Signature moves: Scottie Wilbekin, Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv

May 07, 2020 by Euroleague.net Print
Signature moves: Scottie Wilbekin, Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv

To sum up Scottie Wilbekin of Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv as a great three-point shooter would be a great disservice to one of the top guards in the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague. However, there is no doubting that Wilbekin’s pull-up three is one of the most-dangerous weapons in the league and he uses it to set himself – and teammates – up for scoring opportunities that have led to him ranking fifth in the league in scoring this season with 16.1 points per game. Watch Wilbekin play long enough and you will see him sink three-pointers in a variety of different situations. With the ball, aside from his pull-up, he can also use the dribble to get defenders off balance and then shoot a step-back triple. And he is just as dangerous off the ball when he comes off screens to bury catch-and-shoot jumpers. But the weapon that preoccupies all of his defenders is the pull-up three.

Thanks to his seemingly unlimited shooting range, Wilbekin's defenders must be aware that he can let it fly almost as soon as he crosses the half-court line. However, if they overplay him so far from the basket, Wilbekin's breathtaking speed allows him to blow by defenders and break down defenses. They are then at his mercy whether he wants to pull up from closer range, attack the rim or force the defense to help and then spot the open man; Wilbekin leads Maccabi with 3.4 assists per game. His 90 three-pointers this season are the most in the league and the vast majority of them have come unassisted; Altogether this season, Wilbekin has accounted for 419 points and was assisted a mere 54 times.

Wilbekin is now in his fourth EuroLeague campaign and second with Maccabi. He joined Darussafaka Istanbul after the start of the 2015-16 season and went on to lead his team in scoring as a rookie with 10.3 points per game despite coming off the bench in 15 of his 20 appearances. A year later, he raised his scoring average to 11.6 points and helped the team reach the EuroLeague playoffs for the first time. Wilbekin reached star status in his third season in Istanbul when he led the team to the 7DAYS EuroCup crown and was the competition’s MVP of the Regular Season, Semifinals and Finals. He led the competition with 19.7 points per game and had at least 20 in five of his six elimination-round games – including a semifinals-record 41 on 10-of-15 three-point shooting in Game 2 of that series against FC Bayern Munich. He joined Maccabi last season and in little time became a fan favorite and this season has the Israeli champs in the thick of the fight for homecourt advantage in the playoffs.