After a strong campaign in his first season seeing significant playing time in the ACB and a promising performance at the 2011 adidas Eurocamp, David Jelinek
appears to have taken a step back in his final season upon becoming automatically eligible for the NBA draft. The perimeter-oriented Jelinek continues to see significant minutes in the ACB, but has struggled to score efficiently all season long.
An average athlete with just decent size and length for a NBA shooting guard, Jelinek's perceived value at the NBA level has always been rooted in his ability to knock down shots from the perimeter. Connecting on some 46% of his three point attempts last season, his ability to stretch the floor and knock down open spot-up shots offered some intrigue. This season, Jelinek is shooting just 32% from beyond the arc, and has gone from shooting 52% in catch and shoot situations to connecting on just 29% according to Synergy Sports Technology. He doesn't seem to be shooting with the same fluidity and reliable follow-through we saw from him last season, lofting the ball at the rim from deep and short arming shots with a hand in his face, often coming up well short as a result.
Considering most of Jelinek's touches come on kick outs to the perimeter or when he's running off of screensand just how efficient he shot the ball last seasonsuch a dip in reliability is very significant. Lacking great quickness and ball-handling ability, Jelinek is not one to make plays off the dribble consistently, and is shooting only 41% from 2-point range (identical to last season) in the very physical ACB league due to his skinny frame and lack of explosiveness around the rim. The Czech wing been at his best this season when defenders have over-aggressively closed him out or trailed him as he runs off screens, as he's looked much more in rhythm pulling up for a jump shot from the midrange than he has off the catch.
Given his average physical tools, Jelinek doesn't create much offense for his teammates, but he's not selfish either. His struggles from the perimeter are not a result of him forcing the issue, and he willingly swings the ball instead of trying to re-find his stroke.
Defensively, Jelinek has shown some improvement this season. He still lacks the lateral quickness to be able to defend his position at the NBA level, but he's played with improved intensity this season. Often the target of on and off ball screens, Jelinek lacks a degree of strength and toughness fighting through contact, but does a decent job getting a hand in the face of shooters and not ball-watching on the weakside, something he did regularly last season. He'll need to get stronger and learn to deal with physical play if he wants to become a more complete defensive player in the European game down the road, but he is not giving up as much dribble penetration as he did in his first season as a rotation player in the ACB.
After a promising 2011 season, David Jelinek
seemed to be turning the corner as a prospect. His play this season has certainly given scouts pause, as his effectiveness from the perimeter has coming crashing back down the earth. Such a dip couldn't have come at a worse time for Jelinek's NBA prospects, as he's automatically eligible for the 2012 draft, but if he can rediscover his touch, he could certainly emerge as a valuable role-player once again in the ACB down the road.