Boston Celtics’ Player Preview: Vitor Faverani

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Boston Celtics‘ newly acquired Brazilian big-man, Vitor Faverani, is probably the least known player on the entire roster. Chances are, this article could be the first time you have ever heard his name. So allow me to introduce you to Mr. Faverani. His nickname is “El Hombre Indestructible,” which is awesome. To be honest, I don’t know a whole lot about Faverani, and I’m not sure if the Celtics know very much about him either.

The Brazilian power forward/center starting out playing Spanish pro ball at 17 years of age, with Clínicas Rincón Axarquía  (which is the farm team of CB Málaga). He bounced around for a few years before eventually being promoted to the big leagues, after becoming a champion of the LEB Oro league. Last year, he played 23 games for Valencia Basket of the Spanish ACB, averaging 9.3 points and 4.6 rebounds. If all of these leagues confuse you, that’s okay, because most people haven’t heard of them either. The main point is that somehow, the Celtics thought they found a diamond in the rough, and thought it was worth a shot to roll the dice with this guy.

But at first glance, what Faverani appears to be is another version of Fab Melo. Both guys are around 7-feet tall, are viewed as project players, and are from Brazil. The biggest difference is that Faverani is probably more polished than Melo. The 25-year-old Faverani has been playing at least some form of professional basketball for the last eight years, and has also appeared on the Brazilian national team.

According to scouts and ESPN Boston’s Chris Forsberg, the upside of the big man comes offensively. He has the length and bulk to score most efficiently in pick-and-rolls at 1.2 points per possession, according to MySynergySports.com, and off offensive rebounds at 1.32 points per possession. Faverani could be an effective pick-and-pop, stretch big man, thanks to his mid-range shooting ability. He had success in such roles in Spain, that sometimes led to him stretching the floor past the international three-point line. His offensive skill set seems to actually resemble Kelly Olynyk a little. Faverani’s defensive skill set, or lack thereof, seems to resemble Olynyk’s as well, as scouts believe Faverani could be a liability on the defensive end

Faverani went undrafted in 2009 after declaring for the draft. After signing with the Celtics at the end of July, 2013 will be his first shot in the NBA. The Celtics’ frontcourt is already pretty full, especially with PF/C players (Brandon Bass, Jared Sullinger, Kris Humphries, and Olynyk). However, Faverani is the only player on the roster that is more so a natural center rather than a power forward. For that reason alone, Faverani could earn some minutes early on. He could definitely fill a role similar to the one that players like Shavlik Randolph, Jason Collins and Ryan Hollins have played in the past few years.

If nothing else, the Celtics will need a solid big man role player to add some size to the equation this year. “El Hombre Indestructible” is that guy.

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