Week 1 Analytics Report: Aliens
DUSAN BULUT, Pick & Roll Maestro
Highly-decorated FIBA 3X3 point god who set the BIG3’s all time single-season assist record last year en route to leading the Aliens to the league’s playoff semifinals. Former No. 1 ranked FIBA 3X3 player in the world and widely considered the greatest 3X3 player of all time. 10-year veteran of the FIBA 3X3 World Tour, where he’s a 4x MVP and 4x champion. Led Serbia to the Bronze Medal in Men’s 3X3 Basketball at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Across two B1G3 seasons with the Power and Aliens, Bulut is averaging an all-around impressive 16.0 PPG 4.0 REB 3.8 AST per game. Although his shooting efficiency has been a tale of two seasons. During the 2021 campaign, he was one of the best shooters in the league (55% FG / 61% 2P / 46% 3P). But during 2022, his splits were down across the board (35% FG / 39% 2P / 30% 3P). Last summer, we saw him attack the basket less and instead settled for more perimeter jumpers. He attempted an astounding 6.6 3PA per game (2nd most in the BIG3) and 50% of his shot attempts came from beyond the arc. The majority of his 2PA came via midrange fadeaways after plays broke down. When he does get into the teeth of the defense and around the basket, he’s very aware of his lack of size and much prefers to make the extra pass. Greatest strength is his playmaking ability. Savant in the pick-and-roll. Set the BIG3’s all time single-season assist record (36) last summer. The key to defending him is to play with great physicality and not allow him to control the game.
TOMISLAV IVOSEV, High IQ Big Man
Incredibly crafty post player possessing a wealth of FIBA 3X3 experience alongside Dusan Bulut. What he lacks in athleticism, he makes up for in fundamentals. 13-year overseas veteran who’s been playing professionally on the FIBA 3X3 circuit since 2016. Recorded 12 PTS and game-high 9 REB against the Ball Hogs last summer in one of his best BIG3 performances. Ivosev’s preference is to operate in the post, but at the same time he will not pass up an open 3PA. During his overseas career, he averaged 3.1 3PA per game despite shooting just 27% 3PT. Despite his 6’9” frame, he plays primarily below the rim. And what he lacks in athleticism, he makes up for with supreme craftiness, polished fundamentals, and veteran patience. Utilizes variety of pivots and series of shot fakes to wear down his defenders in the post. Loves to go up-and-under around the basket. Possesses significant experience playing 3X3 with fellow countryman Dusan Bulut. Their rapport in the pick-and-roll is second nature at this point. Expect them to run lots of it. Ivosev is a great screener with a wide body, so we’ll need to be prepared to fight through his physical screens. With Deshawn Stephens no longer on the roster, we can expect Ivosev to step into a major starting role on this summer’s team. Defensively, he lacks lateral quickness and loves to hard hedge against the PNR, so our bigs need to make quick decisions to pop or roll with Leandro ready to split the D or make a quick pass to take advantage of his slow feet.
KOSTJA MUSHIDI, Trigger Happy Wing
Lengthy, perimeter oriented scoring wing who loves to jack catch-and-shoot threes and drive left. Possesses a sneaky 7-foot wingspan, but isn’t much of a defender. Former highly-touted Belgian shooting guard who — while teaming up with R.J. Barrett and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander at the 2017 Nike Hoop Summit — led the World Select Team in points scored while breaking the international team’s record for 3PM and 3PA. Led Team Germany in scoring and to a bronze medal at the 2018 FIBA U20’s European Championship, which led to his brief inclusion on the German National Team. Mushidi was actually considered a 1st Round NBA Draft prospect back in 2018 before having off-the-court issues. Spent the past two seasons playing for Syntainics MBC in the Bundesliga. Similar to Janis Timma, Mushidi prefers to operate from the perimeter. 209 of his 342 shots (61%) came from beyond the arc this past season, where he shot a respectable 35% 3PT. The key is to make him put the ball on the floor and limit his standstill jumpers. Per Synergy, Mushidi scored 1.12 points per shot (PPS) on catch-and-shoot jumpers compared to just 0.81 PPS on off-the-dribble jumpers. He’s a below average finisher around the basket. Shot just 50-for-95 (53%) within 3-feet this season and just 55% on dunks and layups over the past 3 seasons. He wants to drive LEFT! 65% of his drives were to the LEFT this season! And oftentimes he’s not getting all the way to the rim. Nearly 40% of his drives left result in pull-up jump shots.
