Nikola Vucevic is showing signs that he’s going to be a very talented NBA player for years to come.
That’s why games this time of year, even for the Orlando Magic, are still important. To his credit, Vucevic, in his second NBA season, has some impressive numbers with 12.4 points and 11.5 rebounds a game.
His rebounding is really coming around impressively. The 7-0, 240-pound center has been using every inch and ounce of his body to box out and be a threat underneath.
Against the Milwaukee Bucks on Sunday, Vucevic showed how talented he was in the middle when he played relaxed and went about his business. He played for 42 minutes and only sat for six. He shot wisely, considering he was 10-of-16 and scored 20 points. He did not draw any fouls and the Magic need to work with him on going after the defense more aggressively every game. He did better in this area in his previous game.
But against the Bucks, Vucevic had 12 defensive and three offensive rebounds. Vucevic had four assists and two steals. He has not evolved into a shot-blocker and did have three turnovers, a stat he needs to eliminate.
He had probably an even better game two nights earlier at the Oklahoma City Thunder and saw 41 minutes. Again he was aggressive, going 8-of-15 and this time he did take the ball to the basket better considering he was 5-of-5 at the line. He was again excellent on the boards with 14 rebounds.
Vucevic is obviously too young to be a leader right now and the Magic seem to have enough young players to put it all together in the future. But Vucevic simply needs to mature. He definitely has all the skills.