European Prospects

News about Young European Basketball Prospects

Martynas Gecevicius shooting star

November 4th, 2009 · 2 Comments

The Lithuanian guard is on fire during the beginning of this season so it was time to take a closer look at the Lietuvos Rytas player. Martynas Gecevicius, who I follow for quite a few years now is finally getting the playing minutes with Rytas to show what he is able to do on the highest European level.

The first thing you see when Gecevicius is on the court is of course his shooting skills. The 1m93 tall player has probably one of the quickest shot releases in the Euroleague, even if he is firing up a bit low, the ball not being above his head when taking the shot. But despite doing so, he is able to make the long distance bombs even with a defender on him. This does not change the mechanics he has on his shot which are totally automatic and consistent what ever happens. His open three point shot from the corner falls right now nearly automatically too; even with a poor 1/6 long range effort, he is at 50% from behind the arc in the ongoing Euroleague season.

Another important thing about Gecevicius’ shot and release is that he can go for an immediate shot after the catch. He does not really need to prepare his shot as he is always waiting in the perfect position to take it. This is highly helpful for him in order to knock it down during the short moment he will be open after the catch. He is mainly a catch-and-shoot player from behind the arc for his team, but he can convert he mid-range jump shot as well, also on the fast break. He moves very well without the ball in order to be in the perfect passing angle for the dribbling player and to get the open position against the defense.

When it comes to the penetration plays, Gecevicius looks a bit more limited as he barely has a left hand. A large majority of his drives go over his right hand, where he can create the open spot for himself or for a team mate. His ball handling on those occasions is quite ok, you can see him go for cross-over or spin moves, but mostly on his right hand alone. When going to the left, he does it for getting the one-dribble jump shot, where he is not that automatic right now.

During certain moments, Lietuvos Rytas uses him as PG, a role where he is still learning and that may be his future. Despite being quite a good but also fast passer on the swings for example, his limits on his left handed dribbling make him quite predictable in what he does so that the defense can put a lot of pressure on him and force the turnovers. You could see him however score an underhand floating layup of the glass out of such a PG situation where he use a horn-setup to get open.

Gecevicius is not a liability on defense at all. He has improved his lateral speed and can now guard quicker guards. He may not become a lock-down defender probably, he misses the athletic abilities to do so, but his long minutes on the court show that his coaching staff is not using him just as a pure offensive player. If he continues his Euroleague season on the level where he started it, he may be a hot candidate for the Euroleague Rising Star trophy this season, a nice symbol in a year where he is automatically eligible for the NBA Draft.

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