Evaluating Roko Prkacin in an Adriatic League Game

January 28th, 2021

By Alan Lu

This time around, I decided to watch Cibona’s 6-9 forward, Roko Prkacin play in an Adriatic League game against Igokea that took place on December 18th, as I was able to see this with thanks to YouTube via ABA liga j.t.d.  He played fairly well, and he is an athletic, skilled player that can handle and score the basketball.  Here are my thoughts on how he fared, as well as how his game may translate to the NBA.

Cibona’s Roko Prkacin played well in this game, and he had 14 points and 6 rebounds in his team’s loss to Igokea.
(Photo:
Cibona/Zeljko Baksaj & Domagoj Vranar & Gordan Lausic, via ABA Liga)

Roko Prkacin put forth a fairly good showing in his team’s loss to Igokea.  He is an athletic, skilled forward that can handle and score the basketball.  He showed off versatile scoring skills, and he really was able to pour on some points late in this game.

Prkacin did a good job of scoring on hustle plays.  He can use either hand to score off the dribble in transition.  He was able to score on a strong left-handed drive on the break.  He also went coast to coast off of a defensive rebound, and he used a behind the back crossover move, and a stutter step prior to score on a quick layup while getting an extra free throw another time.  Plus, he also was able to draw free throws after receiving the ball on a backdoor cut to the hoop.

He also showed a solid ability to score in the post.  He possesses good footwork and scoring touch, and he would often use dribble moves to score on smooth, turnaround jumpers.  He also used a drop step move to score on a layup another time.  He did miss once on a quick, turnaround floater, but Prkacin showed a knack for scoring on quick jumpers from the block.

He also did a decent job of knocking down jumpers to help provide his team with some floor spacing on offense.  Prkacin was able to use a quick hesitation move, as he sidestepped to his left to make a pull-up three from beyond the arc.  However, he missed on two-other spot-up threes off the catch other times.

Also, Prkacin displayed decent playmaking skills.  He is a tall, skilled playmaker that can operate as a point forward, and he is an unselfish player that will make the extra pass to keep the ball moving.  He passed the ball well from the post, and he was able to find a cutter to notch an assist due to displaying good patience and court vision that time.  He also can handle the ball in the open court, and he also will set screens to help his teammates get open jump shots. 

He did commit a few turnovers, but a couple of them did not seem to be his fault.  He threw an entry pass that his teammate dropped to an opponent, and his teammate just botched an attempt to catch the ball early on.  He also was called for an offensive foul when jostling for position off the ball, but it seemed as if his opponent clearly flopped on the play.  He did throw an inaccurate pass that sailed out of bounds, as that was likely due to miscommunication, as he thought his teammate would keep running to catch the ball that time.

He also showed a satisfactory ability to rebound the basketball.  Prkacin would chase down balls to help get his team rebounds, especially on the defensive side of the ball, and sometimes he would push the ball up the court afterwards.  He also tipped a ball to a teammate to help his team get an offensive rebound. 

Defensively, he looked to be about average at best.  He seemed to struggle on this end for most of the game, but he was able to play solid defense down the stretch late in this contest.  For the positives, he was able to stay with an opposing ball handler to block his shot on a turnaround jumper due to possessing solid length and timing.  He also was more active in contesting jump shots as the game progressed, and he also showed the ability to quickly hedge out and switch onto opponents out on the perimeter.  Sometimes though, he would over-rotate, which would lead him to commit fouls.  He bumped into an opposing ball handler once, and he also fouled a shooter on a corner three to give his man free throws another time.  Other times, he would give up on plays, as he would not always make the attempt to contest jump shots, which would lead him to allow opponents to score around the basket.

Overall, Roko Prkacin played fairly well in his team’s loss to Igokea.  He is an athletic, skilled forward that can score the basketball, and he also is a solid ball handler.  He will need to improve his rebounding and defense, but he is definitely talented enough to be drafted in the first round this year.  Currently, he would project to go in the mid to late first round range, and he has the skills to thrive as a role player in the NBA.

