Ender Arslan finished a successful regular season at the Euroleague level. Although his stats do not seem very high (especially his percentages) he was still the most valuable player off the bench for his team. The reason for this is easy to answer: Primary Point Guard Will Solomon had several off nights and was not used to the slower pace of his team Efes, so he had big struggles organizing his team's offense. But coach Mahmuti always brought Arslan at those moments and the control of the tempo was back for Efes. That's without any doubt the biggest advantage of Arslan: a very smart player who knows how and when to use his teammates. He also made clutch shots in crunch time.
Eight points per game is a number which should not be underestimated considering his role and the fact that his team is very defensive minded. Looking at his turnovers we see the low figure of 1.3 per game, whereas he made 1.2 steals per game.
Losing former Point Guard Kerem Tunceri made it look like Arslan was destined to become the starter before the season, but Efes decided to sign Solomon instead. However, the addition of the very talented Solomon didn't affect Arslan's game and minutes. For now he averages 20 minutes per game. Coach Mahmuti often tries to play with both Arslan and Solomon in hope to use the American guard more effectively at the Shooting Guard spot so he can profit from Arslan's more organized game.
Perhaps the point in which Arslan showed the biggest improvement is in his defensive ability. Especially when playing in a zone defense, Arslan shows great speed in his rotations. His man to man defense has improved as well. A reason for this are the 20 minutes per game, in which he brings tremendous energy to the game.
Now, the Top 16 waits for Efes. What can we expect from Arslan there? It seems that his minutes won't suffer that much, because he is very experienced and has already played key Top 16 games last year in which he contributed very well. Of course it often depends on the play of Solomon, but it is obvious that coach Mahmuti will use him at the Point Guard position as much as he can to keep the control of his team's offense.