You can focus on Bojan Bogdanovic's shooting percentages in last year's FIBA Europe Championships (42.3 percent overall, 27.5 percent from three) ... or you can watch this video as he hits a clutch three to tie the game in overtime vs. Greece. He scored 13 of his 22 points that night in overtime and Croatia won.
Or if defense in your thing, you can watch this video from a few games later.
Bojan Bogdanovic loves the big moment, the big shot. It's what appeals to the Nets and other NBA teams who tracked him.
Putting aside the numbers --outscoring 26 of the 27 NBA players in last year's Eurobasket-- Bogdanovic has long proven he can hit the big shot(s) in big games. In the game vs. Greece, captured above, he had nine points at the end of regulation, then exploded for five points, including this three, in the first overtime, then eight in the second OT.
It wasn't just the game vs. Greece and it wasn't just last year. But for the sake of brevity, do take a look at what he did in Croatia's improbable run to a fourth place finish in the continental championship.
--Against Poland, Bogdanovic had 10 points in the third-quarter spurt that pushed back the first Polish comeback attempt, and was Croatia's go-to guy.
--Against Slovenia, It was first his defense, then his offense that proved critical. With a little less than five minutes left in the fourth and Croatia up by one, he chased down a streaking Zoran Dragic, Goran's brother, and pinned the ball against the backboard. At the end of regulation, one Boki Nachbar missed a three-point attempt with three seconds left Within the first minute of overtime, Damjan Rudez, who just signed with the Pacers, hit a three, followed by one from Bogdanovic, enabling Croatia to start off the extra period with an 8-1 run and effectively seal the win.
--Against Italy, Bogdanovic capped his performance by hitting a key triple with 3:28 left in the game to give Croatia some breathing space, 70-62, amidst Italy's comeback.
--Against Georgia, two minutes into the final quarter, Bogdanovic intercepted a George Tsintsadze pass and darted down the court to put Croatia back in the lead to stay with a spectacular dunk, 57-56,
Croatia won all those games, part of its eight-game winning streak that ended in the semi-finals vs. Lithuania. For his heroics, the 6'8" swingman was voted to the first team, all-tournament. He was the youngest member of the team, led by Tony Parker and Marc Gasolan. He was also the only one of the five who hadn't played a minute in the NBA. He was also named one of the continent's top ten players in large part because of those exploits. In a vote of fans and experts, he finished fourth in a top 10 vote, ahead of Goran Dragic and just behind Marc Gasol.
It didn't begin there either. In 2010, he was playing for Cibona in the Adriatic League championship game. With time running out and his team down, he hit a corner three with 0.6 seconds left to seemingly win the game and the championship over Partizan of Serbia What happened next has been shown by coaches around the world. It's never over till its over. A Partizan player took the inbounds and tossed it towards the basket. GOAL!
It's not just us who see Bogdanovic as dangerous with the ball in his hands and the clock ticking down. This is what Mike Fratello said of him in 2012 after watching the last moments of a Ukraine - Croatia game that summer.
"Bogdanovic is really a good scorer," he said, adding with a bit of a sigh, "We were up 79-77 with four seconds left. He has the ball, our guy is in right spot, has his hand in front of the ball and Bogdanovic cocks it back a little, shoots it a little higher, makes the three and we lose, 80-79. He is very confident, he gets to the foul line.
"Fans are going to be happy when he comes over."