Bjelica Continues to Blossom in Sacramento
Since arriving to the Association in 2015, Nemanja Bjelica has been looking for a chance to showcase the talent that made him a EuroLeague MVP. So far this season, he’s been seizing his opportunity.
The Serbian native entered the 2019-20 campaign on the heels of a solid first year with the Kings but this season has proven to be even more fruitful in his first season under head coach Luke Walton.
Through 39 games, No. 88 is posting career-highs across the board with averages of 11.7 points, 6.4 rebounds, and 2.5 assists. HIs three-point percentage (41.7) leads the Kings and is good for 17th in the entire League.
“The first four years I was just [told] to stand in the corner in the NBA,” Bjelica told Jason Jones of The Athletic. “And now I have a big opportunity, so it’s not a bad feeling.”
This past December, Nemanja made a strong statement in a two-game span in Texas. First, he tied a career-high by dropping 30 points in a win against the Dallas Mavericks.
The very next night in Houston, he proved why he earned the nickname Professor Big Shots.
“So what I’ve known of Belly from watching throughout the years in the league, he’s a space four man,” Coach Walton told The Athletic. “And as I get to know him, see what he’s capable of, talk to him, find out more about him, he’s much more than that. He’s a skilled player.”
Bjelica’s role as a stabilizing force for Sacramento has been key as the Kings continue to navigate what has been a turbulent season thus far. Despite the struggles, Sactown continues to hover around the Western Conference playoff picture as the squad seeks to get back on track in the new year.