|Team: NON-NBA College Team: Boulazac|
H: 5' 7"|
W: 155 lbs
(29 Years Old)
Current: PG |
Hometown: Orleans, France
Nobody expected Chorale Roanne to advance to the Top-16 stage, and they didn’t. But at least they rewarded the audience with a relatively attractive, fluid and up-tempo game style, for which the tiny French playmaker Marc-Antoine Pellin has a fairly high degree of responsibility.
Officiating as the engine for his team, relying on his nice quickness, ability to beat opponents off the dribble, and playmaking skills, this pass-first point guard became a creative force to provide easy baskets for his teammates, emerging as the second best assister in the Euroleague. Without outstanding athleticism to make up for his severe lack of size, while regularly showing up unselfish, Pellin didn’t provide many points. He needs open situations in order to try scoring, either with his perimeter jumper or looking for a layup. He knows he’s at a disadvantage, being aware of how easily it is for his opponents to contest his shots, and he doesn’t force the issue. On defense, he can be abused near the rim, while he neither emerged as an aggressive on-the-ball defender. All in all, it was in line with his team’s defensive effort, as Roanne stands out as the team receiving the most points in this Euroleague.
With the NBA out of the picture for him for obvious reasons, he needs to step up on defense and also work on his scoring skills to really establish himself as an important player in Europe.
It was finally this week that Roanne broke a five-game losing streak in the Euroleague, and the guy pulling the strings for that to happen was no other than Marc-Antoine Pellin, whose impact on the game goes beyond that 5-7 body he showcases at the top European competition. Guys of his size are not supposed to play high-competition basketball, but Pellin is a real engine that runs the show for his team. He had only 7 points, but also a whopping 13 assists that set the pace for his team to route Lottomatica Roma. He continued the exhibition in the French League, paving the way for the victory against Vichy, with 13 points, 7 assists and… 8 rebounds! Not bad for a 5-7 guy.
Let’s see first what Jonathan Givony, who had the chance to catch some action from last week’s Euroleague game, has to say about Pellin’s performance.
”Roanne just went nuts pushing the ball and scoring in transition. This is a team that wants to play free and open basketball and keep the tempo high in order to make up for their lack of talent at the Euroleague level, and Pellin was the key to that in this game. He was just too quick for anyone to stay in front of, and he did a great job making decisions and staying under control despite the speed of which the game was played at. He's also really strong, so when he decided to put pressure on the defense by putting the ball on the floor in the half-court, he was able to draw a decent amount of fouls. Defensively, he can sometimes look like an absolute pest. This doesn't turn him into a great draft prospect by any stretch (I didn't get to see him shooting at all) since he's even shorter than I am, but you have to give him a lot of credit for helping his team absolutely destroy a pretty good team from Rome that is currently in 2nd place in the Italian league, and just finished mopping the floor with Fortitudo Bologna only a few days before.”
Pellin fills the bill very well when it comes to what an orthodox playmaker is suppose to do on a basketball court. He distributes the ball, involves his teammates in the game, pushes the tempo when necessary, stays under control, and takes shots only when there’s a fair opportunity for him to score. Of course there are drawbacks, but in European basketball, that’s a damn good start for a young playmaker to have a chance to hit the court.
Although pretty athletic, Pellin is not freakish in this department. Besides, he’s not a guy who heavily relies on his quickness to play his game, he’s not a ball-hog who tries to outrun everybody else, but a player that shares the ball any time he has the chance, and actively helps the fluidity of the offensive flow. It’s not the most usual thing to see him attacking his opponent in pure one-on-one settings, but he often tries to take advantage of screens to split defenses. He’s really effective dishing the ball off the dribble, either in pick-and-roll plays or just as he penetrates and punishes a defensive rotation with the pass.
Actually, Pellin is a pass-first playmaker, especially because he’s aware of his physical shortcomings and the subsequent limitations he suffers in order to finish again any kind of opposition. In the end, many of his points come in fastbreaks generated after steals, fully open layups or perimeter jumpers. He’s a solid shooter with three-point range and off-the-dribble ability, but he needs a lot of space to be effective.
Pretty quick on his feet, Pellin is capable of putting nice pressure on the ball, but he’s not always equally intensive and aggressive. In line with what his team Roanne shows as a whole, there’s often not much emphasis on the defensive end. Being so small, it’s pretty easy for him to come up with steals attacking his opponent’s dribble, especially in defensive rotations. On the other hand, he struggles mightily contesting shots or in any kind of post play, while his presence provides some relief to the opponents’ passing lanes.
Probably not a serious draft prospect, still born in 1987, Pellin could make a very nice living in Europe. In an age where size is becoming a trend at the point guard position (Papaloukas and Diamantidis rule in the Euroleague, while Rubio and Teodosic are the most promising youngsters), he certainly has things to offer despite his lack of size.