Serbia faces star-studded France in a EuroBasket second stage game Sunday after dropping to 4-3 with Friday’s loss to Ukraine in which Warriors No. 1 pick Nemanja Nedovic scored just three points off the bench.
Nedovic hasn’t looked like the “European Derrick Rose” as advertised on draft day, at least not in the tournament – okay his tomahawk slam against Macedonia should be on the FIBA highlight reel.
[VIDEO: Nedovic dunk in transition]
He’s started 2-of-7 games and been the sixth man in the rest averaging 7.9 points, 2.9 rebounds, 2.7 assists, and 1.3 steals in 25.7 minutes per game.
Not bad numbers considering this is the best competition he’s faced, but his shot has been way off in both second stage contests: 1-for-7 from downtown and 1-for-4 from the floor. And point guards can’t average 1.6 turnovers in limited time.
He’ll heat up. He shot 45.4 percent in 25 games with Red Star Belgrade in 2011-2012, but only 21.6 percent from beyond the arc.
Last season in 10 games with BC Lietuvos Rytas in the more competitive EuroLeague his field goal percentage dropped to 36.7 while his 3-point percentage rose to 34.3.
Meaning? It was harder to drive on better defenders so his short-range numbers fell, but his long-range shot improved.
[RELATED: Nedovic career stats]
Nonetheless, Nedovic has looked solid attacking the basket, creating for his teammates and putting up stiff defense.
He needs to step up if he’s going to help Serbia upset France.
Why is France the favorite?
Well there’s Tony Parker and Boris Diaw from San Antonio and Portland’s Nicolas Batum in the starting lineup.
Oh yeah, Alexis Ajinca (2008 first-rounder) and Mickael Gelabale (2005 second-rounder) are there too.
Don’t count out Serbia though.
Power forward Nemajna Bjelica (2010 second-rounder), center Nenad Krstic (Eight-year NBA veteran), and top swingman Bogdan Bogdanovic are a formidable line who can all score.
Serbia needs Nedovic has to bring his Derrick Rose-game today, and it’s quite possible he will.