By Kostas Psimoulis (Agust 2013). Body/Athleticism: Giorgos Papagiannis is intimidating from a physical perspective with his size and long reach. He stands around 2.15 while also possessing a normal wingspan. He’s neither a great athlete nor a strong player right now thus he needs to strengthen his body to compensate against more athletic opponents at the higher level. His speed is at an OK level for a very tall big man, even though he doesn’t give full effort when it comes to running the floor. With further body maturity in the years to come he is going to be a lot better as an athlete and a player.
Shooting: His shooting form looks promising to say the least. He has soft touch; he puts a good arc on the ball and extends his hands consistently well. He made only 50% of his free throws at the European Championship, though that’s more a matter of repetition, work and concentration and not a lack of talent. He feels very comfortable with his shot thus he often takes a mid-range shot from the high post area or from the short corner. If he develops himself as a good post-up and PNR player, that type of shot would be extremely valuable and would keep defenses and defenders honest. However, that’s not a shot to rely on right now.
Offense: Nowadays a lot of players are suffering from paralysis by analysis by trying to install as many post moves as they can, without being effective at none though. Papagiannis possesses a well refined right hook when turning off of his left shoulder. It’s a pretty effective move and, given his reach, it’s difficult for the defender to block or contest well enough the shot. However, Papagiannis’ effectiveness as a post-up and under-the-rim player weakens because of his inability to play through contact. He doesn’t know how to use his strength to gain a good low post position; actually often prefers a clean catch far away from the basket than a good one with a lot of contact with the post defender. If you wondering why he shot an abysmal 48% from the field, that is the answer. He shies away from contact even the times he is under the rim and the only thing it takes for a basket is a little bump into defender’s body. With a better knowledge of how to utilize his strength he would be very hard to play against. Other parts of his offensive game need refinement as well; he needs to do a better job when he is double teamed in the post, he is not a talented passer but he can develop into a good one by anticipating defenders and recognizing passing lanes better. He lacks patience and his understanding off the game looks limited right now. On the other hand, he showed good anticipation when he was playing away from the ball, making good cuts and receiving drop offs. As a PNR screener and roller he hasn’t showed lot of potential so far, but that’s maybe on the team he has been playing in.
Defense/Rebounding: Learning how to utilize his strength is critical on the defensive end as well. Papagiannis has the size and length to be good on that end of the floor, to be the rim protector while inspiring his teammates to be more aggressive on the perimeter. However, he is not that type of player right now. He played mostly inside the rim without having the directions to step out of his comfort zone and make plays above the high post area. That’s why it remains to be seen what he can or can’t do well on that end of the floor. He didn’t show the verticality a player of his reach has to show, and often played with his hands down. From a fundamental standpoint is far from calling him a sound defender right now. Rebounding-wise he didn’t showed enough prowess as well; he used to be a dominant rebounder at the U15 levels because of his excellent size, but now he needs to move to the ball instead of staying home and anticipating the rebound. His rebounding numbers weren’t impressing given the tournament he was playing in and the team’s tendency to keep him close to the basket all the time. He has potential as a rebounder, but he needs to put in great to work to develop into one.
Miscellaneous: Papagiannis is very young and still has a few mental limits. He doesn’t give his best effort every time he is on the floor. He should have dominated tournaments like the recent U16 European Championship, but actually he didn’t. He can do a lot better and I’m expecting greater performances on next year’s World Championship.
Overall: There’s talent and great potential in Papagiannis’ case. The combination of size, good hands and back to the basket game are some good things to start. By bulking up his body and learning how to use his strength he would be a dominant player on both ends of the floor without a doubt. That’s not an easy thing to do, but given his work ethic and his desire to be better he would have the chance to prove his value.