Bojan Bogdanovic was in limbo a month ago. Unable to hit a shot (he still is struggling), and targeted on defense, Bogdanovic couldn’t stay on the floor. Several DNP-CD’s later, Bogdanovic surprisingly was re-inserted back into the starting lineup, and now, he is back ... and showing positive signs of development.
While his shot still isn’t falling, He is down to 29% from beyond the arc now, Bogdanovic has gotten his production elsewhere, namely leak outs and cuts.
12.5% of Bogdanovic’s plays on the court this season have been off of cuts, the third most to any sort of action, according to MySynergy Sports. The Croatian has been in transition more than 17.6% of the time, while spotting up for the most amount of his possessions, 35.7% of the time.
These are the ideal numbers for a Brooklyn Nets role player. The way the roster is constructed, Bogdanovic needs to be able to get his buckets by either getting ahead of the defense or catching the defense sleeping.
Here are a few plays where Bogdanovic shows off his heady play.
Watch Bogdanovic from the beginning of the clip. He catches Kyle Singler ball-watching from the get go and essentially gets a perfect cut out of the play. Meanwhile, Joe Johnson is driving into traffic. So he misses the rookie who got open. Either way, Bogdanovic stays near the cup and is waiting for the ball to get over to his side. Once Singler converges on Kevin Garnett, Bogdanovic is open for an easy layup.
Again, Bogdanovic is always looking to get involved. When the Nets can’t get much of an attack going, he is looking to sneak inside and get an easy two. After the initial cut fails, Bogdanovic stays active and Kevin Garnett ends up finding him for an easy two. It is this type of simple movement, just cutting into the middle of the floor as the ball is swung along the perimeter, that is needed for teams. It keeps defenses guessing and could get Brooklyn an easy basket, as seen in the prior two clips.
This is a simple example of what Bogdanovic has been doing lately. He’s leaking out right away after the Nets gain possession and is a threat at finishing with a head of steam towards the rim. He may get away with a travel on this particular play, but Bogdanovic has carved out a nice little niche being Brooklyn’s transition threat along with Jarrett Jack and Mason Plumlee.
It’s a problem that the rookie can not get a shot to fall right now, but it is a major plus that he has found ways to still be a weapon on the floor. Brooklyn lacks athleticism in a big way and the fact that Bogdanovic has shown the ability to get out in the open court and finish around the rim is a good sign for the present and the future.
With the way the Nets’ offense is constructed, the ball is usually in the lead point guard (Deron Williams or Jarrett Jack), Joe Johnson, or Brook Lopez’s hands, so complementary wing players like Bogdanovic, Alan Anderson and Sergey Karasev (when he is on the floor, he’s seemingly fallen out of the rotation) and others need to get open to take the ball from the primary handlers. Cutting back door and getting easy looks at the rim make it easier for a player like Joe Johnson to get rid of the ball in this particular play from Wednesday night.
Sure, it was an easy cut to the basket because the Kings fell asleep on defense, but these are the type of plays the Nets need from their role players right now. Bogdanovic’s leak outs and cutting have been infectious towards these guys, and if he could just find that three-point shot again, he will start looking like the guy who tore it up at the beginning of the year.
All stats were compiled before the Nets game Thursday night against the Clippers and Saturday night against the Jazz.