By Stefan Djordjevic/ firstname.lastname@example.org
Nutribullet Treviso has lost the chance to advance past the Round of 16 as they stayed winless after five games in group J but considering it’s their first time on the European stage, the team has made a solid run that surprised many.
The streak of losses will leave a bitter taste, especially if the team also falls to Darussafaka in what will be their last game in the Basketball Champions League this season.
However, the silver lining, aside from making a name for themselves, can be also seen in the achievements of individuals on the roster.
One such case is definitely Giordano Bortolani.
A clear-cut case
Eurohoops already gave the young sharpshooter some spotlight earlier in the season and, almost five months later, the 21 years old Italian guard has yet to show signs of slowing down and has deserved another shoutout before Treviso closes the run in BCL.
Especially since, as of now, he is the main candidate to win the BCL Best Young Player award, regardless of his team’s results. Unlike the MVP race where the club’s success impacts the formula heavily, young players get less pressure on that front.
Let’s start with this fact. Among more than 100 players born in 2000 or later, that have been registered in BCL this season, Bortolani is the only one that is averaging a double-digit number when it comes to scoring.
He’s been averaging 14.4 points and you would also be hard-pressed to find better numbers even among his seniors, as Bortolani ranks as high as 17th in points across the competition.
The most impressive part? His three-point shooting. Spot-up, off the dribble, transition, contested, you name it. Bortolani is the best three-point shooter in BCL for the 2021-22 campaign and nothing will change that.
He’s been averaging an astonishing 55.2% from the three-point territory on 58 shots (32 made, 4.5 attempts per game). Extremely impressive.
Sasu Salin (45-101), Dee Bost (36-101) and David Holston (34-89) are the only guys that made more threes than Bortolani but their efficiency isn’t even close.
Perhaps the lack of truly clutch shots would swing the case to the above-mentioned players but that’s quite situational and Bortolani has shown impressive consistency including hitting many important shots. No doubt he would use the opportunity to win a game if presented to him.
Out of 13 games, Bortolani never shot below 33% and he scored in single-digits only three times. In fact, since Treviso got into the Round of 16, Bortolani stepped up big-time. He scored 19, 19, 22, 20, and 21 points over the five games and those were actually his best performances since entering the competition.
He doesn’t get much to the free-throw line, logging a total of 31 attempts but he made 29 of those and he was perfect 10-10 against Tofas, showing off his calm nature.
Desire – Work – Results
Bortolani even made sure to put on display the work in other areas of his game, since Bortolani gets some critique from time to time that he’s not versatile enough and can only shoot.
However, the Italian guard grabbed 11 offensive and nine defensive boards over the past five games. He also dished out eight assists, which is something he rarely gets to do when on the floor with his role being to shoot, shoot and shoot.
Bortolani came into the BCL strong and finished even stronger with visible improvements to his game. He checks all the boxes for the Best Young Player and he is ready to take another step forward in his career.
Maybe it’s about time for Olimpia Milano – which has bound the player until 2025 and has been loaning him since 2017 – to bring back Giordano Bortolani and give him a chance.