Assessing Andrea Mezzanotte
April 25th, 2020
by Alan Lu
I decided to take the time to watch Dolomiti Energia Trento’s 6-9, 1998-born forward Andrea Mezzanotte play in a October 16th, Eurocup basketball game against EWE Baskets Oldenburg, as I was able to see this with thanks to YouTube via AB – Basket. Mezzanotte is an Italian born forward that can shoot the basketball, and he has shot the ball well this year in a high level professional league. I set out to watch him play to get a better feel for his strengths and weaknesses. Here are my thoughts on how he fared, as well as how his game may translate to the NBA.
Andrea Mezzanotte is a tall, spot-up shooter that can knock down jump shots off the catch. He was able to make an open corner three, and he did a good job of making threes efficiently from beyond the arc. He didn’t get many touches on offense, but he was able to help space the floor for his team. Plus, he also ran the floor to score on a smooth layup on the break later on in the third quarter. He also had a chance to score in the post, but he ended up missing on a quick jump hook that time. He didn’t look to score off the dribble in this game, and he did not get many touches on offense overall, as he was mostly used a low usage role.
He also displayed fairly average playmaking skills. Mezzanotte is an unselfish player that will look to find the open man, and after posting up, he threw a pass across the paint to set up a score for his teammate. He also set an on-ball screen to help get his teammate an open jump shot that helped his team get another basket. He also will set plenty of screens for his teammates, and he usually pop off of them to present himself as a scoring option out on the three-point line. However, he rarely looked to handle the basketball, and he committed one turnover early in the second half when he tried to force in a tough inbounds pass that got deflected off of his teammate out of bounds.
He didn’t grab many rebounds in this game, but Mezzanotte was able to get a pair of defensive boards that went right to him, and he initially pushed the ball up the floor on one rebound early on before passing the ball off to a teammate. He also managed to tip a ball to a teammate to help his team get an offensive board on a separate possession. However, he didn’t seem to show great rebounding instincts in this game. He tended to get late jumps when pursuing boards, and there were several balls that he missed out on in which he allowed his opponents to get offensive rebounds in his area.
Mezzanotte was able to make some solid plays on defense, but he will still need to improve his ability to guard opponents on this side of the ball. For the positives, he would use his length to contest jumpers to force some misses, and he also managed to contest a shot in the post to get a stop another time. He also managed to fight through a screen to successfully challenge a three-point shot late in the second quarter.
On the downside, he tended to get outmuscled when defending in the post, as he was overmatched when going up against the much stronger and more powerful, Nathan Boothe when defending on the block. Mezzanotte had trouble holding position on the defensive end, and he would tend to commit fouls as a result. He also would tend to not communicate to his teammates that the screen would be coming, so his teammate would end up getting blindsided on cuts and on pick and rolls to allow scores. He also sometimes would be unfocused on the defensive end, which would cause him to be late on his rotations. He also wasn’t tasked to guard quicker wing players, so he didn’t really get to show if he can consistent defend athletic playmakers out on the perimeter.
Overall, Andrea Mezzanotte had a solid season overseas with Dolomiti Energia Trento in the Italian League, and he shot the ball well in his role with his team. On the other hand, he is a low volume offensive player that didn’t shoot the ball very often when he was on the floor, and his only plus-level skill may be his ability to shoot the basketball. Right now, he doesn’t have much draft buzz, and he may be a long shot to be drafted as he has only one standout skill, but his size, adequate physical tools, and his solid ability to make jump shots could enable him to compete for a roster spot in the NBA.