Right here we go:
1. The pivoty goodness of Nikola Vucevic
Nearly nobody strings collectively pivot strikes with the whirring, balletic brilliance of Orlando Magic heart Nikola Vucevic:
Oh, child: three pivot strikes in lower than two seconds. Vucevic pivots center looking for his righty bounce hook. Deandre Ayton sticks with him. Vucevic then pivots inside for a Kevin McHale-style up-and-under. Ayton hangs, however straightens up onto his tippy-toes. And proper there, Vucevic has him. Vucevic spins again into that very same bounce hook earlier than Ayton can regain his footing.
That could be a masterpiece. Vucevic has a little bit little bit of McHale and Jack Sikma in him. “I did not have that each one mapped out,” Vucevic says after I textual content him the clip. “I’ve an thought of what I would love to do, and in the event that they take that away, I’ve my counters.”
Vucevic had good footwork as a child, however he centered on pivot strikes when he found he could not simply shoot over NBA facilities, he says. He watched movie of footwork masters, together with Kobe Bryant.
He would not have to blow by defenders, or faux them off their toes. Tipping them a hair off steadiness is sufficient. When Vucevic pivots into defenders’ our bodies, some instinctively again away simply sufficient for him to flick a hook over them.
“I attempt to use my pivots to create a little bit house,” he says. It helps that he is almost ambidextrous. No matter window you reveal, Vucevic can sneak the ball by way of it.
The one draw back of bobbing beneath and round defenders as a substitute of powering by way of them: Vucevic not often will get to the foul line. That is one purpose Orlando has scored at a middling fee when Vucevic posts up, although a few of that is because of teammates lacking open appears to be like when opponents double him, per Second Spectrum. He can even pivot himself into the bottom. “Typically I get caught,” he says.
Vucevic has truly been…