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Philipp Neumann continues to improve

April 20th, 2013 · No Comments

Philipp Neumann has been considered a high-level talent for a long time already. But this season is the one where he really emerges on the top level in Germany and shows what potential he has. The 2m09 big guy, who was moving between PF and C in the youth categories playing often facing the basket has now totally settled as a low-post presence for the German champion Brose Baskets Bamberg.

After a full Euroleague season where Neumann saw good minutes in the regular season and the Top16, the German big guy had to step back a bit in the rotation when A.J. Ogilvy got healthy again. But the slight injury of Maik Zirbes brought Neumann back on the court and he even started some games. He had though his best game of the season this weekend when the Brose Baskets played against ALBA Berlin. Coming from the bench to replace Zirbes, Neumann immediately established good positions in the low post against the French National Team player Ali Traoré. Not afraid at all to attack the French big on the first touch, Neumann score out of a back-to-the-basket situation going on his left hand to connect on the layup.

Neumann continued to dominate Traoré in the low-post, scoring also on the left handed hook shot. He made the ALBA big guys run as he was going hard on the fast break as a trailer as well. The 1992 born player has improved his positioning and showed that he has learned how to draw a charge in Euroleague style. In the second half, Neumann missed an open mid-range jump shot that he took with full confidence after having scored the tough one-handed dunk with the foul. The German prospect is really focusing on the things he can do and has dramatically improved his attitude to the game compared to his youth days. Additionally, he has found the necessary concentration to be regular from the free-throw line. He made 30 out of 36 free-throws overt the last five game which is not only a great percentage for a big guy but also an excellent capacity of drawing fouls on the offensive end.

On the downside, you have to notice that Neumann is still not a good enough defensive rebounder for his position. Over the season, he is only averaging 1.8 boards on the defensive end which is subpar for a center. Even when he is playing more than 20 minutes per game, his defensive rebounding average remains low with 3.0 rebounds. Even though, Neumann is doing an excellent job boxing out and hustling to get the boards, his overall numbers remain low in this part of the game. His low-post defense has improved during the Euroleague season too and he can now hold his own in the Bundesliga against the best centers of the league. Avoiding to use his two arms, Neumann likes to establish good positions and take the charge when the offensive player lowers the shoulder.

Overall, Neumann looks to be on the right way. Still not being considered as a serious NBA prospect because of his lack of outstanding athletic abilities, the 2m09 tall inside player will most likely have to move back to the PF position if he wants to have a chance in the big league. Before that is going to happen, he needs to become the regular contributor on the German League level and help his team to improve their record in next season’s Euroleague. He will automatically eligible for the NBA Draft in 2014 where he should be able to draw some attention at least in the second round as mobile and scoring big men close to seven feet are still rarity on both sides of the Atlantic ocean.

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