|New Pearls in the Adriatic Sea part three|
December 23, 2006
Milosevic had a steady U-20 European Championship last summer, playing for Greece where he logged 14.3 points and 3.6 assists per game. Igor's biggest upside is in his ability to play off the dribble. He is a skillful ball-handler, has a deceptively quick first step and produces nice results while driving to the hole. He can go all the way to the basket and finish creatively of the glass or elevate from 8-12 feet and nail a nice looking mid-range jumper, but it's actually his court vision and passing ability that stands out the most. Igor has great awareness on the offensive end, knowing where his teammates are in any given moment. He makes good decisions when on the run, is patient and shows excellent composure. Igor delivers the ball precisely to the open man and has a good feel for the game.
While Milosevic shows talent and knows what to do when he has the ball in his hands, his off the ball play is sub-par. Igor doesn't move off the ball well, rarely finding open spots for himself. His shooting from the perimeter is also considered a weakness. Igor has improved the form of his shot in the past two seasons, but the results from behind the arc are still below average for a guard. On the defensive end of the floor, Igor is putting much better effort than before, displaying nice intensity and quick hands. Still, he is hardly considered a good defender, since his lateral quickness is average at best and he struggles to stay in front of smaller and quicker guards. This is potentially the biggest issue when talking about Milosevic and the NBA, will he be able to defend with acceptable results against NBA competition?
At 6-4 Igor has very good size for a Point Guard and is an average athlete by NBA standards, as mentioned above he doesn't move well laterally, but he has a quick first step and decent overall floor speed. He has solid strength for his age and his frame should handle the necessary weight he'll need. Milosevic compares favorably to two known Serbian guards - Igor Rakocevic and Milos Vujanic, but his outside stroke is not on their level. That is one of the reasons why Igor is having less success then those two so far in his career. Milosevic has the talent to get drafted in the 2nd round, but he will have to raise his production and get consistent playing time in order to get attention from NBA teams.
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A Look Back At The U-20 European Championships (Part One)
September 20, 2006
Most of the interesting players at this stage are used to seeing consistent minutes of action for their teams during the season. Not Milosevic. After blossoming in the 2004 Greek playoffs, he has riding the bench for one year in Iraklis and another back in his hometown of Belgrade in Crvena Zvezda (Red Star). Regardless, he played a decent tournament. He looks bigger than in the past (heís listed at 6-4 now) and still keeps that remarkable ability to beat his matchups off the dribble. With his very good ball-handling skills, excellent first step and great footwork, very few defenders can contain him. Heís skilled enough to drive in traffic and finish with a layup (usually right-handed regardless of where heís attacking the basket), while he has looked more inconsistent with his shooting. Anyway, Milosevic is a scoring playmaker, still not a solid distributor. He can nicely dish off the dribble, but he looks too much for his slashing game and doesnít always succeed giving fluidity to his teamís offense. However, heís good and promising enough the get a chance to play somewhere.
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2006 Nike Hoop Summit Game Recap
April 10, 2006
Milosevic is a good ball handler, and gets minutes at the point guard position in Europe, but plays more like an undersized shooting guard for the most part. He shot the ball fairly well during the practices, but his shot wasnít falling during the game. Milosevic made a nice drive early in the game, making his way past the much taller Kevin Durant, and scoring a layup. That layup along with a three pointer was the entire output of Igorís offense during the Hoops Summit. When handling the ball, Milosevic displayed limited court vision, and made some bad decisions, which led to 6 turnovers for the game. He was lost a lot of the time on defense as well, as he was physically unable to keep up with the more athletic guards of the U.S. Team. His lack of point guard skills and physical attributes will probably keep Milosevic in Europe throughout his entire career.
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Nike Hoop Summit Preview: International Team
April 7, 2006
20 year old PG Igor Milosevic is Greek, but has Serbian roots and this is quite obvious in his game. He is a shoot-first PG, without the size to move to the SG position and also lacking the ability to become something more than a streaky shooter, something he has definitely looked like over the past three seasons. Not having given many playing time opportunities outside the Greek junior teams, Milosevic is a fair ball-handler who has improved his court vision. Offensively, he presents a fine shooting touch and a decent ball handling, which make him an interesting offensive prospect. He can shoot well and can also create for himself, often attempting to show off as a team's leader on the offensive end, even though his jumper is not steady enough to make him trustworthy every single night. He also slashes well and is a nice finisher, even though he lacks the strength and athleticism that would turn him into an NBA caliber player. Defensively, he may not be quick enough to follow more athletic guards, but he defends aggressively and uses his smarts in order to gain steals. Unfortunately, he is betrayed by his weak legs and his small frame, thought his energy and passion make up for his physical weaknesses some of the time.
Overall, Milosevicís physical tools are poor and he does not stand out in many areas. He has not improved as much as once expected, while his go-to abilities rarely convince his coaches to give him playing time and experience at the senior level.
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Igor Milosevic NBA Draft Scouting Report
March 29, 2005
Impressive point guard with a very developed offensive game. Quick and creative, Milosevic can beat anyone in Greece with his one-on-one game, while his shooting touch is very precise and his game lasts as long as his coach wants it to. His thin body and great flexibility help fuel a good motor, which allows him to run around the court for 40 minutes without getting tired. He can shoot from downtown and due to some nice slashing skills, he is not predictable at all offensively and thus, he seems to be able to score in many different ways.
