Ranking Top Performances from NBA Players at EuroBasket 2017
EuroBasket 2017 featured a handful of notable NBA names. And most of them delivered at least one big-time performance.
A 25-year-old, soon-to-be rookie who'd been stashed abroad made the top-five cut. The other four were split between a pair of veteran stars and two younger ones in the making.
Production, efficiency and the level of impact were taken into account when ranking the best performances.
5. Bogdan Bogdanovic: 30 Points, Four Assists vs. Latvia
De'Aaron Fox, Justin Jackson, Harry Giles III, Frank Mason III—the Sacramento Kings loaded up in the draft with high-profile college hoops stars. And Bogdan Bogdanovic, 25 years old, may be their most dangerous rookie.
A 2014 first-round pick of the Phoenix Suns, Bogdanovic, who's been one of the top young scorers in Europe, unloaded on the Latvians with 30 points on 17 shots.
Serbia pulled ahead down the stretch but was down two points with just under three minutes before Bogdanovic tied it up at the free-throw line. He put on a shot-making clinic throughout, showing off the smooth jumper and ability to knock it down in various ways.
It was a display of offensive skill and timing, a combination that should help Bogdanovic emerge as a scoring specialist in Sacramento.
4. Marc Gasol: 28 Points, 10 Rebounds, Four Assists, Two Blocks vs. Germany
The evolution of Marc Gasol was evident in Spain's win over Germany. Suddenly a stretch 5, he drilled four of six threes on his way to 28 points.
Gasol worked the pick-and-pop game, but also hurt the Germans inside with his effective mix of power and finesse. He finished at awkward angles around the basket and showcased his nifty back-to-the-basket skills.
His vision and passing were on display from the elbows, resulting in four assists. The 10 rebounds just highlighted his physical presence and toughness.
Gasol ultimately impacted every facet of the game, finishing with one of the best performances from an NBA player at EuroBasket.
3. Kristaps Porzingis: 34 Points, Six Rebounds, One Block vs. Slovenia
A ridiculous highlight reel is going to follow any big Kristaps Porzingis performance. The game just hasn't ever seen this combination of size, athleticism and skill. And his 34-point effort against Slovenia had it all.
Latvia came up short, but a loss didn't erase Porzingis' floater off a Eurostep or barrage of mid-range jumpers. He was scoring facing up in isolation, effortlessly firing over his man. And he converted twice working back to the basket, shaking free for a pair of fadeaways.
Dunks following sharp off-the-ball cuts highlighted his unusual agility for a 7'3" big. And the three-pointer he hit to bring Latvia within one during the final two minutes just confirmed what we already knew: Porzingis shoots an unchallengeable, easy three-ball.
Along with a pedestrian six rebounds, he added a mean block on Goran Dragic, but the big takeaway was Porzingis' carrying a team as its No. 1 option. For the New York Knicks, it looked like a promising glimpse into the future, when they'll build around Porzingis as the centerpiece.
2. Dennis Schroder: 32 Points, Eight Assists, Five Rebounds vs. Ukraine
Ukraine had no shot of staying in front of Dennis Schroder. He ran layup lines through its defense, carving it up with signature quick drives and slashes in transition and the half court.
Schroder converted a number of crafty finishes in traffic at the rim, where he shot an average 52.1 percent last year.
But he also buried Ukraine around the perimeter, knocking down five three-pointers.
Schroder wound up with 32 points (his season high last year was 33), as well as eight assists, including a few beauties off pick-and-rolls and penetration.
This game and tournament suggest he's ready to pick up next season right where he left off: averaging 24.7 points and 7.7 assists through six postseason games against John Wall and the Washington Wizards.
1. Goran Dragic: 35 Points, Seven Rebounds vs. Serbia
The MVP of EuroBasket 2017, Goran Dragic saved his best for the final against Serbia.
He was breathing fire in the first half. Dragic activated takeover mode, scoring 26 points before the break.
The Serbian defense looked helpless while Slovenia's leader torched it with pull-up jumpers and drives. Without explosive athleticism, he consistently showed how well he uses angles finishing below the rim.
Dragic then opened the second half by draining his third three-pointer, and though his final 20 minutes weren't as productive as his first, he still finished with 35 points on 22 shots.
He'd been hot the entire tournament, but the final performance will wind up being both memorable and historic for Slovenian basketball.