|Team: NON-NBA College Team:
H: 6' 4"|
W: 178 lbs
(26 Years Old)
Current: PG |
Hometown: Split, Croatia
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|Roundup: Cup Hangover|
February 20, 2008
It’s the second time this season we feature Nenad Mijatovic in this section. The first took place in October, where we voiced the poor playing level he was displaying then. Later that very same month, he played his last game as starter, a defeat that left his Buducnost with a negative record in the Adriatic League. Since being relegated to the bench, Nenad averages 1.5 points in 6 minutes during 10 games in the Balkan competition, actually having missed four, and only has been able to record 1 assist in that spam. Meanwhile, his team has managed to pull off a 9-5 record that puts them back in the positive territory. Bad times for the Montenegrin guard.
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Roundup: Back on Track
October 17, 2007
Nenad Mijatovic still hasn’t been able to shake off labels such as “poor distributor”, “poor decision maker”, “plays out of control”, or “streaky shooter” that have been defining his game perhaps for too long now. His early run this season doesn’t impress statistically, averaging 6 points and only 0.5 assists in more than 16 minutes. That’s not good news. He’s taking too many bad decisions, forcing plays, rushing things, not controlling the game. He’s not a reference on court his teammates can trust on. He’s not playing smart basketball. Mijatovic is still a great talent with superb tools to play the point, but we’re really eager to see some maturity in his game.
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Roundup: Balkan Intrigue
February 6, 2007
Mijatovic belongs to that phenomenal 1987 Serbian generation that early-on was led by Aleksandrov and won the European Championships in all youth categories. He’s basically a scoring type of point guard, a player capable of consistently stepping into the lane and showing the ability to create his own shot (and knock them down). At 6-4, he displays a nice physical and athletic profile, as he’s fairly strong, shows a good frame and possesses nice quickness. Chances are this department won’t be the one slowing him down.
As we have been reporting for some time now, perhaps the biggest issue about Mijatovic is his distributing skills, not the most outstanding around. He’s improving, but still needs to settle his game down a little bit. Beyond his low assist numbers (he only averages 1.2 per game), Nenad tends to overdribble, abusing his nice ball-handling skills and ability to play off the dribble, sometimes forcing situations, and not always recognizing the best options. He has average court vision; being capable of finding the open man fairly easily in drive-and-dish situations, although he often tries to finish himself taking advantage of his size and quickness. Scoring is his speciality. Enjoying a pretty solid perimeter stroke, Mijatovic loves to shoot off the dribble, and remains fairly effective even in aggressive moves to create separation from his defender (he's 41.5% from behind the three-point line), which obviously makes him capable of creating his own offense.
Although his characteristics and the fact that he plays both backcourt positions in Buducnost might lead to think about a combo guard, he’s more of a playmaker than anything. Even playing the shooting-guard position, he’s often the one leading the creation from his team on the perimeter. Anyway, he’s an intriguing guy to keep following very closely. Right now it looks like he will hear his name in a future draft, although the stock of point guards tends to be a bit volatile.
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Adriatic Report - Impressive Nenad Mijatovic
October 3, 2006
A very good showing this week for Mijatovic, who was a lethal scoring threat all game long, collecting 22 points and 4 assists in the process. Nenad is a very good athlete; has good size, nice frame and strength (for his age) coupled with long arms and excellent quickness. He is a dynamic player with seemingly endless energy, always moving around and not giving any rest to his opponent. His shot was looking fantastic today, not only because he nailed 5 of his 11 three-point attempts, but also because of the way it looks coming out of his hands.
Getting great lift on his J and releasing it quickly at a very high point not only looks pleasant to the eye, but it makes it almost impossible to defend. He can shoot in any fashion - static, off the dribble or even being surprisingly effective in catch & shoot situations coming off screens. Mijatovic is also a very good ball-handler, taking advantage of his speed to get into the lane, while also performing changes of directions and ball-fakes to get his defenders off balance. Once in the painted area, Nenad had troubles finishing, not taking the body contact well.
