Assessing Anzejs Pasecniks Again in a Spanish ACB League Game

June 5, 2017

By Alan Lu

Lately, Gran Canaria’s 7-1 center Anzejs Pasecniks from Latvia has been receiving significant buzz, as he could be a potential first round pick in the 2017 NBA Draft.  This time around, I wanted to see him play once again as his draft stock has risen considerably over the past couple of months.  With thanks to YouTube via Mickey Mickeal, I was able to see his team play against Laboral Kutxa Baskonia in a May 28th game, as I was able to see the 1st half and the 2nd half of this contest.  Here is how Pasecniks fared, as well as how he may rate as a prospect for the NBA.

Anzejs Pasecniks can get numerous buckets off of hustle plays.  Early in this game, he rebounded his teammate’s miss to score on an emphatic tip slam.  Plus, he also will look to cut to the basket and roll to the hoop, and he also runs the floor well.  Pasecniks can finish plays around the basket, and he can make tough catches amidst a crowd.  However, he may struggle to score in traffic at times, as he once had his shot blocked from the weak side after quickly rolling to the rim.

He also showed decent low post scoring skills.  Pasecniks managed to score once after catching a tough pass in the post, and he was able to pivot to score using the glass.  He also can draw fouls upon his defenders, especially if they look to reach in too much.  He only used basic moves in this game, but they were effective nonetheless as he was still able to score on the block.

Pasecniks also may an adequate shooter for a player his size.  He is very tall, as that allows him to shoot over many defenders that guard him, and he was able to knock down a long two-point shot off the catch.  However, he did end up passing up a couple of threes even though he would have had plenty of space to take those shots, but he may have displayed below average playmaking skills.  Pasecniks did not make any noteworthy passes, but he would set numerous screens for his teammates, as he would roll at times, and pop on other plays.  On one play, one of his screens freed up a shooter to set up a score for his team.  Also, Pasecniks managed to bring the ball up after blocking a shot to himself once.  But he did commit one turnover, as he was called for an off-ball foul trying to set up in the post once.

He also showed a below average ability to rebound the basketball.  For the positives, Pasecniks is active at crashing the offensive glass, and he can quickly score after grabbing boards for his team.  Also, he will box out his man, as he can allow his teammates to collect defensive boards.  However, Pasecniks can tend to be out of position when going for rebounds, and he can tend to show poor timing in trying to go for balls even when they are in his area.  Another time, he was called for an over the back foul when going for an offensive rebound on a separate occasion.

Pasecniks also showcased good defensive skills.  He has good length, quickness, and timing to block shots, as he is an agile center that can swat shots to protect the basket.  Plus, he also managed to jump up for a loose ball in mid-air to get a steal for his team.  Also, Pasecniks may possess an adequate ability to defend the post as well as on pick and rolls, but sometimes, Pasecniks can pick up quick fouls, as he can be over-aggressive in making plays on defense.  While he may usually make solid rotations, sometimes he can be late at times, as that may lead his team to allow scores on occasion.

In general, Anzejs Pasecniks is a very tall, mobile center that has been excelling in some of the toughest professional leagues in basketball.  His ability to score in a variety of ways, combined with his ability to defend the paint, combined with possesses above average physical tools could enable him to be a potential late first round pick in 2017.  But he will still need to improve his passing and rebounding abilities.  If he can continue to refine his overall game, Pasecniks could end up being an effective role player in the NBA.

Other Notes:

I did not look to watch the other prospects in this game that much, as I was pouring my focus and energy to watch Anzejs Pasecniks, but I did note a few good things that some of the players did in this game.

Laboral Kutxa Baskonia’s Tadas Sederskis was able to make a solid play in the middle of the game, as he ran the floor, and jumped up to score after catching a nifty lob pass on the break.  Sedekerskis possesses very good hands, and he is a good athlete that could be an interesting prospect for the 2018 NBA Draft.

Baskonia’s center Ilimane Diop managed to set a good, firm screen on offense, as he freed up his teammate to score on an open drive to the hoop late in this game.  Diop is a tough, physical big man that can be an active interior presence in the paint for his team, and he could be a potential late second round pick this year.

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