Signature Moves: Bojan Dubljevic, Valencia Basket

Jun 19, 2020 by Euroleague.net Print
Signature Moves: Bojan Dubljevic, Valencia Basket

In modern basketball, it is important to have big men who can spread the floor with their outside shooting, use high basketball IQ in pick-and-roll situations, and possess solid post skills with which to dominate in the low post. Only a select number of centers can perform well in all three situations. Count Bojan Dubljevic of Valencia Basket as one of them. Dubljevic is in his seventh season at Valencia and has made history as a two-time champion of the 7DAYS EuroCup and that competition's all-time leader in scoring, rebounds and performance index rating. He has also showcased his skills in three Turkish Airlines EuroLeague seasons. Over the years, Dubljevic has mastered one of the most effective plays in basketball, the pick-and-pop, to find good shots from the perimeter.

Making the right decision quickly is Dubljevic's forte. He reads pick-and-roll defenses superbly to consistently find an advantage. If there is no switch but his defender strays to help stop the ballhandler for whom he set a pick, Dubljevic smoothly pops to open space along the three-point line for an easy shot. If the defense tries to switch, of course, Dubljevic will roll off the pick to take his now-smaller defender closer to the basket. What distinguishes Dubljevic and lets him make both plays, however, is his deep range and very quick shot release, especially from his favorite spot, the top of the three-point arc. Dubljevic has the bonus of counting on three good pick-and-roll point guards: Guillem Vives, Sam Van Rossom and, especially, Quino Colom, who always puts the ball in the right spot. Even though Dubljevic and Colom see limited playing time (Dubljevic 23 minutes per game, Colom 18), they connected for 31 assisted baskets last season, ranking 13th in the competition.

During the incomplete 2019-29 season, Dubljevic was one of just four EuroLeague players 2.05 meters or taller to make more than 20 three-pointers, each of them downing 30 or more, which set that quartet apart from the rest of the league's big men in terms of outside shooting. Dubljevic led all centers in three-point attempts (3.3 per game), most of them off pick-and-pops or early open shots in transition situations. With all of versatile his weapons, Dubljevic ranked ninth in the EuroLeague with 14.2 points per game, but sixth when scoring was prorated over 40 minutes (24.2). On a per-minute basis, Dubljevic was also 10th in rebounds (11.0 per 40 minutes) and fourth in performance index rating (30.7). Just as important is the confidence everyone in Valencia has in the club's franchise player. Everyone trusts Dubljevic's three-point and pick-and-pop skills. At age 28, entering the prime of his career and recently signed by Valencia until at least 2023, Dubljevic is capable of shooting Valencia to the next level in the EuroLeague.