Evaluating Zvonimir Ivisic in an Adriatic League Game

May 14th, 2022

by Alan Lu

Today, I took the time to see SC Derby’s 7-2 Croatian center, Zvonimir Ivisic play in an Adriatic League game against Cedevita Olimpija that was played on December 18th, with thanks to YouTube via ABA Liga j.t.d.  He is an agile, skilled center that can score the basketball in a variety of ways, and he is an energetic big man that will rebound the basketball, block shots, and help his team protect the paint.  I took the time to watch him play to get a better feel for his skills, as he could potentially project well into the modern NBA.  Here are my thoughts on how he fared, as well as how his game may translate to the next level.

7-2 Croatian center, Zvonimir Ivisic is a skilled big man that projects to be a second round prospect for the 2022 NBA Draft.
(Photo:
Nikola Vuruna/Igokea, via ABA Liga)

Zvonimir Ivisic is an agile, skilled center that has a variety of skills that could make him an intriguing prospect for the NBA.  He’s not overly fast or explosive, but Ivisic moves well for a big man, and he is an active defensive presence that has fairly solid shot blocking instincts.  He also will look to take threes, which is encouraging, but he will still need to improve his ability to make shots on a consistent basis.

Ivisic thrived at scoring on hustle plays.  He managed to score on a quick put back very early in this game.  He also ran the floor and scored on the break, and he took on considerable contact on that possession.  Plus, Ivisic showed a satisfactory ability to score in the post.  He backed his man down and used a drop step to score on a right-handed, hook shot.

Plus, Ivisic was able to make a quick, open corner three off the catch to showcase his outside shooting skills.  However, he missed threes quite often, and he had trouble finding his shooting touch for most of this contest.  He also used a pump fake and attempted to score on a baseline drive, but he ended up missing the shot short in traffic.

He also showcased satisfactory playmaking skills.  Ivisic posted up off of an offensive board, and he threw a timely pass to a cutter to set up a score for him early on.  He also ran the floor and threw a nifty, wraparound pass to find an open teammate on the break.  He also would set screens, and he also was able to help his teammate get an open jump shot once.  On the downside, he tried to catch an inaccurate lob early on, but the ball ended up going through his hands before going out of bounds.

Also, Ivisic did a decent job of rebounding the basketball.  He was able to get multiple boards on both ends of the floor.  Sometimes though, he would bobble balls on rebounding attempts before it would go to other players, and he would sometimes allow opponents to get offensive boards in his area.

Defensively, he looked to be about average at best.  Ivisic is a solid shot blocker that has the length, timing, and instincts to really excel at doing so.  He rotated to the post to emphatically block a shot to himself.  He also nearly blocked two other shots that resulted in goaltending calls, as he was just a bit late on the other plays.  He also would rotate to contest shots both out on the perimeter and in the paint to force misses.  He also deflected an entry pass to nearly get a steal.  On the downside, he tended to over-help in the paint, which would lead him to give up too much space to shooters and allow them to score on open three-point shots.  He also had some trouble defending opponents off the dribble, and he would tend to pick up quick fouls.  Another time, he didn’t fight through a screen and lost track of a cutter to allow the basket.

In general, Zvonimir Ivisic is a very tall, agile center that can make shots in a variety of ways, and he also will rebound and block shots.  He will need to improve his ability to knock down outside shots, and he will need to add more strength to be able to match up stronger opponents in games.  Overall, he is a talented prospect that seems to have a decent amount of upside.  He’s not a polished player right now, but Ivisic’s size and intriguing skill set could make him an intriguing option for NBA teams to consider in the second round of the 2022 draft.  If he stays in the draft, he will need to go to a patient team that is willing to develop his skills for the long haul, and if so, they could reap the rewards for doing so.  In a favorable scenario, Ivisic could project to be a fairly solid rotational center similar to Sacramento Kings’ big man, Chimezie Metu in the NBA.

Other Notes:

Kenan Kamenjas had a productive season in the Adriatic League for SC Derby overall, but in this game he struggled to make plays on offense in his team’s loss to Cedevita Olimpija.  He is an interior player that will look to score and rebound the ball in the paint, but he also struggled to match to taller, more athletic opponents due to his lack of elite athleticism.

He was at his best when he would look to score in transition as well as out of the post.  Kamenjas was able to score in transition, and he would tend to draw free throws when making strong moves around the basket.  However, sometimes he would try to shy away from contact, and he would take tough, turnaround jumpers that would result in misses.  He also had trouble making shots from further out, and he missed on an open mid-range shot early on.

He also was quite turnover prone on offense.  For the positives, Kamenjas would look to pass out of the post to find the open man, and he would set solid screens to help his teammates get open jump shots and driving lanes.  He also was able to throw a timely pass out of the high post to set up a score for a teammate.  However, he had trouble handling the ball when pressured, which would lead him to commit ball-handling turnovers.  He also telegraphed a dribble handoff pass that got intercepted in the backcourt.  He also dropped a pass that led to another turnover.

