As the season advances, were seeing a wider repertoire in Dragicevics game. Yes, hes mainly a face up guy who does a great job combining terrific three-point shooting ability (he fires usually in static fashion, and probably enjoys range out to the NBA three-point line) with his ability to put the ball on the floor going either direction (he enjoys a pretty nice left hand). But hes also an able post guy. Relatively short and not showing great leaping ability, its not common to see him releasing jump-hooks, usually instead trying to beat his opponents with spins looking for layups. Even if hes not close to the basket, he sometimes will turn around and face his match-up to attack him off the dribble. In any case, he shows solid footwork, nice use of his body and good control of offensive situations. Hes a pretty smart player with nice court awareness. However, his degree of offensive activity and incisive game translates to a serious amount of turnovers, although he also draws a large amount of fouls in the process, which allows him to produce consistently from the free-throw line.
Anyway, his NBA potential is close to non-existent. His athleticism is limited (he cant be anything but a power forward), and hes not particularly big. His man-to-man defense is solid, but he barely offers any aggressiveness team-wise (so hes neither a hustler) and his offensive skills would be seriously short-handed against more athletic opponents than he faces in Europe. Obviously, his future in the Old Continent is a completely different story, and he might turn into an excellent player for a high-class team over here.
A Look at Omer Asik
Starting with the good news, Omer emerged as a terrific shot-blocker, a very intimidating presence down low that often worked wonders for Fenerbahces defense and its comeback in the game. He was extremely active contesting shots in his area of influence, which is pretty wide. Asik is a very mobile player who displays very nice positioning and excellent timing, which paired with his terrific length, allows him get regular shot-blocking production. He was credited with 4 blocks, and was called for a questionable foul on a fifth. Besides, hes strong, can hold his position on the low post, but hes also relatively quick in the lateral move. All in all, his defensive potential looks extremely interesting.
On the negative side, his limitations as a scorer got exposed. For starters, hes confirming our suspicions about his non-existent jumper. He never goes for the long-range shot, hardly even for the mid-range one, so ultimately he doesnt even keep the defense honest, while he doesnt look reliable at all from the charity stripe. He might eventually develop a decent shot, but by no means should we expect it to happen in the short term.
In the end, where Asik does his damage is near the basket. Hes a good player without the ball, willing and smart to get good position in the lane. He can nicely evolve with his back to the basket, using his length, strength and decent footwork. However, he becomes pretty predictable because he usually works with his left shoulder trying to release a right-handed jumphook, even forcing the situation when it would be a lot easier to spin and use his left hand. Actually he doesnt seem to have much of a left hand to finish around the basket, while his touch with his right is a bit suspicious. Anyway, he delivered an impressive highlight as he was posting his opponent up close to the basket, seeming on his way to go for a short jumphook, and instead hammering the ball over his rival with his right hand. Hes definitely a guy who can regularly play above the rim.
Well have more opportunities to evaluate him, but he's increasingly looking like a rather safe name to expect to hear called on draft night.
State of the Prospect: Whos Hot
Nikola Pekovic delivered another monster game in the Euroleague, scoring 26 points, grabbing 16 points and, whats even more surprising, coming up with 4 blocks, adding more in just one game than he had gathered previously in all the top European competition games combined. Pekovic ranks third in efficiency, also third in points (20 per game) and fourth in rebounds (7.9).
Anton Ponkrashov keeps gaining importance in Khimkis rotation, and this past week he had 17 points, 3 rebounds, 6 assists and 2 steals against Azovmash in the ULEB Cup, although his team lost its first game in this competition.
Dusan Sakota connected for 20 points to go along with 4 rebounds and 3 steals as his team Panionios beat ASCO Slask Wroclaw. The shooting power forward is averaging 17.7 points in the last three games in the ULEB Cup.
George Tsintsadze emerged with an all-around game with 10 points, 6 rebounds, 9 assists and 4 steals as his team Tartu Rock unexpectedly demolished CSK-VVS Samara in the FIBA EuroCup. The Georgian point guard leads the competition in assists, with 6.8 per game.
Nathan Jawai toyed with his opponents, the Singapore Slingers, with 25 points, 16 rebounds and 2 assists. Still, his team Cairn Taipans couldnt get the final victory in the game. Jawai is currently averaging 18.1 points and 9.6 rebounds (fifth in the NBL).
State of the Prospect: Whos Not
-After several weeks of rumors, it has been made public that Milan Macvan will play for Hemofarm. The MVP of the last U-19 World Championships had the chance to explore the Serbian market once he turned 18 years old in order to sign his first professional contract. His final destination comes as a surprise after so much talk about Partizan landing him.
-The Euroleague and the LHospitalet Junior Tournament have announced an agreement that will include invitations to both finalists of the Spanish tournament to join the Euroleague Junior Tournament that is traditionally held during the Final Four weekend.
It was also made public the teams taking part in this years edition, and besides the perennial Spanish army, there will be four foreign invitees consisting of FMP, Cibona Zagreb, CSKA Moscow and Pau Orthez. Some players expected to show up at the tournament are Dejan Musli, Tomislav Zubcic, Nihad Djedovic (if hes released from his LEB-2 obligations) and David Jelinek.