Croatian League Semi-Finals

Tue, 05/26/2009 - 9:53am

Croatian Semifinals

Game1 Cibona - KK Split 102-84 (1-0)

Game2 Cibona - KK Split 83-82 (2-0)



Croatia League Semis

Cibona is the favorite to win the entire league, and other than a shaky first half in the 2nd game, they had a fairly easy series against their opponents from Split. This series featured two of the most promising draft eligible Croatians, one was able to show his stuff, while the other one barely got on the floor...

KK Split

Mario Delas 6-10 PF 1990

Game 1 27 MIN, 6 PTS, 6 REBS, 2 BLKS, 1 STL

Game 2 24 MIN, 20 PTS, 6-8 FG, 1/2 3PT, 7-8 FT 4 REBS, 2 STL, 1 BLK

Was able to transfer the solid play he showcased during the season into the playoffs. He gets a nice amount of playing time, and has earned the trust of his coach as well as his teammates. He gets plays called for him with regularity and he consistently proves that he can get good shots and convert. His 6-10 frame is well developed, he has a nice solid base with wide shoulders and long arms. Although, his legs are a little thick and he seems to have heavy feet which makes him slow footed and limits him athletically.

The 2nd game, he used to showcase his entire offensive repertoire... He was able to face up from the elbow, put the ball on the floor and finish with ease around the basket. Since he has such a wide body, his spin move is very effective as it leaves the defender offbalance, (meanwhile, he is able to gather himself nicely without getting out of control).

In terms of his jumpshot, whether it was from the foul line, midrange, or from beyond the arc, Delas showed that he has more than enough range and accuracy to be considered a serious threat. He shoots with good rhythm, has a smooth stroke and a high release; components very impressive for a young big. Around the basket he has nice hands and is able to catch a variety of passes in traffic.

Where he struggles is finishing when tightly defended or against contact, he is still not used to the physicality of the senior ranks and it shows in the low post, but with maturation and further development of his back to the basket game, there is no reason it won't get better.

Even with his outside shot, and decent ability to attack while facing up, Delas is strictly a PF. When he is forced to put the ball on the floor more than once, or if he has to make a secondary move, his effectiveness is reduced tremendously. On top of that, his quickness is limited to the point where he would have a hard time getting by the quicker defenders he would face on the wing.

With that said, where he needs the most work is on the defensive end, his understanding of man and team principles is very limited, and Cibona looked to attack him every chance they got. He plays with his hands down, and he gives up a lot of room to the opposing bigmen. His lateral quickness is a bit of a concern, as he has serious difficulties cutting off driving lanes. Although defensively, he does have very good and active hands, either stripping the ball in the post, or blocking shots.

He was the go to player for Split down the stretch and for the most part he managed to make the big shots, even though it eventually resulted in a loss. He made a huge spot up 3 to put his team up by 1 with under 20 seconds left, but was not able to deliver again with the clock expiring. Overall, an impressive game for Delas, where he was able to show many of his strengths but also some of his weaknesses. Being only 19, he has plenty of time to not just work on his game but also his body, as he needs to become more explosive and quicker on his feet.

KK Cibona

Tomislav Zubcic 6-10 SF 1990

Game1 1 MIN

Game 2 DNP

Played only 1 minute in this series, which came during garbage time in the 1st game. He is stuck on the bench of a very deep and talented team, and more importantly a team that is looking to win right now. He spends the entire game sitting beside the coaches, taking pointers, but one has to wonder why he cannot get some spot minutes every now and then. When he has played on the junior international scene, he has shown that he is more than capable of competing if not even contributing at this level. It will be interesting to see where he ends up next season...will the wins keep him in Cibona, or is he yearning for an opportunity to showcase his game, even if it means playing for a lower level team.

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