Breaking down what Goga Bitadze brings to the Pacers

Indiana Pacers Goga Bitadze (Photo by Ron Hoskins/NBAE via Getty Images)
Indiana Pacers Goga Bitadze (Photo by Ron Hoskins/NBAE via Getty Images) /
2 of 3
Goga Bitadze of the Indiana Pacers
TEL AVIV, ISRAEL – JANUARY 09: Goga Bitadze, #11 of Buducnost Voli Podgorica in action during the 2018/2019 Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Regular Season Round 17 game between Maccabi Fox Tel Aviv and Buducnost Voli Podgorica at Menora Mivtachim Arena on January 9, 2019 in Tel Aviv, Israel. (Photo by Seffi Magriso/EB via Getty Images) /

Goga Bitadze is extremely capable on offense

Bitadze excels as a pick and roll big man, his 6’11 250 pound frame and soft touch helping him dominate around the basket. In the Adriatic League, it was clear he was too good for the league at many instances, bullying his opponents.

Bitadze is a monster foul-drawer, with an absurd 0.801 free-throw rate in the Adriatic (for comparison, former Adriatic giant and Portland Trail Blazer Jusuf Nurkic posted a .793 free-throw rate in ABA play). Here’s Bitadze backing down former Saint Mary’s powerhouse Jock Landale with ease.

Goga’s vertical spacing out of the pick and roll is going to be a bankable skill for him on day one. His size, fluidity moving and touch makes him a tough cover as a roll man. He finishes with both hands, over and through contact.

Where Goga stands out from the glut of replaceable big men is with his skill game and IQ, first as a shooter. He only shot 31.2 percent from range in the EuroLeague, but his 40 percent across all competition is a closer reflection of his true shooting ability. His touch around the basket is apparent on his three-pointers, as he shoots an easy ball, this one on the pick and pop from NBA range.

As a passer, Bitadze is a mixed bag at this point. Bitadze is a solid overall decision maker and his lack of great passing chops doesn’t damage his game much due to his general decisiveness and ability around the basket. In the EuroLeague, his 0.83 assist/turnover ratio is solid for a 19 year old big given the circumstances.

However, he does miss far too many open windows at this point, leaving open shooters stranded on the perimeter.

More from 8 Points, 9 Seconds

Bitadze does flash some passing vision in a variety of situations, offering some optimism for him as a passer in the future. He’s shown the ability to hit the weak corner out of the short roll.

Here’s a nice kick out of the post when Bitadze catches the eyes of the help defenders latching onto him, Goga feeds the backdoor cutter.

Goga has the right idea here trying to locate the cutter, but he should have threaded the initial bounce pass instead of lobbing and turns it over.

For a big of Goga’s dimensions, he is surprisingly mobile, fluid and coordinated in space as a handler. How many near seven foot, 250 pound big men can pump a three and attack a closeout as fluid and quickly as Bitadze does here?

How many bigs can block a shot, lead the break and finish the play with a dump-off pass for the assist?

With his handle, shooting and pick and roll finishing, Bitadze’s has the skill and IQ to separate himself from the pack of bigs on offense, even if he never develops into a plus passer.

Speaking of defense…