|Team: CSKA Moscow|
H: 6' 5"|
W: 180 lbs
(29 Years Old)
|Agent: Nick Lotsos ||
Hometown: Valjevo, Serbia
We can call Teodosicís regular season in the Euroleague a moderate success. Coming from a Balkan team to a wealthy powerhouse, to get playing time was the natural first goal, and he ended up averaging over 20 minutes per game, even close to the 30-minute mark in the last four, although injuries did help him to advance in the rotation.
When it comes to performance level, it hasnít been an easy environment for Teodosic. Olympiacos is quite a mess this season. A top-4 team in Europe in terms of budget, they renewed its core again this past summer, coming up with a very talented, but highly inconsistent and not particularly team-oriented crop of players that perhaps lacked more blue collar and glue guys. In this context, Teodosic hasnít been able to provide consistent leadership from the point guard position. First, because he rarely played as a real playmaker, but more as a combo guard, therefore not being able to completely take over the control of his teamís offense doing what he does best: to distribute the ball through his passing and scoring abilities, and to set the game tempo. Second, because heís still a youngster on a star-loaded squad. Third, because he has struggled with one of his best weapons, his perimeter stroke (only 23.7% accuracy). On the defensive end, he himself has a fair share of responsibility with his teamís poor performance. Heís clearly not the most gifted player around on defense, given his limited lateral quickness, but he barely puts in any effort there.
If everything goes as expected, Teodosic is bound to become a European star. NBA-wise, he fills the bill for the skilled and unathletic Euro guard who struggles to make a transition to a physically very demanding league. Somebody might be interested in him in the second round, but thatís not even a given.
As talented as he might be, itís never easy for a young player to establish himself as a valuable piece in a very top team in Europe. Thatís exactly the case for Milos Teodosic in Olympiacos. However, heís gaining prominence as the season moves on, and this past week he delivered his best performance in the Euroleague with a 20-point effort against the almighty CSKA Moscow, paving the way for his team to beat the Russian powerhouse, while also providing 3 rebounds and 4 assists. Besides, he twisted his ankle in the second half ended up coming back for the last minutes, showing the heart of a competitor. It was a very interesting game, not only because of the level involved, but particularly because Teodosic exhibited his best virtues and also exposed his most concerning flaws.
Starting with the good, Milos looked extremely confident with his perimeter shot since the tip off. Heís obviously a better shooter than the 28.1% his stat-line shows at this point of the season in the Euroleague-- itís not always easy to stay confident when the shots donít go in. Missing the very first one, he soon after buried an NBA-range three-pointer released off-the-dribble in on a fast break. Heís extremely fluid in his mechanics, transmitting a sense of ease with his jumper. He also connected on a very complicated off-the-dribble back-step three. At that point, he was pretty much on fire.
Teodosic played both guard positions, meaning he wasnít handling the ball as much as probably might have liked. But he stayed nicely active moving without the ball, which provided him with production in the form of a lay-up and a pass off a strong cut. With the ball in his hands, if he doesnít settle for a long-range shot, he usually utilizes screens, trying to gain advantages, to provoke mismatches, in order to attack the rim or find a good passing angle. He got all the way to the basket a couple of times and showed nice use of his body to gain room in order to finish around the rim. Heís a rather strong guy, obviously a lot bigger than your typical point guard. Milos also had the chance to feed cutters and even through traffic, showing once again his excellent court vision. Given the fact that he didnít play the point with continuity, we couldnít really enjoy his control of the game tempo.
Now the bad. Milos badly needs his teammates to operate with the ball. He needs them to set screens for him and work off the dribble, because he clearly struggles to beat his opponent in pure one-on-one settings. He is just not quick enough. It gets worse on defense, where he canít hold his own against anybody with some quickness to attack him. At least with his size he has less trouble switching defensive assignments, and itís easier for him to contest shots.
This is nothing we didnít know in advance already, but it just confirms his game style in a different environment. Anyway, Teodosic looks like a European superstar in the making. At the same time, heís probably the least NBA-friendly player among the highly-talented international players. It might not even matter, since he reportedly has a massive buyout that comes into affect only in two and a half more years.
Milos Teodosic is suffering the consequences of playing for one of the richest teams in Europe. Olympiakos is an incredibly deep team, with extremely talented players, and thereís not always room for a young guy, even if a phenomenal distributing point guard like him. The million-dollar signing of Lynn Greer became the worst possible news for him, as the American scoring playmaker soon emerged as the team leader on the court. Also suffering the competition of Roderick Blackney, coach Gershon has eventually used Teodosic as shooting guard, which might work given his size and shooting stroke, but isnít a great solution since heís a lot better player with the ball in his hands. His decreasing importance in the team is well reflected by his minutes on court in the Euroleague, 13 in the opener against Tau and 5 in the following game against Union Olimpija, while he only played a few seconds in this weekendís derby loss against Panathinaikos.[Read Full Article]
Teodosic had already been steadily gaining importance on the team. He was a perfect complement to Rasic. While the former FMP player was an athletic and incisive guy, not the best distributor around and who could get eventually a bit out of control, Teodosic, despite being three years younger, provided the poise off the bench, the brains, the good decision making that the team always needed at some point in the game.