He is very mature for his age, mainly due to his experience both in A1 and his leading role in the Greek Junior National Teams. His passing is very good and on any occasion he proves that he is a very smart player and his organization skills can be great too, but only when he puts his head to it. He is competitive and his leadership skills are definitely above average.
Defensively, despite the fact that he is small and skinny, he guards space well and can be a tough defender, actually a "bull" when he wants to, running around and following his opponents without ever giving up. His ability to get in the passing lanes and come up with steals makes him special, proving once again his smarts.
Milosevic is really skinny. According to rumors, he cannot bench more than 110-120 lbs. Despite approaching the age of 19, he hasn't bulked up, maybe thinking that he will lose his mobility. Moreover, he doesn't seem to be appreciated much this year and doesn't get much playing time, despite last season's excellent playoff games versus AEK, when he practically led Iraklis in the last two games. He gets zero playing time this season, something that probably reveals negative relationships with his coach and teammates.
Talking about his game, Milosevic needs to improve a lot in certain fields. Despite his offensive maturity, most of the time he doesn't really seem to play for the team. His games with Greece's U-19 National Team last summer prove the above statement, as his assists per game average revealed a first-shoot point guard, with little team-oriented mentality. His passing skills remain good (but not great), but if he doesn't take advantage of them and also look to improve them, then he is no point guard, especially not for the NBA.
Defensively, he might be great in guarding space, something vital in zone defenses, but obviously he isn't a factor in man-to-man. He seriously needs to bulk up in those cases, especially when the NBA uses man-to-man almost all the time.
Another issue is his potential in general. Even if he changes his mentality and also gets any playing time this year, a 19-year old player at 6-2, with a very developed offensive game and a very thin body doesn't seem to have much to achieve and certainly not in the NBA. If, at least, he was a couple of inches taller, he would be able to be dominant and also present his size as an advantage. But I think that at 6-2, his potential is limited and despite his skills, leadership and mobility, he can't get very high.
He plays for Iraklis, last season's third best Greek team, which almost ousted the eventual and former champions Panathinaikos in the A1 finals. But this team's last season's roster included superstars PG Dimitris Diamantidis and C Lazaros Papadopoulos, both starters in the National Team of Greece, which finished 5th in the Olympic tournament. Now, with those two gone, Iraklis is ranked 10th in A1 and Milosevic has seen almost no playing time this season, having played in 8 games and averaging only 9 mpg. His stats: 2.7 ppg, 0.5 rpg, 1.0 apg, 37% FG, 70% in Free Throws.
His future? Unknown, but probably not in Iraklis.
He will probably not declare this year and he will expect a great U-19 World Championships tournament, where he could raise his stock again and help that to find a better team to play for, either in Greece or in Spain/Italy. If he has a fine tournament and a steady season next year, he will then probably declare and be a candidate for the 2nd round.
Milosevic has been an unlucky player so far. He was very highly touted and his offensive game is one of the most impressive amongst European point guards his age I can remember. But his improvement is not going to be great and certainly will never come on the team he currently plays for.
Why he is unlucky? Because Greek basketball doesn't really need new point guards right now. Players like Thodoris Papaloukas, Dimitris Diamantidis and Nikos Zissis are included in Europe's best right now, while youngster Vassilis Spanoulis, last year's draft pick by Houston, might even play in the NBA next year and he is still the 4th best Greek PG!
This means that Milosevic will not gain any publicity or hype playing on a very good team, unless he really deserves it. He needs to change his on-court and off-court mentality soon, he needs to change his team and he needs to bulk up. And all that should be done quickly, if he wants to be excluded from the "ex-talent" list, which is not a small one in Greece during the past decade.
After losing to Panathinaikos 2-1 in last year's A1 Play-off semifinals, Iraklis played AEK in a best of 5 series for the title of 3rd best team in A1. Iraklis' star Dimitris Diamantidis, A1's MVP got injured in the third game and Milosevic helped Iraklis make it 3-2, by scoring an A1 career-high 29 points in the 4th game and 17 in the 5th, outplaying AEK's star guard Nikos Zissis, who fouled out in the fourth game, as he couldn't cope up with Milosevic's running ability. As a result, Iraklis finished third last season, the best ever for the team.
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Zaragoza, The Best of the Rest: Guards
August 20, 2004
The Serbian native Milosevic and teammate Sakota were the main scoring threats of the Greek team that advanced to the quarterfinals. That's what Milosevic is, a scorer, a shoot-first point guard. Like many guards seen here, he loves to play off the dribble. He is fairly quick, but among some outstanding athletes he shows average athleticism, so he relies mainly on his very good handles to beat his match-ups. He finishes near the basket efficiently, often using the elevated lay-ups favored by Tony Parker. He shoots nicely off the dribble, often after a couple of crossovers, but he is a bit streaky here. It remains to be seen if he will be able to create shots for himself as effectively against superior competition. We do have positive evidence from his significant minutes with his Greek league team Iraklis, including a game in which he tallied 29 points. This speaks volumes about his ability to adapt his game to the next level.
The biggest knock on Igor's game in Zaragoza was the poor directing skills he showed while trying to lead his team. He does not see the floor particularly well. His playmaking skills are mostly limited to driving and dishing, or playing the pick-and-roll, but these he does quite well. The 4.9 assists per game he registered were only possible because he hordes the ball. I think he plays too much for himself instead of being the kind of playmaker that makes his teammates better.
Milosevic is talented, but his average athleticism and uninspiring point guard skills cause concern about his potential. One thing is very intriguing about him: he seems to find a way to score, no matter the competition level.
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