Hello! This time I will take a closer look at the game of so far the most impressive PG in European championship – GORAN DRAGIČ. What makes unstoppable in Eurobasket 2017?
Only 2 teams finished group stage without losses (5-0) – Spain and Slovenia. If Spain had a relatively easy group stage and they have overall very talented roster, then Slovenia team’s strength mainly depended on Dragič, Dončič and Vidmar, especially on first one.
- Slovenia plays fast paced basketball, 3rd place in points scored per game – 89.2 among 24 teams.
- One of the leaders for fast break points scored and their strength is fast transition from defence to offence. Even after made baskets they almost never walk the ball up the court, especially in the beginning of the game.
- Plays lot of quick set plays which most of the time ends up with Dragič playing middle pick-and-roll (usually with Vidmar or Dončič/Vidmar).
- Rarely pass the ball in low post with intention for big man play 1vs1 if there is no size mismatch.
- Great coach Igor Kokoškov (the first non-American assistant coach to win an NBA championship) who has been coaching in highest levels of basketball (assistant coach for various NBA teams).
GORAN DRAGIČ OFFENSIVE GAME / STYLE
G. Dragič after group stage is the 1st for PPG (24.4) only in 28.5 minutes. It is not a surprising to see MIAMI HEAT (NBA) point guard to being that great scorer in European championship if he is capable to score 20.3 PPG in NBA (40.5% 3-point).
He is very important player both for MIAMI HEAT and SLOVENIA, team success very often depends on his performance. Dragič stats shows that almost every position is higher when HEAT wins and vice versa. +/- +6.9 games won, +/- -6.3 games lost…. He has also the highest +/- after group stage in Slovenian team +13.4.
- Similarities with Steve Nash style of play, high IQ player.
- Great for fast paced game (fast break, transition). Both passing and scoring!
- Dragič has lot of weapons offensively – 3-point shot, mid-range game, paint, great finisher near the rim especially for his size.
Only shots made % of from mid-range and right corner 3-point shot is slightly below 40%.
RESTRICTED AREA: 332 shots (60.8% made),
IN THE PAINT :226 (46.5%),
MID-RANGE: 277 (39.7%),
3-POINTERS: 289 (40.5%) =
These stats shows that Dragič offensive game is UNPREDICTABLE.
G.Dragič performance hot zones in NBA 2016/17 season. Interesting that he has beem struggling with shots from right side mid-range area compare to other areas of the court. Made FG% is much lower compare to other areas of the court where he takes shots. Since he is left-handed, statistics shows that he does not shoot well mid-range shots while taking last dribble with right hand..
G. Dragič shot distribution hot zones of 2016/17 NBA season.
- Great ability to create shot for himself. 372/534 (70%) of shots are unassisted. Lot of shots made off the dribble.
- Uses STEP-BACK move very often.
- Can cause a lot of problems for opposite team if gets into the paint! Often lands on 2 feet after driving into paint + PUMP FAKE/UP&UNDER moves. SPIN MOVE+finishing spin move on 1 leg also often solution in 3-second area.
- Tendency to find an open teammate in the last moment of his play.
- Pick-and-roll. Lot of times do not wait for pick to be set and attacks effectively to defender who is anticipating pick to be set soon. (”bingo the pick”).
- Knows how to show referee if he is fouled (or not)!
DRAGIČ IN SLOVENIAN OFFENSIVE SYSTEM
After all the missed and also most of made shots Dragič advances ball into a half court very quickly looking for open teammate ahead of him or driving into the lane.
If there is no opportunity to score on fast break, Slovenia team very often chose DOUBLE DRAG PICK-AND-ROLL as a option for TRANSITION.
Most of the time Slovenia half court sets are designed for Dragič (also often Dončič) to receive ball to play pick-and-roll if there is no other quick option to score. Dragič/Vidmar is probably the most effective PNR duo so far in this European championship.
- Hand-off to pick-and-roll;
- Downscreen to pick-and-roll;
- After catching the pass from another perimeter player to pick-and-roll;
- Big men (4-5) sets a screen to each another before setting a pick for Dragič.
Very often run set play usually for Dragič.
Another set play usually for Dragič to catch the ball and go to pick-and-roll action right after the ball is caught. The first action is usually for shooters but in this case (most of the time) it is like “fake” motion before pick-and-roll.
Effective quick-hitter , often run for Dragič, but sometimes for another Slovenian players who can shoot 3-point shot with high %.
HOW TO LIMIT SLOVENIAN POINT GUARD EFFECTIVENESS?
Unfortunately, I did not have enough time to watch all Eurobasket games I want but it is worth to watch today’s Slovenia – Ukraine game (79:55). After 5 amazing games in group stage, Dragič performance (2/12 FG, 5 Pts) was really bad compared to usual. Tired? Probably… But if team win by 24 points, I guess they give up too much by focusing on stopping Dragič.
- Pick-and-roll defense. France most of the time defended PNR using “hard show & recover” strategy and sometimes “weak (right) & flat” (forcing Dragič to right hand since he is left-handed). Finland most of the time also tried to defend PNR with “show & recover” strategy. “hard show & recover” was relatively successful in situations when screener’s defender was able to show hard. Most of the time there was some kind of action before actual PNR. Dragič few times after “show” dribbled twice and caught the ball looking for open teammates but most of the time defence was successful after his tendency to pick up the dribble that early.
- Very often MIAMI HEAT PG do not wait for the screen actually been set but instead attack before (reject the screen).
- DO NOT LET GET DRAGIČ DRIVE IN THE PAINT IN HIGH SPEED. Nothing good happens… Fouls, 2 points, drive-kick to open teammate. He has lot of great finishing moves.
- OFFENSE: HIGH QUALITY SHOTS & REDUCE TURNOVERS. If there is a chance, there will be fast break.
- MAKE HIM WORK HARD DEFENSIVELY. Often Dragič has tendency to turn the head away from his man only seeing the offensive player with ball.
As we can see after today’s game that not only stopping Dragič or having him bad shooting night (2/12) will always help team to win, Slovenia overall is great team without losses so far in this tournament, probably Ukraine was too much focusing on stopping him that other players like Dončič, Vidmar, as well Randolph and Blazič had more options offensively as usual. But anyway, I am 100% sure, that there won’t be 2 games in a row like recent one for probably the most impressive basketball player this tournament so far!
Thanks for reading! 🙂