Golden State Warriors player in playoff rotation: Nemanja Bjelica
Nemanja Bjelicia played well in Saturday’s win over the Bucks, and while he’s been in and out of the rotation, he brings what neither other big man does — shooting.
While Otto Porter Jr. provides some presence from three-point land, he doesn’t have nearly the size that Bjelicia has. Bjelica is also a better playmaker on the offensive end and can defend guards defensively, a combination ideal for Steve Kerr’s system.
He slows the pace and isn’t the best rebounder for his size, so the weaknesses are there. But, he’s really the only sharp-shooting big man the Warriors have, nailing 33% of his three-point attempts and 45% of his field-goal attempts.
Bjelica’s also versatile, ending with 6 points, 6 rebounds, and 5 assists against the Bucks. He’s averaging 5.8 points, 3.9 rebounds, and 2.0 assists per game this season in just 15.4 minutes of action.
His minutes are low, and he’s not quite as good from deep as Porter Jr. The size he brings matters, and what he can do differently from Kevon Looney and James Wiseman could be important against teams like Phoenix and Utah where floor spacing could be at a premium.