Also, Kamenjas did an adequate job of rebounding the basketball.  He was quite active at chasing balls down to get offensive boards due to possessing a solid motor.  However, he would sometimes not properly box out his opponents, as he would allow opponents to get offensive boards in his area.  He also played fairly average defense in this game.  Kamenjas was able to poke a ball away and chased it down to get a steal.  He also was able to contest shots both out on the perimeter as well as in the paint to force misses, and he would use his length and timing to do so.  On the other hand, he would often get beat on moves when defending in the post, which would lead his team to commit fouls and allow scores.  He also didn’t communicate to a teammate that a back screen was coming or rotate in time, as his team allowed a score around the basket.  Other times, he would give up too much space to shooters to allow scores to them.

Overall, Kenan Kamenjas is a big man that had a solid season overseas overall, but his limited athleticism, mobility, and shooting range may make it unlikely for him to be drafted by a team in the NBA.  He will need to extend his shooting range and improve his perimeter skills.  If he does make it to the NBA one day, perhaps he could end up getting spot minutes at the back end of a team’s rotation, but it’s likely that he will spend the entire duration of his professional basketball career overseas.

SC Derby’s 7-1 center, Tomislav Ivisic also was able to get considerable playing time in this game.  He is a good screen setter that would help his teammates get open jump shots and driving lanes to set up numerous scoring chances for them.  He also collected a lot of steals in this game.  However, he struggled to make shots on offense, and he also didn’t rebound the basketball well when he was on the floor.

Ivisic was at his best when he would look to score in transition and on broken plays.  He was able to score on a powerful dunk off of a broken play.  He also ran the floor to get the basketball, and then drew free throws later on.  However, he had trouble scoring in the post or off of mid-range jumpers.  He often had trouble finding his shooting touch, and he also would tend to miss shots weakly around the basket.

He also displayed adequate playmaking skills.  Ivisic was able to get the ball on the move, and then passed to a cutter to set up a scoring chance for a teammate.  He also did a good job of setting screens for his teammates to get them open shots and driving lanes.  However, there was one play where he didn’t jump up to try to make a play on a slightly inaccurate pass his teammate threw to him, which led his team to commit a passing turnover.  Another time, he had a ball stolen away from behind when trying to dribble it up the court.

Also, he did a terrible job of trying to rebound the basketball.  Ivisic doesn’t have good hands, and he would often fumble and bobble balls on rebounding attempts that would go to other players.  He also wouldn’t properly box out his opponents as he would get outmuscled, and he would frequently allow opponents to get offensive boards in his area.

He also played fairly average defense.  Tomislav Ivisic did a great job of getting his hands on passes to get steals, and he also rotated to contest a floater to force a miss.  However, he tended to take bad gambles, as he would commit reach-in fouls when defending in the post, and he also missed on a steal attempt when defending a cut to allow a score.  Sometimes he would have lapses, as he would not always communicate to his teammates where screens were or how they should defend them, and he also didn’t always hustle back on the defensive end.

Overall, Tomislav Ivisic didn’t have a great game, as he struggled to make shots or rebound, and he also committed his fair share of defensive mistakes.  On the plus side, he grabbed many steals and excelled as a screen setter.  He will need to continue to develop and polish up his game, and he may be far away from being ready to play in the NBA.  He will need to get stronger, improve his hands, and improve on both sides of the ball.  If he doesn’t make considerable strides to do so, he still could carve out a career as a backup center in professional basketball.

Danilo Ivanovic is a skilled playmaker that excelled at making plays in limited minutes for SC Derby in this game.  He showed off versatile scoring skills when he was on the floor.  Ivanovic was able to make a quick, open three to show off his shooting skills.  He also drove hard to the hoop off of a screen to score while also getting fouled.

He also was able to find the open man to get the ball to his teammates, and he showed that he can use a pump fake and throw an array of passes to do so.  Ivanovic was able to chase down a loose ball to get a defensive board and then pushed the ball up the court afterwards.

Defensively, he looked to be about average at best.  He was able to defend an opposing ball handler up the court and cut off penetration to force a miss.  However, he can sometimes struggle to defend opponents off the dribble and off screens.  On one play, he fouled a three-point shooter right as he made it, which led him to give up a four-point play.

Overall, Ivanovic had a solid showing in this game.  He is a crafty scorer that can make shots in a variety of ways, and he generally excelled as an offensive player and rebounder in this game.  He will need to improve his defense and get more playing time in games, but he could be a prospect to watch in the future.

Dan Duscak is an agile, skilled Slovenian point guard that plays for Cedevita Olimpija.  He is a tenacious defender that was able to apply a full court press to hound his opposing ball handler early on, and he also would actively fight through screens.  On the downside, sometimes he would take a misstep when defending opposing ball handlers in the half court, which would lead him to get beat off the dribble.  Another time, he didn’t actively contest a mid-range jumper, which led him to allow the score on that occasion.

Overall, Duscak is an unselfish player that will look to move the basketball, and he is competitive player that can apply good ball pressure on the defensive end.  He will need to improve his shooting and focus defensively, but his defensive potential and ability to make team plays could enable him to carve out a long playing career in professional basketball.

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