Second-year sensation Domantas Sabonis has basketball running through his veins
With his unexpected off-season move to the Indiana Pacers, Domantas Sabonis joined a young but talented team that seemed to require some developmental time. As it turns out, the time needed was merely half a season as the Pacers placed themselves securely in a playoffs spot with their core of young stars. Sabonis stands among them in the midst of his breakout second NBA season, lodging much-improved statistics as a secondary post option for the team.
With his size, nifty left-hooks and footwork, Sabonis makes scoring in the paint look like an easy task and has the ability to step outside for jumpers as well. Combined with his toughness on the boards and cerebral post passing, the future is bright for the 21-year-old Lithuanian.
The youngster still has a long way to go to catch up to his famous father, however. Arvydas Sabonis was possibly the greatest European center of all-time. The 7-foot-3 legend was a giant of a man who had an even larger impact on the game and won every accolade imaginable in his playing career, including Olympic and FIBA World Championship titles with the now-defunct Soviet Union.
With his athleticism and inside-outside game, the elder Sabonis was coveted by the NBA and drafted in 1985 and again in 1986, but he preferred to stay in Europe for much of his career. He only joined the Portland Trailblazers past the age of 30, with injury-ravaged knees. Unable to move like he used to, Sabonis instead thrived off his insane court vision as he became one of the NBA’s best passing bigs ever.
Although he may not match up to his father in terms of build and athletic ability, Domantas Sabonis has managed to carve out a niche for himself in today’s fast-paced NBA through his versatility. The Pacers management and fans will be looking forward to him filling big shoes as he strives to live up to his famous last name.
Article written by Wong Chin Yi
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors. They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of the NBA.