Home Basketball What Can Aleksander Balcerowski deliver to the Celtics’ Summer time League workforce?

What Can Aleksander Balcerowski deliver to the Celtics’ Summer time League workforce?

What Can Aleksander Balcerowski deliver to the Celtics’ Summer time League workforce?


Now that the NBA Draft is within the rearview and free company is tapering down, it’s time to begin waiting for Summer time League. In contrast to current seasons, Boston has a bunch of expertise that would realistically make a push for a spot on the finish of the workforce’s roster.

Nonetheless, it’s Aleksander Balcerowski who has piqued my curiosity. At 22 years outdated and seven’1’’, the European massive man has some critical recreation that may solely enhance by being round NBA-level expertise and training programs. This previous season, Balcerowski performed for Gran Canaria within the Liga ACB, the place he averaged 9.2 factors and three.4 rebounds per recreation.

The Boston Globe’s Adam Himmeslbach has famous how Boston has been monitoring Balcerowski’s improvement and tried so as to add him to their Summer time League roster final season. A fast have a look at the movie and you may perceive why.

On 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’ve got a giant man with outlined spots on the ground.

In accordance with Instat’s monitoring information, Balcerowski is an above-average shooter from each wing/slot areas of the courtroom, along with his weak point straight above the break.

Balcerowski’s 2022-23 shot chart for Gran Canaria

Balcerowski’s 2022-23 shot chart for Gran Canaria
Instat Basketball

Balcerowski can run pick-and-pop actions. He can flare off inverted screens. And he can place himself above the perimeter in five-out sequences that may enable Boston to take care of the spacing that Joe Mazzulla’s offensive system requires. That isn’t to say that hitting threes is all Balcerowski can do, although.

Final season, Balcerowski spent 30.9% of his offensive possession working as a roll man. At 7’1’’, you’d count on Balcerowski to both be a hulking middle with restricted motion or a tall, wiry massive man who has questions surrounding his sturdiness. In reality, Balcerowski is a contented medium.

At 22, he has already begun to fill out his body and appears each bit the mandatory athlete to compete on the subsequent degree. But, Balcerowski’s footwork and hip dexterity make sure that he’s cellular sufficient to be a real massive man within the fashionable NBA.

There are moments when Balcerowski reveals a smooth contact across the rim, ending off actions that require a slight acrobatic end – comparable to up-and-unders or reverses off motion.

And there are different occasions when Balcerowski will merely hammer it dwelling to make sure a straightforward two factors across the rim.

A key level to notice with the above clip is how fluid Balcerowski’s actions look. Modifications of route, backpedaling, and navigating by means of site visitors, the 22-year-old has the motion abilities to repeatedly power defenses into robust choices – particularly when he’s surrounded by elite shooters and penetrators.

It’s that motion that has me believing Balcerowski could possibly be a high-level screener for the Boston Celtics. Along with his measurement and construct, defenders would battle to battle by means of the contact, whereas the motion abilities would make working ‘veer’ and ‘weave’ actions extremely clean.

One remaining observe on Balcerowski’s perimeter match with the Celtics – or some other NBA workforce – is that he has a reputable motor and could possibly be utilized as a rim runner or off-ball cutter.

The truth is, 19.2% of Balcerowski’s offense got here through off-ball cuts final season, be it because the path man, a rim-runner, or a secondary cutter after the preliminary motion/penetration has occurred. The massive man has a great really feel for when to make his cuts to offer a secondary scoring alternative.

Casting our eyes towards the inside, Balcerowski’s post-up recreation remains to be a piece in progress however has proven flashes of changing into one other a part of his offensive talent set. We’re in 2023, although. So, post-offense could be a difficult talent to refine, given the dearth of reps in that space of the ground. Nonetheless, there are methods to make issues work, and there are definitely methods to generate playmaking alternatives out of the put up.

This brings us to Balcerowski’s defensive recreation, the place he blends his motion and measurement to positively impression Gran Canaria however initiatives to have a really totally different function in Summer time League and doubtlessly within the NBA.

When taking part in for Gran Canaria, Balcerowski was primarily used as an up-to-touch defender in PnR actions. As you possibly can see within the above clip, the massive man is ready to bodily contact the screener earlier than making his choice on whether or not to drop, present, or hedge the possession.

A major a part of Balcerowski being utilized in the sort of defensive system is because of his means to cowl floor rapidly and never get caught up when altering route. For these of you that keep in mind, it was an analogous system that Mifondu Kabengele mentioned throughout coaching camp.

“Primarily based off the final two days, we’ve been in contact,” Mfiondu Kabengele advised CLNS Media/CelticsBlog in a one-on-one interview with Bobby Manning. “So the bigs have been in drop, perhaps some defensive drills we’ve switched simply to follow it. Because it pertains to going stay and switching, solely when Joe or when the teaching workers arrange a lineup the place it’s the switching lineup. That’s the place they form of do it. Up to now, we haven’t finished a number of switching for myself personally, nevertheless it’s undoubtedly been practiced.”

On the NBA and Summer time League degree, guards might be faster, wings might be extra explosive, and the tempo of the sport might be sooner with extra spacing on the ground. Balcerowski will doubtless spend the vast majority of his time working as a drop massive, utilizing his measurement, body, and directional means to guard the rim whereas additionally being tasked with closing out to shooters who choose to drag up from the mid-range.

As a result of restricted pattern measurement on supply in Summer time League, we may even see Balcerowski play some perimeter-based PnR protection in what could also be a hybrid function, which may enable us to see the very best he has to supply on that aspect of the ball.

Lastly, regardless of his measurement, Balcerowski might want to enhance his defensive positioning and boxing out, as his rebounding numbers go away little to be desired. This previous season, the massive man averaged 3.6 boards per recreation, which is solely not sufficient given his 7’1’’ body. Hopefully, by switching to a drop function on protection, Balcerowski might be in a greater place to assist management the defensive glass and make higher use of his measurement and body.

General, Balcerowski may present sufficient to persuade Boston to increase a suggestion for the season, bolstering their big-man rotation and doubtlessly changing Blake Griffin. Nonetheless, as is often the case, Balcerowski will doubtless be again in Europe subsequent season, ready for his subsequent likelihood to point out NBA coaches what he’s able to.

For Celtics followers, although, we are going to get a first-hand look as we speak in Vegas.



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