By Nikos Varlas/ email@example.com
Eurohoops will select 3 players from each team in the Final Four whose performance we consider crucial regarding how their teams will fare in Madrid and will present them in 12 different parts. One by one they will “parade” through and we will focus on their role and the reasons they are important.
Why he’s a catalyst
Should we have skipped this section in Nemanja’s case? His influence on his team’s game and the prolific nature of his own game is so obvious that even a person sitting down to watch a game of basketball for the first time in their life will be able to spot it!
The 27yearold Serbian forward sees the world from 2m.09 but he’s the exact opposite from what we would call a typical case of a forward. He scores with ease in every way. He can shoot, he can go deep and finish a play with both hands, read the mismatches, create easy baskets for his teammates. At the same time, he’s a formidable rebounder and he keeps improving in defense, an area in which he used to be mediocre. Clearly he’s been working on his body a lot! This year Bjelica tallied an average of 11.9 points with 8.6 rebounds, had almost 2 assists and got 1.2 steals! In the playoffs he reached 11 rebounds and 2.7 assists, an indication that he’s improving all the time!
What we call a ‘wildcard’ in card games! We appreciate those players that can do a bit of everything, all tasks on the court well enough. Nemanja has the gift of doing a lot of everything! Obradovic is expecting him to show his stature in the final four and have an impact as a leader, finishing the season exactly as he started it. Rebounds, transitions, scoring, creation, threatening inside and out, individual attempts when the team gets stuck, and right decisions in crucial moments. If Fenerbahce wins their 1st European title and Obradovic his 9th, than Bjelica will most likely be the MVP. Unless the ‘cold executioner’ Andrew Goudelock has something to say about it!
Make it before he’s snatched
Players like him no longer stay in Europe. Especially when their royalties belong to teams like Minnesota that has room for a very good role in his Rookie season, and a satisfactory amount from the Salary Cap to lure him and make him sign and travel to the USA. Of course, Fenerbahce will probably fight to keep him on their roster. In any case, the point is for him to have the chance to taste the joy of winning the Euroleague before the NBA snatches him away!