Vucevic Continues to Be One of NBA's Best Post-Up Players

Josh Cohen
Digital News Manager

INDIANAPOLIS - Nikola Vucevic, an All-Star this season for the first time in his career, is an extremely versatile offensive player.

It’s hard to say at this point what specifically he’s best at considering he’s very good, if not elite, across the board. He’s become an excellent outside shooter. Very few players, if any, have better footwork down low. He can back down any defender and score from either side of the hoop, and he’s an underrated cutter.

But where he separates himself from the other premier centers in the league is in his ability to make smart decisions when he posts up.

Since Jan. 31, Vucevic leads the NBA in post-up assists with 19 of them, per Second Spectrum tracking data. Second in this category during this stretch is Karl-Anthony Towns with 14 dimes, third is Kevin Durant with 13 and Draymond Green and Al Horford are tied for fourth with 12 each.

Vucevic is also neck-and-neck with Nikola Jokic for most kickout pass assists during this time, per data.

For the season, Orlando’s big man ranks No. 3 in total passes made when he posts up, only behind Towns and Durant.

As is true for several of his teammates, notably Evan Fournier and Aaron Gordon, playmaking has become one of Vucevic’s key strengths. The 28-year-old has a very high basketball IQ, which helps him accurately read defenses and make sharp decisions.

When opponents choose not to throw a double team at him, Vooch is quick to react and take advantage of the one-on-one matchup. His precision with his hook shot has been very impressive all season. With this shot type, the eight-year NBA veteran is shooting 55.6 percent, nearly 11 percent better than last year. He ranks fourth in the league in post-up scoring, only behind LaMarcus Aldridge, Towns and Joel Embiid.