Deividas first games in the Promised Land looked very… promising. Not only did he pick up where he left off on defense, but he added to it, and he showed some intriguing things on offense he wasn’t able to show in Rytas. So far it looks like, contrary to my worries, Hapoel Jerusalem uses him in more complex ways than they did earlier with their second wing in what I saw from their play. Dave comes from the bench and is put in situations where he can show more from his potential. If this continues, it’ll allows us to look at his move to Jerusalem as a next stage in his developmental process.
To date Dave played in three games in Israel, one practice game with Israeli Basketball Premier League rivals and two league games. He started very well, scoring 11 points (while making 3 threes on 4 tries) in the first game. In league games his efficiency fell off the cliff, but he tried to show his usefulness in other areas. Thus, in second game he grabbed 8 boards for example. Although in last game he didn’t registered any important stats, beside 3 fouls, he was used by his coach for defensive purposes.
As I said above, on defense, Deividas continues to provide solid on ball defense. He makes mistakes from time to time and is still a little inelastic. But his stance, movement, activity of hands are pretty solid. Even if he fell behind, he works really hard to make up for this. Dave also continues to be active in help defense. Now that he’s bulkier, he can also be helpful on defensive glass. On this occasion we can also see that Dave is always eager to do his job the right way, so when he’s tasked to be more engaged on the defensive glass we can see him boxing his man out even when it’s far from or on the other side of the basket. And, it turns out, that he has quite quick second jump when bothering the shot. All in all he looks not bad on defense, and is still young enough to make some further growth.
Offensively, Deividas made even more spectacular entrance to his new basketball chapter, even though he cooled off significantly as time progressed. It all started with triples. And it ended with ones. But even though the latter were misses, we should like them. We should like them because Dave showed in them some nice ball-handling abilities. This step becks are something we haven’t seen in his Rytas play. Altogether, he didn’t show much dribble plays there. And now he is allowed to make them. So we can see him making a kick out off of p&r, here or some playmaking while moving the ball, there. It doesn’t always work, yet. But even then, he can find some way to get out of trouble.
Finally, also on this end we can find some intangible feature. Namely, this play shows that, as befits a pro-player’s son, Deividas is a smart player, who with one move can neutralize two opponents and give his teammate a clear shot to score.
Deividas now plays in one of the best teams in one of the top ‘European’ (though Israel is outside Europe for sport purposes it frequently is counted as one of European countries) basketball leagues. He looks very well accommodated there and they seem to allow him to develop his game. It’s only three games, but this sidestep to Middle East on his way from Europe to the United States might also turn out to be fruitful for his development. We’ll see.