Now that the NBA Draft is within the rearview and unfastened company is tapering down, it’s time to start out taking a look forward to Summer time League. Not like fresh seasons, Boston has a number of skill that might realistically make a push for a place on the finish of the crew’s roster.
On the other hand, it’s Aleksander Balcerowski who has piqued my passion. At 22 years previous and seven’1’’, the Ecu large guy has some severe recreation that may most effective enhance by way of being round NBA-level skill and training techniques. This previous season, Balcerowski performed for Gran Canaria within the Liga ACB, the place he averaged 9.2 issues and three.4 rebounds in line with recreation.
The Boston Globe’s Adam Himmeslbach has famous how Boston has been tracking Balcerowski’s building and attempted so as to add him to their Summer time League roster remaining season. A snappy take a look at the movie and you’ll be able to perceive why.
At the season, Balcerowski wasn’t a prolific perimeter scorer, hitting 25% of his three-point makes an attempt. Peel off a layer, although, and you have got a large guy with outlined spots at the flooring.
In line with Instat’s monitoring knowledge, Balcerowski is an above-average shooter from each wing/slot spaces of the courtroom, along with his weak point immediately above the wreck.
Balcerowski can run pick-and-pop movements. He can flare off inverted monitors. And he can place himself above the fringe in five-out sequences that may permit Boston to deal with the spacing that Joe Mazzulla’s offensive gadget calls for. That isn’t to mention that hitting threes is all Balcerowski can do, although.
Final season, Balcerowski spent 30.9% of his offensive ownership running as a roll guy. At 7’1’’, you possibly can be expecting Balcerowski to both be a hulking heart with restricted motion or a tall, wiry large guy who has questions surrounding his sturdiness. In fact, Balcerowski is a cheerful medium.
At 22, he has already begun to fill out his body and appears each and every bit the essential athlete to compete on the subsequent point. But, Balcerowski’s footwork and hip dexterity be sure that he’s cell sufficient to be a real large guy within the trendy NBA.
There are moments when Balcerowski displays a cushy contact across the rim, completing off movements that require a slight acrobatic end – similar to up-and-unders or reverses off motion.
And there are different instances when Balcerowski will merely hammer it house to make sure a very easy two issues across the rim.
A key level to notice with the above clip is how fluid Balcerowski’s actions glance. Adjustments of path, backpedaling, and navigating via visitors, the 22-year-old has the motion abilities to repeatedly drive defenses into difficult choices – particularly when he’s surrounded by way of elite shooters and penetrators.
It’s that motion that has me believing Balcerowski can be a high-level screener for the Boston Celtics. Together with his dimension and construct, defenders would battle to struggle throughout the touch, whilst the motion abilities would make working ‘veer’ and ‘weave’ movements extremely clean.
One ultimate word on Balcerowski’s perimeter are compatible with the Celtics – or every other NBA crew – is that he has a valid motor and may well be applied as a rim runner or off-ball cutter.
If truth be told, 19.2% of Balcerowski’s offense got here by the use of off-ball cuts remaining season, be it as the path guy, a rim-runner, or a secondary cutter after the preliminary motion/penetration has came about. The massive guy has a excellent really feel for when to make his cuts to offer a secondary scoring alternative.
Casting our eyes towards the internal, Balcerowski’s post-up recreation remains to be a piece in development however has proven flashes of changing into some other a part of his offensive ability set. We’re in 2023, although. So, post-offense generally is a tough ability to refine, given the loss of reps in that space of the ground. Nonetheless, there are methods to make issues paintings, and there are undoubtedly techniques to generate playmaking alternatives out of the submit.
This brings us to Balcerowski’s defensive recreation, the place he blends his motion and dimension to definitely affect Gran Canaria however initiatives to have an overly other function in Summer time League and probably within the NBA.
When taking part in for Gran Canaria, Balcerowski was once basically used as an up-to-touch defender in PnR movements. As you’ll be able to see within the above clip, the massive guy is in a position to bodily contact the screener sooner than making his resolution on whether or not to drop, display, or hedge the ownership.
A vital a part of Balcerowski being utilized in this sort of defensive gadget is because of his talent to hide floor briefly and now not get stuck up when converting path. For the ones of you that consider, it was once a an identical gadget that Mifondu Kabengele mentioned all through coaching camp.
“Based totally off the remaining two days, we’ve been in contact,” Mfiondu Kabengele informed CLNS Media/CelticsBlog in a one-on-one interview with Bobby Manning. “So the bigs had been in drop, possibly some defensive drills we’ve switched simply to observe it. Because it relates to going reside and switching, most effective when Joe or when the training team of workers arrange a lineup the place it’s the switching lineup. That’s the place they roughly do it. To this point, we haven’t completed numerous switching for myself for my part, however it’s unquestionably been practiced.”
On the NBA and Summer time League point, guards might be sooner, wings might be extra explosive, and the tempo of the sport might be sooner with further spacing at the flooring. Balcerowski will most probably spend the vast majority of his time running as a drop large, the usage of his dimension, body, and directional talent to offer protection to the rim whilst additionally being tasked with ultimate out to shooters who choose to tug up from the mid-range.
Because of the restricted pattern dimension on be offering in Summer time League, we would possibly see Balcerowski play some perimeter-based PnR protection in what is also a hybrid function, which might permit us to look the most productive he has to provide on that facet of the ball.
In the end, in spite of his dimension, Balcerowski will wish to enhance his defensive positioning and boxing out, as his rebounding numbers go away little to be desired. This previous season, the massive guy averaged 3.6 forums in line with recreation, which is solely now not sufficient given his 7’1’’ body. Optimistically, by way of switching to a drop function on protection, Balcerowski might be in a greater place to lend a hand keep an eye on the defensive glass and make higher use of his dimension and body.
Total, Balcerowski may just display sufficient to persuade Boston to increase an be offering for the season, bolstering their big-man rotation and probably changing Blake Griffin. On the other hand, as is in most cases the case, Balcerowski will be again in Europe subsequent season, looking ahead to his subsequent probability to turn NBA coaches what he’s able to.
For Celtics enthusiasts, although, we will be able to get a first-hand glance these days in Vegas.