Other Notes:

Cibona’s 6-6, Croatian-born point guard, Lovro Gnjidic was able to get some playing time late in this game.  He showed a decent ability to pass the basketball, and he is an unselfish player that can throw solid long, passes as well as handle the ball, but his teammates dropped a couple of catchable passes on rolls to the rim. He was able to draw free throws on a crafty, reverse layup off the dribble, but Gnjidic also missed on a couple of rushed layups in traffic two other times.

Gnjidic did a decent job of rebounding the basketball.  Defensively, he looked to be about average.  He is an aggressive defender that will apply heavy ball pressure, and he was able to poke balls away to nearly get steals.  However, would sometimes overdo it, which would lead him to bite on pump fakes and commit reach-in fouls.  There was another play where he stumbled and fell when guarding an opposing ball handler, as he allowed his man to score on a mid-range jumper from the baseline.

Overall, Gnjidic is an athletic point forward that may be more of a project player right now.  He hasn’t really seen consistent playing time, but he’s played well in limited minutes in both leagues.  He’ll likely need to play more, but if so, he could be worth a flyer late in the second round as a draft and stash pick as a prospect for a future draft.

Cibona’s 7-1, 2000-born Croatian center, Danko Brankovic played late in this game, and he played well from a defensive standpoint against Igokea. He played solid defense in this game.  Brankovic would rotate to swat shots to help his team protect the paint due to possessing solid length and timing.  He also would contest jumpers on switches to force misses.  He also actively defended an opposing ball handler out on the perimeter, and was able to get his opponent to pass the basketball.  He was called for an off-ball foul in the post, but it seemed as if he and his opponent were just jostling for position instead.

Plus, he also showed a solid ability to rebound the basketball.  He was active at crashing the glass, and he would leap up to get boards on both ends of the floor.

Brankovic also excelled at scoring on hustle plays.  He was able to run in to score on a tip-in after leaping up to grab an offensive rebound.  He also would set screens and roll hard to the rim.  However, he will need to improve his hands, as he ended up dropping a couple of catchable passes on rolls to the rim out of bounds.

Overall, Danko Brankovic is a strong, mobile big man that could project to be a defensive specialist in the NBA if things break his way.  He will still need to expand upon his skill set offensively, and he will definitely need to improve his hands to be able to catch basketball consistently on off-ball motion plays.  If he can continue to improve as an overall player, he could be worth a flyer late in the second round as a draft and stash pick in a future draft.  Otherwise, he could still end up being a fairly solid rotational big man overseas, even if he doesn’t end up playing in the NBA one day.

Cibona’s 6-8, 1999-born forward, Toni Nakic also played a handful of minutes, as he also started this game alongside Prkacin and three other players.  He didn’t play very well, but he had some good moments at times. He was able to use a crossover move as he dribbled to his left to make a pull-up three due to possessing good footwork and shooting touch that time, but Nakic struggled to make spot-up threes from beyond the arc in this game.  He excelled at scoring on hustle plays. 

Nakic was able to slip past defenders to score on a cut.  He would’ve scored on a put back off of an offensive rebound, but was called for a push in the back, even though he didn’t appear to touch the defender, and the defender had flailed to exaggerate what had happened.

Also, Nakic displayed decent playmaking skills.  He can pass off the dribble as well as throw solid interior passes to set up scoring chances for his teammates.  He was able to kick a ball out to a shooter to notch an assist.  However, he also was called for setting a moving screen, as he cleared out with his arm off the ball another time.

He didn’t grab many rebounds though, and he also seemed to struggle defensively.  He didn’t always contest shots when he was in the area, and sometimes he would over-help and leave his man open to allow scores around the basket.

Overall, Toni Nakic didn’t have his best game, but he is a tall, skilled ball handler that can help his team on offense at his current level.  He doesn’t possess ideal physical tools, and he will need to improve his jump shot and defense.  Right now, it seems that he would be an unlikely bet to be drafted by an NBA team.  Still, he seems to have a solid feel for the game, and his ability to move the ball and score on off-ball motion plays could enable him to carve out a long career as a professional basketball player overseas.

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