At this point, Mijatovic is classic combo guard, he was playing as a both PG and SG during the game, but his team looked better when he was at the 2-guard position. He has some serious court vision and passing ability, but his distribution is rather poor. Besides, he is a natural scorer with a shoot-first mentality. Nenad is a also capable defender, showing good lateral movement and quick hands.
Very reactively he anticipates opponent’s moves and is a great creator of transition baskets. On a bad note, today Mijatovic didn’t meet a shot he didn’t like, and overall his decision making needs a lot of improvement. If he can consistently perform like he did tonight, Mijatovic will establish himself as a solid first round prospect given his combination of speed, shooting and defensive skills.
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A Look Back At The U-20 European Championships (Part Two)
September 22, 2006
The years go by and Mijatovic stays pretty much the same. He still hasn’t been able to figure out how to effectively distribute the ball for his team. Too often, he abuses his dribble, looking for a good option, but slowing down the ball movement of his team and eventually taking wrong decisions. He also struggles from the field, showing poor shot selection. However, his strengths were there too, such as quickness, ball-handling skills, ability to beat his matchups and solid defense, but unless he starts showing better decision making, he won’t be able to fulfill his potential.
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The European Junior (U-18) Championships: The Point Guards
August 15, 2005
Lights and shadows for Mijatovic in this tournament. He did a nice job in the first games, but unfortunately got injured in the quarterfinal round, remaining sidelined for the rest of the championship. For Nenad, the worst thing is that Serbia and Montenegro didn’t miss him, actually delivering their best games without his participation. However, he did play at a good level in this tournament, even if he hasn’t evolved too much towards the more distributing playmaking model he should be chasing.
With Mijatovic you have an excellent physical and athletic profile. At 6-4, he’s a tall and very quick point guard who shouldn’t have troubles in this department at any level of play. But when it comes to his playmaking skills, it’s another story. Nenad is a scoring type of guard rather than a distributor. Indeed he played shooting guard in many stretches of the game, whenever he shared the court with Milos Teodosic.
His offensive virtues rely on improvements in his shooting ability and especially in his one-on-one game. This allows him to be a nice slashing threat, although where Mijatovic really excels is in transition, being almost unstoppable in this area, as he knows how to effectively finish himself using his quickness and athleticism, and is also capable of passing the ball if necessary.
Going back to his set-offense strengths, his jumper is gaining consistency, which seems logical considering his good mechanics, and he can make it off the dribble. This skill is rather important for him considering his ability to beat his matchup, using his quickness, solid ball-handling skills and good first step, and generating in the process many shooting opportunities in the mid-range area which he can use with a fair chance of success.
If we talk about passing the ball, it’s using his slashing game where he finds the best options. Otherwise, he’s rather a discrete passer. Not a true distributor, neither is he a floor general for his team at the moment, although he’s playing more under control than he used to, making better decisions when they come to him.
Defensively, he was perhaps the best point guard of the tournament. His quickness is perfectly translated to his lateral movement, keeping his body really low and close to his matchup, annoying him. He’s a hard defender to beat.
Mijatovic still looks like an intriguing prospect, but needs to start addressing his distributing flaws. However, his skills might look more NBA-friendly than other better playmakers; for example, his teammate Teodosic himself. Milos probably looks like a much better bet for Europe at the moment, but Mijatovic likely features more potential for the American league. Hopefully, he’ll enjoy an important role next season in Buducnost, now that Koljevic is out of the picture, which will give Mijatovic the chance to learn from experience playing at a high level.
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Nenad Mijatovic NBA Draft Scouting Report
September 27, 2004
Nenad Mijatovic is a flashy point guard with a special ability to score. Gifted with nice athletic ability, he's really a quick player. His offensive repertoire is based on two main strengths: his jumper and his penetrations. His shot is quite effective, with his range reaching the three point line, and he feels comfortable shooting off the dribble. Good mechanics, good release speed, Mijatovic is already a very nice gunner. His quickness and great handles with both hands make him a very good penetrator. He shows a good first step and can drive in traffic.
He can finish himself, using both hands with equal ability, or he can feed a teammate, which becomes perhaps his main source of production and, therefore, assists within the set offense.
