Nenad Mijatovic NBA Draft Scouting Report

Nenad Mijatovic NBA Draft Scouting Report
Sep 27, 2004, 04:12 pm
Nenad Mijatovic is a flashy point guard with a special ability to score. Gifted with nice athletic ability, he's really a quick player. His offensive repertoire is based on two main strengths: his jumper and his penetrations. His shot is quite effective, with his range reaching the three point line, and he feels comfortable shooting off the dribble. Good mechanics, good release speed, Mijatovic is already a very nice gunner. His quickness and great handles with both hands make him a very good penetrator. He shows a good first step and can drive in traffic.

He can finish himself, using both hands with equal ability, or he can feed a teammate, which becomes perhaps his main source of production and, therefore, assists within the set offense.

But where Nenad's game really flourishes is on the break. You can feel how much he loves it. He's hard to stop because of his quickness and his decision making. He can finish the play easily thanks to his superior speed, good athleticism and size, or pass the ball generally with very good results, even with a flashy move, given the chance.

Nenad's quickness is reflected on his lateral defensive movement, as he's a hard player to beat. It's up to him how good of a defender he wants to become. Right now he shows quite a good attitude, although he doesn't give the full effort everytime. He also has decent hands to steal the ball.

As a scoring point guard, Mijatovic lacks some directing skills, specially on the set offense. Penetrations aside, he's really not a heavy game creator, and doesn't show as good court vision on static situations as he's able on transition or drive & dish plays.

He sometimes forces too much his drives to the basket, getting in some traffic jams with low possibilities of success. His shooting selection could also improve, and he is a little streaky sometimes. As a hot-blooded player, he doesn't always play under control, but I don't find it particulary worrying, as those bad decisions aren't the usual pattern, and he's very young so he has enough time to mature.

Nenad Mijatovic is a member of the ''Nemanja Aleksandrov'' generation of Serbian and Montegro national junior team. That team, which includes future Draft prospects such as Aleksandrov, Dragan Labovic, and Uros Tripkovic, took part in a U-18 challenge round of the European Championship qualifiers, and decisively won all 5 games. Playing behind starting PG Uros Tripkovic, Mijatovic managed to score 5 points and 1.4 assists per 11 minutes per game. At the unofficial World Championships for Young Man, the Albert Schweizer tournament which was played just weeks following the challenge round, a similar situation occurred, when he had to play behind Uros Tripkovic. He got to start at the 2 guard position for one game only, and had averaged 7 points and 2 assists per 14.5 minutes per game.

It's still early to predict anything about Mijatovic given his age and position on court. He's a talented kid, with nice potential due to his quickness and skills, so the first round isn't out of order. But he's still so far away from that point, not having played at senior level yet, that you could also not hear his name again. Nevertheless, he's a name to look out for in the future.

Nenad has nearly all the tools the pros look for in a PG. He's already one of the better Yugo point prospects in many many years. If he keeps up the hard work and shows a decent improvement, we could find really a thrilling player down the road.

Nenad Mijatovic made his senior team debut at 14 years of age! Even though he is, as of right now, still with a ''minor league affiliate'' of KK Buducnost, he debuted with them in the regional Adriatic league back in 2001. The coach that called him up that season was Mr. Bogdan Tanjevic, who holds a very distinctive and long career throughout Europe with various degrees of success, ranging from a Euroleague title in 1979 to national championships in former Yugoslavia and Italy. However, his biggest success came with the Italian national team, when he won the European Championships title in 1999, which is the crown Italy had been waiting for since 1983. Regardless to say, for a 14 year kid to get any kind of playing time under a coach with such credentials, he needs to be special.

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