Adriatic Report - Impressive Nenad Mijatovic

Adriatic Report - Impressive Nenad Mijatovic
Oct 03, 2006, 06:51 pm
Notes from Ljubljana as the Adriatic league continues, Olimpija was able to came from behind and beat Buducnost in overtime 91:85.

Nenad Mijatovic and Vladimir Dasic played leading roles for the road team, while Manuchar Markoishvili had a solid outing for the winners.

6-4, 1987, Buducnost

A very good showing this week for Mijatovic, who was a lethal scoring threat all game long, collecting 22 points and 4 assists in the process. Nenad is a very good athlete; has good size, nice frame and strength (for his age) coupled with long arms and excellent quickness. He is a dynamic player with seemingly endless energy, always moving around and not giving any rest to his opponent. His shot was looking fantastic today, not only because he nailed 5 of his 11 three-point attempts, but also because of the way it looks coming out of his hands.

Getting great lift on his J and releasing it quickly at a very high point not only looks pleasant to the eye, but it makes it almost impossible to defend. He can shoot in any fashion - static, off the dribble or even being surprisingly effective in catch & shoot situations coming off screens. Mijatovic is also a very good ball-handler, taking advantage of his speed to get into the lane, while also performing changes of directions and ball-fakes to get his defenders off balance. Once in the painted area, Nenad had troubles finishing, not taking the body contact well.

At this point, Mijatovic is classic combo guard, he was playing as a both PG and SG during the game, but his team looked better when he was at the 2-guard position. He has some serious court vision and passing ability, but his distribution is rather poor. Besides, he is a natural scorer with a shoot-first mentality. Nenad is a also capable defender, showing good lateral movement and quick hands.

Very reactively he anticipates opponent’s moves and is a great creator of transition baskets. On a bad note, today Mijatovic didn’t meet a shot he didn’t like, and overall his decision making needs a lot of improvement. If he can consistently perform like he did tonight, Mijatovic will establish himself as a solid first round prospect given his combination of speed, shooting and defensive skills.

6-9, 1988, Buducnost

Dasic also had a good game, even if he missed important FTs in the closing minutes – finishing only 3 of 7 from the charity stripe for the game. Vladimir contributed with 13 points, 4 rebounds and 2 steals. He was mainly playing at the Small Forward position, which was a bit of a surprise considering the reports we had from Junior Eurobasket where he was a full-time PF.

Vladimir wasn’t exposed on the defensive end, playing some solid perimeter defense considering his height - 6-9, possibly 6-10. He was able to stay in front of his opponent most of the time, even if his lateral quickness doesn’t seem outstanding. On offense, Dasic was playing with his face to the basket, falling in love with his jumper a bit, but hitting 2 of 4 3-point attempts, while missing all three shots he took from mid-range area. Vladimir scored some garbage points under the basket, but didn’t show any post moves. He is a tough kid, willing to fight for the loose balls, showing a good attitude and demeanor on the court. His ball-handling ability is decent enough to take advantage of his speed against slower defenders. He surprised with some nice passing off the dribble.

It is yet to be seen which position Dasic will play in the future. Right now he is a bit of a tweener. His perimeter skill-set needs some serious polish, while he is a bit to skinny to fight with the big boys in the paint currently. Considering his height and athleticism - which is good, but not amazing, he will probably end up playing the PF spot and should pan out accordingly considering the intelligence and motivation he shows on the court. Dasic is a probable future first round pick.

6-6, 1986, Olimpija Ljubljana

Not nearly as interesting as Mijatovic and Dasic, Markoishvili has been on the draft radar for years (since he stepped on the court in the Euroleague finals for Benetton Treviso at the tender age of 16), and as time goes by he’s become less and less interesting. We could call him Mr. Average, because he does everything decent, but nothing exceptional which would give him the edge on the court.

Today he played his usual high-effort defense, crashed the glass and hit open shots from perimeter. The result: 10 points, 9 rebounds and 1 assist.

Given the average height and athleticism he posses, while also not being a tremendous shooter or slasher, it will be tough for Markoishvili to get drafted. His playing time will decrease when local star Marko Milic gets back on the court.

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