Nikola Vucevic has emerged as a quality player in the NBA in his second year. He is among the league leaders in double doubles and rebounds and has done wonders with the playing time and the opportunity given to him from this rebuilding Magic team.
Vucevic is averaging 12.5 points per game and 12.6 rebounds per game and has seen an increase from his rookie year in his per 36 minute numbers. Vucevic has climbed into the Most Improved Player conversation with his ability to work around the basket and his rebounding ability.
"One thing about Nik is he is very consistent," Vucevic's former coach in Philadelphia, Doug Collins, said on March 10. "That’s what you want from a player. Basically, every night you know what you’re going to get from him. I’m very proud of him. He has worked hard. I f you charted him in college, every year he got better. I think he is going to do the same thing as an NBA player. The big thing is just stay healthy."
His consistency has been well noted and Collins said he recognized Vucevic's skill early on in the Draft process. His playing time was cut as Vucevic struggled to get back from a knee injury in the middle of last season. Even in the Playoffs when he was theoretically healthy to play. There was some measure of frustration that the rookie was on the bench late int he season from the always fickle Philadelphia fans.
Still, Collins said Vucevic is the kind of player that could be putting up double doubles in this league for a long time to come.
It is clear too though that Vucevic has areas he needs to improve. He told Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel that he plans on spending his summer improving his strength, working on his post moves and getting some big-game experience playing for Montenegro at EuroBasket.no comments