New York will be prepping for the 2020 NBA Draft next week. Poku has a really good jumper but it is extremely inconsistent.
A lean string bean, Serbia’s Aleksej Pokuševski is a high-risk, high-reward prospect who played for Olympiacos last season. As long as Poku works on his consistency, he can be a much better perimeter defender. He also flashed NBA range last season and isn’t afraid to fire away from anywhere.
However, if the team drafting him lets him play as the ballhandler, his deep range (including off the bounce), handle, ability to pull up off the bounce, and hit passes out of the PnR / off the bounce could provide some intriguing double-big PnRs or inverse PnRs next to a G. Synergy Profile (I know there is a lot of noise here, but this is just added information): 61 / 92. Report: NBA 2020-21 Season Details Taking Shape. Aleksej Pokusevski is expected to be highest picked player from Balkan countries in this edition of NBA Draft, specially after Filip Petrusev and Marko Simonovic decided to withdraw their names from Draft.
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Off Ball Defense: Poku’s fluidity as an athlete gives him some range chasing guys off screens.
Also shades of Dragan Bender in his play. Check out the following clip, for example. Poku is very good in transition, especially for a big. Has fluid hip (and pretty quick) hip turns for his size with the ability to flip his hips multiple times on one play. His footwork is awkward from the midrange. Vanderbilt University and Cardozo Law School graduate with prior scouting experience with the Phoenix Suns and general basketball operations experience with the Tulsa Shock. His passing vision is very good and his momentum in transition helps him get his passes to his targets without floating them. Quick decisions, nice touch, really nice job using his height seeing the full court. While he may be a natural shot blocker because of his instincts and length, he may have a hard time defending traditional big men and might have to be relegated to the four where it’s possible he’ll have problems defending consistently away from the basket. Has really thinny hips and is unable to guard stronger players, on low post specially.
He plays like a much smaller player when scoring around the rim, staying below the rim unless he’s in transition. Should be able to fit in a variety of schemes due to his athletic fluidity. 2020 Top 100 Prospect Rank: 25 … He has poor percentages around the rim and tends to completely avoid taking shots around the rim.
Definitely more of a shooting big versus being an interior big, but he has shown the ability to attack the rim off the bounce (to varying results) which could be a big skill for him if the outside shot develops. Does not have much vertical pop. He had a decent sample size with 53 attempts over 11 games at 32.1% from deep. He needs to put on weight if he wants to be successful as the screener in the P&R and P&P. In addition, he is also susceptible to getting out of his stance / getting a bit too upright at the point of attack and letting the ballhandler get past him…and when this happens, though Poku has shown flashes of getting downhill back to his man, other times he gives up on fully recovering and protecting the rim, giving up a pretty easy layup. With a bounty of draft picks from the 2019 Tradepocalypse summer, the Thunder will be scouting young prospects at the top of recruiting and draft classes once again. Let’s take a deep dive into his game. https://t.co/jkyENb5iJd pic.twitter.com/x3MHMbW6IU. Currently I would only use him in the post versus guards who switched on him.
This fluidity and athleticism helps when he’s working off-ball to spot up or take a movement three, or even bringing the ball up in transition and leading the break (something he’s quite good at). Needs to add weight and core strength – can be pushed off his spot / dislodged on both ends of the court. When Poku has played as the big defender and the ballhandler is about to shoot (limited sample size with Olympiacos, more reps doing this with the Serbia U18 team), Poku does a nice job recovering to the shooter and contesting the shot with his length – pretty quick to recognize when the player is about to shoot, too. Able to shoot off the dribble but still lacks of consistency in off the bounce looks. Save my name and email in this browser for the next time I comment. Poku does a nice job with his positioning (playing the block off ball, elbow / nail in PnR, etc), stunting on drives, digging, tagging cutters / the roll off ball, etc, but is prone to ball-watching and being late / losing his man off ball. It was a small sample, but does show his precision. On possessions where Poku is beat off the dribble, he will try to poke the ball from behind instead of recovering. ET on Thursday at Augusta National Golf Club. New, 16 comments. His teammate looks for him as an outlet following the missed shot and he weaves in and out of the defense with the ball in his hands. In addition, he has good flashes of moving his feet pretty quickly (but not consistent), so he might still be growing into his frame – could be untapped athletic potential. When his man gets the first step on him, there isn’t much effort shown to recover.
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