ALONZO GEE, Powerful Rim Attacker
Freakishly athletic, 8-year NBA veteran who hangs his hat on heart, hustle, and highlight reel dunks. Flashed his two-way abilities on the wing last season for the Triplets. Former G League ROY and 8-year NBA veteran. Prototypical slashing wing. Wants to attack the rim at all times. During his NBA career, shot an eye-popping 43% of his attempts within 3-feet of the rim (this is an incredibly high rate) where he finished at an elite 62% clip. More than one-third of these rim attempts were dunks. Doesn’t shoot a lot of threes, but when he does they typically come from the corners. 58% of his career 3PA came from the corners. He knocked down two clutch corner threes against the Ball Hogs last summer. Plays primarily off-the-ball and likes to hang out on the wing. But he’s a great cutter, and the moment you take your eyes off him he’ll backdoor defenders for a wide-open dunk. Big body, plus defender with active hands who led the Cleveland Cavaliers in steals in back-to-back seasons during the 2012 and 2013 NBA seasons. Solid rebounder as well, particularly on the offensive end. You ABSOLUTELY MUST put a body on him when the shot goes up or else he will sky over top of you on the offensive glass. You can’t take any rebounds for granted when Gee is on the floor. He will chase loose balls and try to pick-your-pocket when clearing the ball beyond the arc. Overall, just a terrific complimentary player who knows his role and doesn’t try to do too much. But we can’t take him for granted because he’s a dog.
JANIS TIMMA, Jumbo 3PT Specialist
Hyper athletic Latvian swingman with a quick trigger who’s put his legendary dunk contest days behind him and now operates almost exclusively beyond the arc. Former Memphis Grizzlies’ 2nd round draft pick who turned pro at 15 years old and spent the predominant part of his 15-year career in his native Latvia. Finally came to the States to play for the Orlando Magic G-League squad during the 2021-22 season. Big body, freak athlete who was a 2x Latvian Dunk Contest champion in his past life. Always been somewhat of a 3PT specialist, but his dependence on the 3PT shot has become almost silly as he gets older. Let me explain. 60% of his career shot attempts have come from beyond the arc — where he’s a career 37% 3PT shooter on nearly 2.5k career attempts. However, over the past 5 seasons more than 72% of his shots have come from deep, and during his 1-year stint in the G-League a mind-boggling (!!) 102 of his 127 shots (80%) came from 3PT range. For context, Golden State Warriors’ star Klay Thompson has taken just 46% of his career shots from beyond the arc, and Klay’s single-season high 3PT attempt rate of 58% is lower than Timma’s career average. He possesses an incredibly quick trigger and lets it fly without hesitation. Rarely puts the ball on the deck, but when he does it’s typically for a one-dribble stepback three. Bigs must keep their heads on a swivel when Timma has the ball on the perimeter, as he isn’t shy about throwing the ball down-low and showcases surprisingly nifty touch.
WILL BYNUM, Microwave Playmaker
Electric, ball-dominant playmaker who's super shifty side-to-side. Will be very interesting to see how he plays alongside Dusan Bulut. Very strong playmaker. Assisted on 31% of his team’s made baskets while on the court during his 8-year NBA career. Not much of a threat from the perimeter. Just a 31% 3PT shooter on 1.7 3PA per game during his professional career. He wants to get to the midrange!! He’ll pass up 3PA for the more comfortable long 2PA. Totally unphased by a hand in his face and doesn’t shy away from tightly contested midrange jumpers. During his NBA career, his shot distribution was as follows: • 38% of shots were at the rim!! • 54% of shots were within 10-feet • 8% of shots from short midrange • 25% of shots from long midrange!! • 12% of shots from 3PT range Despite being just 6’0” he’s a very strong finisher around the basket, where he shot nearly 60% during his NBA career. Lastly, he’s from Chicago!! He’ll feed off the home crowd. Back in Season 3 Week 7, he scored 33 pts and hit the game-winner for Bivouac when they played in Chicago. He’ll want to show out in front of his home crowd.
TONY CRISWELL, Versatile Swingman
Highly versatile wing who's a menace on the defensive end and offensive glass. Not the greatest playmaker in the world, but he makes up for it with his endless motor. Very strong rebounder, especially on the offensive glass. He’s only played one career BIG3 game (when he served as an injury replacement for Bivouac back in 2021), but he stuffed the stat sheet with a 19-pt 15 reb performance!! Below average, yet willing outside shooter. Shot just 31% 3PT on 2.7 3PA per game during his 8-year international career. Doesn’t do much playmaking for others. Recorded just 135 career assists in 152 professional games (0.9 AST per game). When he touches the ball, it usually results in a shot. Active defender. Despite his size, he’s not much of a rim protector. But he hustles and moves his feet very well. Not much of a leaper. But pretty strong and not easily bullied in the post unless there’s a big height difference. Overall just a solid complimentary player who hustles and plays solid defense. Albeit he shoots a little too much and is a bit undersized to guard true post players. We should be able to take advantage of him down low when Ivosev goes to the bench!!