Assessing Michalis Lountzis
June 7th, 2020
by Alan Lu
I decided to take the time to watch GS Lavrio’s 6-4 guard, Michalis Lountzis play in a Greek League game against Rethymno that took place on February 22nd, as I was able to see this with thanks to YouTube via EPT A.E. Lountzis is a skilled combo guard that will automatically be in the 2020 NBA Draft due to being a 1998-born International player, and he played fairly well in a very tough professional league this season. I set out to watch him play to see how well his game would translate to the NBA, and to get a sense for where he may be at as an overall player right now.
Michalis Lountzis showed an adequate ability to score on drives to the basket. He would use a quick ball fake prior to driving left, and he was able to score on a strong layup to the hoop in traffic once. He tends to favor going to his left, but he excelled at using his body to draw contact in order draw numerous fouls upon his defenders to often get to the free throw line. However, he tended to struggle to score against taller, more athletic players when he wouldn’t get foul calls, as he would tend to miss on contested runners and layups in other situations.
He also did a good job of knocking down jumpers to provide some floor spacing for his team on offense. Lountzis was able to dribble to his right to make a deep, pull-up three from beyond the arc. He missed another time from downtown, but he was able to show that he can knock down outside shots from long distance.
He also showed that he can score out of the post. Lountzis used a drop step move to score on a put back after leaping up to get an offensive rebound. However, on another play, despite using a pump fake, he still ended up getting his shot blocked on a separate possession.
Plus, Lountzis also displayed decent playmaking skills. He can throw accurate long passes to set up scoring chances for his teammates on the move, and he threw a crisp lob pass to help get his teammate an alley-oop dunk on the break. He is an unselfish player that will look to find the open man, and he also can lead the break. However, he also would sometimes throw inaccurate passes, and he threw one ball that sailed out of bounds early in this game.
Also, he did a very good job of rebounding the basketball. Lountzis would actively crash the glass to haul in multiple boards on both ends of the floor, and he also pushed the ball up the court after getting one defensive rebound in the second half.
Lountzis also played fairly good defense. He is an active help defender that can get steals and blocks, and he can make numerous plays to do so. He closed out on hard on a shooter, as he didn’t bite on a pump fake and managed to block a corner three due to possessing good length, timing, and instincts. He also raced in and leapt up to quickly intercept a pass to get a steal, and he also rotated to poke a ball away in the post to collect another. He also managed to help poke a ball off of an opponent out of bounds to force another turnover. Also, he would use his length to contest jumpers and to close out on shooters to force misses, and he also has pretty quick feet to make his rotations. Sometimes though, he would get beat when defending opponents off the dribble or on a cut, which would cause him to commit fouls and allow scores. He also had some trouble defending screens, as he would get caught or go the wrong way when trying to stay with his man. Other times, he would be too aggressive in going for steals, which would lead him to commit reach-in fouls.
Overall, Michalis Lountzis is a skilled, combo guard that played fairly well this season in the Greek League when he was on the floor. However, he also played in just 8 games, so he didn’t play a whole lot of basketball this year. Right now, he may be an unlikely bet to be drafted, as he didn’t play much basketball and does not have much draft buzz. There are other concerns he may face, as he may lack elite foot-speed at the point and is undersized to play out on the wing, but his ability to make plays on both ends of the floor combined with his ability to make quick decisions in games could allow him to be an effective rotation player in the NBA in the near future.