Playtika Tel Aviv player in 520 previous games this century, dishing 11 assists in an 84-83 win over visiting Zalgiris Kaunas. His 11th one went to Alex Poythress, whose 2 of 2 free throws proved the game-winning points.
Olinde's career-high collection
Speedy forward Louis Olinde had played 65 EuroLeague games before helping ALBA Berlin ace its home opener 100-84 against Partizan Mozzart Bet Belgrade on Friday by posting four career-highs: 10 rebounds, 6 offensive rebounds, 4 assists and 25 PIR. He also tied his record for points with 11.
Deck's 13 rebounds for Real
You'd be hard-pressed to find a player under 2 meters having as many as the 13 rebounds the Gabriel Deck corralled in Real Madrid's 68-71 win at Panathinaikos Athens on Thursday. Only high flier Michel Morandis, who pulled 15 for Eldo Napoli one night in 2007, is shorter, but that game featured overtime. At the same size as Deck, who stands 1.98 meters, was Ruslan Avleev, who pulled 18 for Ural Great in 2001.
Kurucs dished 6 assists in under 12 minutes
Finishing the first two quarters and then leaving for good late in the third, Arturs Kurucs kept the offense humming with 6 assists in just 11:23 minutes in Cazoo Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz 's 71-81 road win at Valencia Basket on Thursday. That works out to 22.1 assists per 40 minutes, which would double the season-long best of any recent player. Interestingly, the 22-year-old from Estonia now has more assists (36) than points (30) in his 48-game EuroLeague career.
Kalaitzakis's 5 steals
Georgios Kalaitzakis, reunited with Panathinaikos Athens and his twin brother Panagiotis for opening night at OAKA, stole the show – or at least tried. Kalaitzakis had 5 steals by the middle of the third quarter of a game in which the Greens took last season's runner-up, Real Madrid, to the wire. No one stole it better in Round 1.
ALBA blasted off with Blatt
The top scorer in ALBA's win over Partizan was EuroLeague sophomore Tamir Blatt with 16 points on 4-for-8 three-point shooting, both career highs, to go with 4 assists and 2 steals. The score was 18-16 when Blatt entered the game and contributed a triple, a steal and an assist in a 15-2 run as ALBA finished the first quarter up 33-18 and never looked back.
Kotsar's 10 two-pointer debut
It's rare enough to see a player make 10 two-pointers in any game, rarer still if it's the season opener. For Maik Kotsar of Baskonia, his 10-for-12 shooting in the paint was unique for being his first EuroLeague game. In the previous two decades, only one player had as many two-pointers made in a Round 1 debut. D'or Fischer shot 11-for-12 in a Maccabi Tel Aviv road loss at Cibona Zagreb to start the 2007-08 season and his career in the EuroLeague.