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Aych: Marcin Gortat Shows Impressive Low-Post Skills in Eurobasket Competition

I briefly wanted to note this bit of news on Marcin Gortat's play in Eurobasket. Jay Aych of The Painted Area--whose coverage of the tournament is thorough, insightful, and engaging--came away impressed with Gortat's offense in Poland's recent loss to Turkey:

Maybe Marcin Gortat is more than just a defensive & rebounding presence. Looks like Marcin can show D-Howard a few things about post footwork. Marcin put on a clinic. That's right, Gortat put on an offensive clinic.

Marcin did most of his work on the left block, usually choosing to turn right shoulder. He had two quick baseline spin moves for reverse lay-ins, two turnaround jumpers, and a nice up/under step-thru into a scoop shot. Marcin even hit a 12-foot jumper coming up thru the lane off a baseline screen.

Wait, we're not done yet. Maybe Marcin's most impressive move came when he faced up from just below the right elbow and proceeded to drive into a spin move that he finished off with a lefty hook. Maybe this game was a one-off, but maybe Stan [Van Gundy] needs to add some Gortat plays to his Magic playbook.

It's interesting to read about Marcin's offensive game developing, since he's little more than a pick-and-roll finisher/garbageman in the NBA. There's nothing wrong with that, because he's converted a tidy 56.4% of his shot attempts in his two NBA seasons, but the Magic's offense has to adjust ever so slightly when Gortat replaces Howard, whose power game is slightly more refined. Gortat hasn't shown a consistent ability to create for himself at the NBA level, although I know I'll never forget the nifty hook he flipped in over Rasheed Wallace in his rookie season, which you can see at about the 2:06 mark of this highlight reel. Thus, Aych's report is encouraging to Magic fans perhaps concerned that Gortat can't maintain that level of efficiency as his career progresses.

Maybe nothing comes of this news, and Gortat continues to be a highly efficient garbageman in the NBA. But maybe, just maybe, his solid performance against Turkey isn't a fluke. It'd make the Magic that much more dangerous.

A final note on that game: Aych says former Magic forward Hedo Turkoglu "hit two back-2-back 3pters midway thru the 4th that put the game out of reach, then knocked in a long 2-pointer a few minutes later." Sufficient evidence to illustrate that not everything from that game is surprising.

UPDATE: Aych's recently posted preview of the Qualifying Round has more to say about Marcin:

Marcin Gortat has been an interior force and also turned himself into an offensive juggernaut in the last week. Gortat is averaging 17 ppg (5th best) on 67% (4th best) & 11 rpg (2nd best).