But where Nenad's game really flourishes is on the break. You can feel how much he loves it. He's hard to stop because of his quickness and his decision making. He can finish the play easily thanks to his superior speed, good athleticism and size, or pass the ball generally with very good results, even with a flashy move, given the chance.
Nenad's quickness is reflected on his lateral defensive movement, as he's a hard player to beat. It's up to him how good of a defender he wants to become. Right now he shows quite a good attitude, although he doesn't give the full effort everytime. He also has decent hands to steal the ball.
As a scoring point guard, Mijatovic lacks some directing skills, specially on the set offense. Penetrations aside, he's really not a heavy game creator, and doesn't show as good court vision on static situations as he's able on transition or drive & dish plays.
He sometimes forces too much his drives to the basket, getting in some traffic jams with low possibilities of success. His shooting selection could also improve, and he is a little streaky sometimes. As a hot-blooded player, he doesn't always play under control, but I don't find it particulary worrying, as those bad decisions aren't the usual pattern, and he's very young so he has enough time to mature.
Nenad Mijatovic is a member of the ''Nemanja Aleksandrov'' generation of Serbian and Montegro national junior team. That team, which includes future Draft prospects such as Aleksandrov, Dragan Labovic, and Uros Tripkovic, took part in a U-18 challenge round of the European Championship qualifiers, and decisively won all 5 games. Playing behind starting PG Uros Tripkovic, Mijatovic managed to score 5 points and 1.4 assists per 11 minutes per game. At the unofficial World Championships for Young Man, the Albert Schweizer tournament which was played just weeks following the challenge round, a similar situation occurred, when he had to play behind Uros Tripkovic. He got to start at the 2 guard position for one game only, and had averaged 7 points and 2 assists per 14.5 minutes per game.
It's still early to predict anything about Mijatovic given his age and position on court. He's a talented kid, with nice potential due to his quickness and skills, so the first round isn't out of order. But he's still so far away from that point, not having played at senior level yet, that you could also not hear his name again. Nevertheless, he's a name to look out for in the future.
Nenad has nearly all the tools the pros look for in a PG. He's already one of the better Yugo point prospects in many many years. If he keeps up the hard work and shows a decent improvement, we could find really a thrilling player down the road.
Nenad Mijatovic made his senior team debut at 14 years of age! Even though he is, as of right now, still with a ''minor league affiliate'' of KK Buducnost, he debuted with them in the regional Adriatic league back in 2001. The coach that called him up that season was Mr. Bogdan Tanjevic, who holds a very distinctive and long career throughout Europe with various degrees of success, ranging from a Euroleague title in 1979 to national championships in former Yugoslavia and Italy. However, his biggest success came with the Italian national team, when he won the European Championships title in 1999, which is the crown Italy had been waiting for since 1983. Regardless to say, for a 14 year kid to get any kind of playing time under a coach with such credentials, he needs to be special.
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Zaragoza, The Best of the Rest: Guards
August 20, 2004
It was a bad tournament for Mijatovic. He did not enjoy consistent minutes until the last couple of games, when Serbia was out of the medals fight and he was given the starting job for good. Armed with that confidence and under less pressure, he showed the same brilliance in his game that was so appreciated a year ago in Rivas at the European Cadet Championships.
Nenad looked again unstoppable on the break. With him commanding the offense, Serbia played a more dynamic game. He is still the same scoring guard who lacks distribution skills within the set offense, but his off-the-dribble game is as good as always, as he creates some good passes out of it. And he is no ball hog. His quickness, explosiveness, and athleticism in general keep shining at junior level, and he uses all of those gifts defensively. He seems not to be adversely affected by playing against older competition.
Confidence was a big issue for Nenad in Zaragoza, and he struggled to find his rhythm, especially with his shot. We cannot forget that his 1987 birthday is a year younger than most of the competition, and yet he still showed flashes of spectacular playing. Perhaps I am a bit biased, but for some reason I love the way he plays and the feeling his game transmits. In my opinion, Nenad Mijatovic was the second best point guard prospect seen in Zaragoza, behind only Sergio Rodríguez.
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