Milos is not a very athletic player, certainly lacking some explosiveness, while you can eventually think that he doesnít put much energy on court. He often drives the ball looking very care free, like someone taking a walk in the park. But he cares, and he executes. He might not enjoy an advantage on quickness, so he uses plenty of picks to create mismatches, to unbalance the opponentís defense, to feed the rolling man, to slash towards the basket or to shoot the ball if they leave him open. He excels in pick-and-roll situations, perfectly reading the different options this play offers him. Heís a fundamentally sound player with an excellent skill set that includes extremely solid ball-handling skills, a nice shot out to three-point range that he can hit off the dribble, nice footwork on slashing situations and great passing skills to cash in on his remarkable court vision. Heís very tall for a point guard at 6-5, which really helps him get the job done. His basketball IQ is excellent, and he always seems to control whatís happening on the floor.
In FMPís last winning streak (8 games in the Adriatic League counting this last weekís), Teodosic has played over 20 minutes per game in all but one. Actually, it was becoming pretty obvious that the team often performed better with him handling the point. Thatís probably a reason why FMP pulled the trigger on the Rasic deal.
If Milos stayed relatively discrete from a statistical point of view in the first game, with 8 points, 2 rebounds, 3 assists and 5 steals in 26 minutes, he erupted for 21 points, 4 rebounds and 4 assists in 31 minutes in the second, completely taking over Rasicís role as the leading point guard.
NBA-wise, itís a difficult equation. His average athleticism doesnít look like the best recipe for the American league, particularly since youíre expected to be able to beat your match-up off the dribble on a regular basis. And particularly, Teodosic often exposes a certain lack of lateral quickness on defense, suffering against quicker guards, although heís pretty active on team defense. He will probably need to master his playmaking abilities at the top European level before having any shot at the NBA, which might leave him out of the draft picture. Still, he's a very talented guy that really deserves to be considered, and a name you will likely hear often related to international competition.
Teodosic is another member of the great 1987 Serbian generation that astonished the audience in the European Cadet Championship in Rivas at the U-16ís two years ago. Last year, he saw his mates Aleksandrov, Labovic, Mijatovic and Tepic being called for the junior team while he was left out. This year he was back as one of the team leaders.
Milos is a tall point guard with excellent distributing skills and a dangerous perimeter stroke. He shows a special poise in his game, as if he has everything under control. He proved to be a very good passer, creative, rewarding cutters and finding the open man anywhere, even with awesome vertical dishes in the set offense. He indeed finished the tournament third in assists. Still, in a few situations he was a bit too creative, risking the possession in the hunt for an extremely complicated passing angle. Anyway, his court vision is remarkable, being able to see the pass very quickly, which allows him to enjoy an excellent tempo in his dishes.
Unlike many point guards, heís more of a perimeter distributor than a drive-and-dish guy. Milos is not particularly athletic, not showing great quickness, and despite featuring nice ball-handling skills, he doesnít beat his defenders off the dribble as easy as some of his playmaking colleagues do. He usually tries to take advantage of screens or situations when his defender is unbalanced, which he can get with the mere threat of his outside shot. This is one of his biggest flaws when talking about his NBA potential.
Thatís a big reason why the three-point shot is his main scoring threat. In Belgrade, Milos shot beyond the arc almost twice as much as he did from inside. Itís not only a matter of showing a great stroke from downtown; he has the ability to fire off the dribble without losing too much accuracy and in a fairly quick movement as well. He enjoys good mechanics and it looks like the jumper is going to be an extremely important weapon in his future career.
The quickness issue is translated to the defensive end. He suffers keeping up with quicker guards, sometimes being assigned on defense in this tournament to guard wing players instead.
However, as concerning as his weaknesses might look, we have in Teodosic a real basketball player, a guy who knows the game and features skills which are becoming rarer every day (as strange as it might sound) such as shooting or passing, while displaying a great mind playing like a vet on the floor, taking care of the gameís rhythm or assuming responsibilities down the stretch. Besides, being 6-5, perhaps near 6-6, he can be used as a combo guard.
Next season, with last yearís starting point guard Bojan Popovic out of Reflex, he should enjoy many chances to prove himself in senior competition, sharing the floor with fellow young teammates Nemanja Aleksandrov and Dragan Labovic.
No one was really expecting to see this guy on the floor, but he somehow became the most positive thing to come out of this tournament. Coach Djokic put this kid on the floor and Teodosic backed him up in a marvelous way. He almost created a comeback for his team completely on his own, by hitting 3 pointers, taking care of the ball, beating his defender off the dribble and creating shots for his teammates. He showed nice footwork for such a big PG (he looks closer to 6-6) and played fairly good defense. This 18-year old PG was playing like a veteran and with extremely high self-confidence. As you may have already noticed, I was delighted with his performance, as its rare to see such a young player step up on such a big stage. He shouldn't be in the draft prior to 2007, especially if the age limit comes in, but you better remember his name. Expect Teodosic to become a steady contributor for Reflex's team next season, especially if Bojan Popovic leaves.[Read Full Article]