Matas Buzelis: Rising Star of G-League Ignite Eyes Top NBA Draft Pick Amidst Injury Setback and Tactical Challenges

6-foot-10 forward Matas Buzelis is a projected 11th pick in the upcoming 2024 NBA Draft. Buzelis, a Chicago-area-native, plays for the G-League Ignite and throughout the season has been showcasing his talent of handling the ball and creating for his teammates.  

This season he’s averaging 13.4 points , 6 rebounds, and 1.9 blocks per game with looks of having a great feel for the game. Buzelis is a multi-skilled big man, has a high offensive IQ, and showcases great lateral quickness on the defensive end of the floor. 

He’s had some comparisons to NBA players such as Clippers Forward Paul George and Hornets Guard Lamelo Ball because of his creative ability and fluidity of movement says his skills trainer Dmitry Pirshin.  

The Ignite have had a tough season so far, currently standing 11th in the G-League Western Conference with a record of 11-21. The Ignites top scorer Ron Holland will miss the remainder of the season due to a thumb injury and will focus on getting healthy so he can partake in the pre-draft process. 

Holland’s absence will open the opportunity for other players and Buzelis to have a primary role on the team. 

Buzelis experienced an injury setback at the beginning of the season but has steadily improved as the season has progressed. The prospect is recognized for his impressive size and proficiency as a perimeter shooter, yet he has encountered significant challenges shooting from long range in the G League, managing only a 29% success rate from beyond the arc.

Buzelis is aware of his areas of weakness, he stated, “To grow you have to go through struggles.” With that mindset it’s certain that he’ll go far as a player and individual. 

Should Buzelis manage to boost his shooting frequency, enhance his accuracy from long range, and demonstrate more of his primary playmaking skills as the season progresses, he could substantially elevate his draft prospects. While achieving this won’t be simple, the potential for it exists.

Credit – G-League

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