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The Towers of Power: Tarczewski and Gudaitis

06/02/2018
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Arturas Gudaitis is not a rookie in this EuroLeague because he had already spent a season at Zalgiris but at that time he was very young so his real international debut took place in the Eurocup. But his EuroLeague season is still high-profile to the point that he can be considered a legitimate candidate for the All-EuroLeague Teams. Kaleb Tarczewski instead is a true rookie and his numbers are excellent especially for a player that started every game and everyone of them had to be approached against the opponent starting center.

Only Keith Langford among Olimpia representatives, in 2014, was included in the first All-EuroLeague Team. The two “All-EuroLeague Teams” are chosen by the media and the fans but they do not take into considertaion, since the 2011/12 season, players’ positions. However, there has always been a center in the first All-Euroleague Team: Nenad Krstic, Ante Tomic (twice), Boban Marijanovic, Ioannis Bourousis and last year Ekpe Udoh. In the second team have been included players like Mike Batiste, Stephane Lasme, Ante Tomic, Ekpe Udoh and at the end of the last two years even two centers, Ekpe Udoh and Gustavo Ayon in 2016, Bryant Dunston and again Ayon in 2017.

To better understand Arturas Gudaitis’ season, just note that:

–   His average index rating (15.00) is the fourth among all the EuroLeague centers (Jan Vesely of Fenerbahce is leading the league with 16.85) but he is the second per minute played (29.74 every 40 minutes), behind only Vlado Stimac of Efes (29.81 As a comparison: Vesely has a 23.47 index rating every 40 minutes spent on the court.

–   He is one of five centers averaging over 10 points per game. The best of them is still Vesely with 13.2 points per game, then there is Kevin Seraphin of Barcelona with 12.3. The others are Tibor Pleiss (Valencia) and Bryant Dunston (Efes). It is necessary to specify here that Dunston also plays as a power forwards along Stimac.

–   Gudaitis is first in two-point shooting with 75.28%. The only player over 70% among the others? Our own Kaleb Tarczewski! Five more centers are shooting over 60% in two-pointers. Gudaitis attempts 4.45 shots per game (Tarczewski 3.48), not many if compared to those of Vesely (8.55) and Seraphin (8.33) but these two are both shooting under 60% from close range. Above six shots per game on average there are Pleiss (7.10) but below 60%, then Alex Tyus, James Augustine and Bryant Dunston who are all around the six shots taken per game while shooting between the 60.74% of Tyus and the 66.67% of Augustine (who plays for Unicaja Malaga).

–   Gudaitis is also the fifth best center from the line where he converts 69.61% of his free throws (Tarczewski is the third best with 76.3%). The best is Brandon Davies of Zalgiris with 86.05% and precedes Pleiss. But he is by far the center with the most trips to the line, 5.10 times per game (Vesely is second). Jamel McLean (of Olympiacos) is first for fouls drawn per minute played.

To instead take a better look at Kaleb Tarczewski…

–   Kaleb is the sixth best EuroLeague rebounds, averaging slightly over six board per game (Gudaitis is in seventh position with 5.95). Stimac is the best rebounder, Dunston is the best shot-blocker, Vesely is the best scoring center, Pleiss is the one who appears more frequently (he averages 5.76 rebounds, is third in blocks), Walter Tavares of Real Madrid began the season late but is emerging fast (he’s first for blocks per minute, while shooting 68.49% from the field).

–   And he’s the second best shooter among centers after Gudaitis, he is third from the line with 76.03%, he’s the sixth rebounder, the sixth shot-blocker, he is fifth for free throws earned. Only as a pure scorers  he sits behind some of the opponents but globally, all things considered, he is at the top. Or close to it.