|Team: Barons Riga|
H: 6' 8"|
W: 205 lbs
(29 Years Old)
Current: SF |
Hometown: Riga, Latvia
The local boy (Kalve plays for Benetton Treviso) executed to perfection in various in-game situations, showing a remarkable combination of athleticism and skills. He enjoys the prototypical tools that you look for in a wing. While heís 6-8 in shoes, he displays nice athleticism in terms of explosiveness, quickness and leaping ability (36 inches in the one-step vertical, 27 in static mode). His body looks very promising, showing nice strength and the potential to seriously add more.
Fortunately, Kalve is not only about physical gifts. A solid shooter, he enjoys accurate mechanics and excellent elevation. Heís a decent ball-handler and can penetrate using his very good footwork, while he has the physical ability to finish strong, as he repeatedly showed yesterday with some remarkable dunks (easily finishing an alley-oop, a rather long slam-dunk in transition or another one in traffic challenging a rival). However, when it comes to creating his own shot, he still needs to learn how to effectively create separation between himself and the defender, but he should catch up soon, as he can easily knock down shots while pulling up off the dribble. Defense and intensity have been there too.
All in all, Ernests is playing some serious basketball these days, emerging as one of the better wing prospects in the camp, and already one of the most productive despite his youth, as heís as 1987 player.
The best scorer of the Championship ended up being this little known Latvian wing that has made a name for himself in Belgrade (he has since reportedly signed a multi-year contract with Benetton Treviso). He was clearly not a classic example of style and finesse on the court, but he surely got the job done, being the go-to guy in his National Team, and successfully leading team short on talent into the quarterfinal round. Although likely at a higher stage of development than most of his rivals, you donít see an extremely mature body in him. Heís not as physically or athletically superior as some of the other star players here, but his intensity and fearlessness using those attributes make the difference, not to mention his very nice size to go with it.
But again, he has his fair share of interesting skills. To start with, Kalve terrified the rival defenses with his jump-shot, becoming one of the top shooters of the tournament. It wasnít only a matter of accuracy, but also of being capable of creating his own shot, firing off the dribble, with pretty good range out to the three point line, and even knocking down some wild jumpers. Heís not a pure gunner a la Zavoruev, and his mechanics didnít seem to be the most elegant featured here, but his effectiveness canít be overlooked. Like the Russian, his free throw percentages were pretty forgettable, although I donít think it should be a matter of concern. These type of players usually end up being very reliable from the line.
Kalve is not a terrific ball handler at this point, perhaps a bit slow with the ball in his hands, but it didnít stop him from being a constant off-the-dribble threat, whether shooting or slashing. His aggressiveness and insistency paid dividends even at the cost of eventual over handling. Of course, it wonít work that well against superior competition, so itís an issue to address.
Not a great passer, he can sometimes find a teammate while driving, but more creativity when it comes to helping out his team would greatly round out his game. Defensively, heís a solid player with the necessary tools and attitude to be effective.
Kalve is an interesting player, perhaps not as intriguing as his production would make you think, as he featured a superior degree of maturity compared with most of the other players, but still with nice potential.