Thoughts on Filip Petrusev and Malcolm Cazalon
January 30th, 2021
By Alan Lu
Recently, I decided to take the time to watch Mega Bemax’s 6-11 center, Filip Petrusev play in an Adriatic League game against Mornar that took place on October 31st, as I was able to see this with thanks to YouTube via ABA liga j.t.d. Petrusev used to play at Gonzaga, and he had signed with Mega Bemax when he was briefly in the 2020 NBA Draft before later withdrawing from the draft. He stayed overseas, and he has played very well this season. This game also presented another opportunity to watch his teammate, 6-5 French guard, Malcolm Cazalon. Here are my thoughts on how both Petrusev and Cazalon played, as well as how their games may translate to the NBA.
Filip Petrusev played very well in his team’s loss to Mornar. He scored 29 points on 14 of 21 shooting, made a three-point shot, and he also had 5 rebounds and 3 blocks in this game. He especially excelled at scoring in the post, and he is a skilled, agile big man that does a very good job of scoring in the paint.
Petrusev did a good job of scoring in the post. He would often score on strong layups and step-through moves, and he is willing to absorb the contact to score and draw fouls upon his defenders. He also is an agile big man that would score on quick, baseline drives, and he also was able to throw down an emphatic two-handed dunk once. Sometimes though, he would take tough, contested shots that would lead to misses.
He also excelled at scoring on hustle plays. Petrusev especially excelled at scoring on rolls to the rim. He would tend to score in traffic, and he also scored on an emphatic dunk once. He also caught a lob pass to score on an alley-oop layup. He also was effective as a scorer in transition, as he would run the floor to score around the basket. He also managed to score on a quick put back after grabbing an offensive rebound. He struggled a little more to score on put backs, as he missed on a tip-in, and he also missed on a turnaround, fadeaway jump hook off of an offensive rebound, and sometimes he can be prone to rushing his shots at times.
Also, Petrusev flashed the ability to knock down jumpers in this game. He was able to make an open, spot-up three off the catch. However, he missed on two other three-point attempts, and he also missed on a long two-point shot after running off the ball to get it on a separate play.
As a playmaker, he looked to be fairly average. Petrusev is a solid screen setter that would help get his teammates open jump shots, which would enable them to score on mid-range jumpers. Sometimes though, he was a bit turnover prone. He would sometimes commit ball-handling turnovers. He spun towards the baseline from the post, but lost the ball out of bounds once after getting bumped by his defender. He also was called for stepping out of bounds in the corner off of a drive, and he also was called traveling from the post another time due to carelessness.
On the downside, he didn’t rebound the ball very well in this game. For the positives, Petrusev was very active at crashing the offensive glass to help his team get offensive rebounds. He also was able to chase down a couple of balls to get defensive rebounds. However, sometimes he would not always show great rebounding instincts, as opponents were able to get balls in his area, and sometimes he wouldn’t jump up or show great balance on certain plays where balls would go to his opponents instead.
He also played decent defense in this game. Petrusev excelled at rotating to block shots to help his team protect the paint due to possessing solid length, mobility, and timing. He also would contest threes as well as shots off of drives to force misses, and he also dove on the ground to try to get a loose ball another time. However, he would tend to sag too far off shooters, and sometimes he wouldn’t even make an effort to contest the shot, which would cause him to allow scores to shooters. He also struggled to defend pick and rolls, as he would not drop back far enough on drop coverages, which would lead his team to allow scores around the basket. Other times, he would be late on his rotations or not always make plays on the ball, which would lead him to allow opponents to score at the rim.
Overall, Filip Petrusev had a solid showing in this game, as he particularly excelled at scoring the basketball against Mornar. He will need to look to pass the ball more, and he will need to improve his rebounding and on-ball defense. Still, he is a skilled, mobile big man that showed versatile scoring skills, solid screen-setting skills and some shot-blocking prowess. He is having a very good season overseas this year, and he could be a solid value pick for an NBA team in the late first to the second round range, as he could project to be a solid rotational big man similar to Raef LaFrentz in the NBA.
Mega Bemax’s 6-6 French guard, Malcolm Cazalon played fairly well in his team’s loss to Mornar. He is an athletic, energetic combo guard that showed off versatile scoring skills, and he also is an active defender that can get steals for his team.
He did a good job of knocking down threes to help space the floor for his team. Cazalon was able to make a quick, open spot-up three off the catch late in this game, and he also would’ve made a couple of corner threes had his teammates not committed a foul or traveled on those plays other times. He did miss on a deep three early on, but Cazalon showed the he is a solid shooter that can score on spot-up opportunities.
Cazalon also excelled at scoring on hustle plays. He would tend to score in transition. He drove up the court to score on a high-flying dunk, and he would tend to throw down jams to help his team on offense. He also ran the floor hard to get the ball another time to score on a quick layup in traffic. However, he struggled to score on half-court drives. He would tend to miss on rushed, off-balanced layups, and he would tend to go too fast and out of control when trying to score on those plays.
Also, he displayed satisfactory playmaking skills. Cazalon is an unselfish player that can pass and handle the basketball, and he throws good passes off the dribble as well as solid entry passes to set up scoring chances for his teammates. He also will push the ball up the floor off of defensive rebounds, and he can draw fouls when handling the ball in the open court.
Plus, he also was able to chip in to get his fair share of boards to help his team on the glass. Cazalon was able to leap up to get a defensive rebound, as he then pushed the ball up the floor. He also ran in to tip a ball to a teammate to help his team get a defensive board another time.
He also played fairly good defense in this game. Cazalon excelled at forcing turnovers, and he would apply considerable ball pressure to do so. He was able to run in to intercept an entry pass to get a steal, and he also poked a ball away to collect another. He also ran in to get to a pass that was deflected by his teammate. Plus, he also would contest threes to force misses, and he would go quickly around screens to defend opposing ball handlers. On the downside, he struggled to defend opponents off of screens at times, as he would go too far over the top, as his team allowed a score on a roll once, and he also took an opponent down off the ball to commit a foul on a separate play. He also fouled a three-point shooter due to being too aggressive on the closeout. He also struggled to defend a drive another time, as he fell and allowed an opponent to go right by him to allow the score.
Overall, Malcolm Cazalon is an athletic, skilled combo guard that can make solid plays on both ends of he floor. He is playing very well for Mega Bemax in his role this year, and he has shot the ball very well this season. He has been an inconsistent shooter in previous seasons, and he will need to improve his rebounding, but Cazalon is starting to play some of his best basketball this year. He is an athletic, skilled guard, and he could be a solid pick for an NBA team especially in the second round range, as he may have the skills to thrive as a role player in the NBA.