Signature Moves: Toko Shengelia

May 18, 2020 by Euroleague.net Print
Signature Moves: Toko Shengelia

KIROLBET Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz's Toko Shengelia fits the bill as the prototype of the modern power forward. Over the years, Shengelia has added more and more features to his game to truly become an all-around player with very few weaknesses. One of the things that make him special is his outstanding ballhandling, which allows him to run the floor like a point guard and often finish a fast break with a dunk or a three-point play opportunity. Shengelia is faster and has more stamina than most power forwards and takes full advantage of it, running the floor as often as possible to get easy baskets in transition.

Viewing Shengelia as just a mobile power forward would be a great slight to one of the top players in the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague. Shengelia is an outstanding low post player with a nice set of moves highlighted by an effective turnaround jumper. He has also extended its shooting range to beyond the three-point line and has already hit twice as many shots from downtown this season(34) than his previous best in the competition (25 in the 2017-18 season). Still, running the floor the way he does generates a lot of advantages in transition as he takes the ball downcourt and finishes strong at the rim with great speed and coordination. By outrunning every big man on the court, Shengelia often gets on the break as the perfect option to finish as the trailer by being ahead of his defender. Shengelia is never afraid to attack the rim, even in traffic, and serves as a great example of "Baskonia Character".

His all-around improvement and impact on Baskonia's game can be seen in his 2019-20 EuroLeague stats. Shengelia has raised his scoring average from 11.4 to 15.9 points per game. Despite ranking third in two-point shots attempted (8.3) and taking more three-pointers than ever (3.1), Shengelia is shooting the ball with high percentages (58.6% 2FG, 39.1% 3FG) this season. He has the ball in his hands more often thanks to another improvement in his game, passing, and has boosted his assists average from 1.6 to 2.9 assists per night. Shengelia remains a strong rebounder (5.6 ppg., 11th overall) and helps in the passing lanes (1.0 spg.), too. The next step for Shengelia? Improving his free throw shooting. A career 70.4% free throw shooter, Shengelia is up to 76.9% this season. An All-EuroLeague First Team selection in 2017-18, the 28-year-old Shengelia will remain a EuroLeague MVP candidate for years to come.