Top 5+1 Centers in Euroleague for the 2023-2024 Season.

Top 5+1 Centers in Euroleague for the 2023-2024 Season.

When it comes to the center position, Europe seems to have limited options. Generally, teams across Europe lack strength in this area, with only a few boasting strong personalities on the floor. Some teams, however, can afford to have two competent centers, like Olympiacos with M. Fall and N. Milutinov, despite grappling with several injuries this year. Real Madrid also stands out with two stellar players in this position, V. Poirier and W. Tavares. In this article, we’ll delve into who the best centers in the Euroleague for the 2023-2024 season are, analyzing their playing characteristics and identifying their weaknesses.

1. Mathias Lessort – Panathinaikos.

M. Lessort currently holds the top spot, according to the Euroleague rating system, as the best center for the 2023-2024 season. His standout attribute lies in his dynamism under the basket. One notable aspect of his game is his ability to provide crucial assists to guards, facilitated by his agility to move off the rim, set screens, and elude opponents to receive assists for scoring.

However, Lessort encounters difficulties when opponents manage to keep him slightly away from the basket. Given that his strengths do not lie in mid-range scoring, he tends to struggle in such situations. Consequently, if he faces limitations due to the opponent’s muscular strength or displacement, he finds himself at a disadvantage. Nevertheless, he remains a player capable of breaking down defenses, distributing the ball on the perimeter, and offering numerous solutions to the Panathinaikos offense.

Characteristics of M. Lessort.

Advantages:

  • Scoring near the basket
  • Power
  • Intelligence
  • Passing ability
  • Helping the guards
  • Defense
  • Flexibility
  • Rebounding
  • Jump

Disadvantages:

  • Difficulty with stronger opponents
  • Mid-Range scoring
  • Speed

2. Jan Vesely – Barcelona.

Jan Vesely is arguably one of the best centers in the Euroleague this year. He has been instrumental in Barcelona’s success in many games, showcasing several offensive qualities and excellent rebounding abilities both offensively and defensively. His versatility is also a notable asset. Offensively, he can score from various positions near the basket and even from mid-range. While strength may not be his strongest attribute, he can hold his own, even when not dominating under the basket.

However, Vesely faces difficulties against opponents who can move away from the rim, such as Serge Ibaka. Additionally, defensively, he is not as dominant and sometimes allows opposing centers to score or rebound with relative ease.

Characteristics of Jan Vesely.

Advantages:

  • Jump
  • Intelligence
  • Scoring at mid-range distance
  • Flexibility
  • Scoring near the basketball court
  • Speed

Disadvantages:

  • Defense
  • Rebound
  • Passing

3. Nebo Josh – Maccabi Tel Aviv.

Josh Nebo could currently be at the top of the Euroleague’s rankings for its rating system, relative to other centers. He is a strong player with a great jumper, possessing offensive and defensive gifts. Nebo exhibits versatility, easily breaking free from his opponents, and scores close to the basket with ease. He has delivered outstanding performances with Maccabi, and undoubtedly, alongside W. Baldwin, he is one of the key players on this year’s team, leading them to the 7th spot in the Euroleague.

However, he faces a problem similar to that of M. Lessort. When matched against physically stronger players or those with greater displacement, and when he finds himself away from the basketball court, he struggles to cope effectively. Additionally, one of his disadvantages is in team play, as he rarely passes to an open teammate and tends to attempt to finish plays on his own, even when the conditions are not in his favor.

Characteristics of Josh Nebo.

Advantages:

  • Power
  • Jumping
  • Flexibility
  • Scoring from close range
  • Defense
  • Rebounding

Disadvantages:

  • Difficulty with stronger opponents
  • Passing
  • Mid-Range scoring

4. Serge Ibaka – Bayern Munich.

Although Serge Ibaka missed some games due to injury, he stood out from the entire Bayern Munich squad this season. He is a quality player with excellent physical skills, versatility, and the ability to score with ease from any position, including three-point range. With strength, agility, and speed, he distinguishes himself from the traditional centers typically seen in the Euroleague competition.

He often struggles against centers who can keep up with him down the court and defend him away from the rim and basket. However, he is a player who provides assistance to his teammates and contributes with assists, making him a well-rounded player.

Characteristics of Serge Ibaka.

Advantages:

  • Jumping ability
  • Rebounding
  • Scoring from any position
  • Speed
  • Intelligence
  • Assisting teammates
  • Passing
  • Flexibility
  • Defense

Disadvantages:

  • Power
  • Difficulty with opponents who follow him in defence

5. Walter Tavares – Real Madrid.

Walter Tavares is a straightforward center with defensive and offensive skills. He possesses strength, bulk, rebounding control, and the ability to score from close and mid-range. He nearly has all the attributes a center needs, providing valuable solutions to Real Madrid, who currently top the Euroleague standings.

However, he typically encounters difficulties when facing a more versatile center who can evade him with agility rather than relying solely on power. His relative slowness means that a more mobile player can pose problems for him.

Characteristics of Walter Tavares.

Advantages:

  • Rebounding
  • Defense
  • Power
  • Scoring from close range
  • Scoring from medium range

Disadvantages:

  • Speed
  • Flexibility
  • Passing

6. Moses Wright – Olympiacos.

I could have chosen M. Fall, as he is arguably one of the best centers in the Euroleague right now, but I opted for Moses Wright for the following reasons. Firstly, he is a recent addition to Olympiacos, and in this short period of time, despite fluctuating performance, he has shown promising signs. Wright possesses a great jumper, strength, and quickness, and he demonstrated his scoring ability, even from the 3-point line, as seen in Olympiacos’ recent game against Crvena zvezda. He is a fairly complete center, with both defensive and offensive skills.

Currently, he hasn’t received many minutes in the court, but if we have to point out his weaknesses, it’s mostly against opponents who are stronger than him and can outmuscle him near the basket.

Characteristics of Moses Wright.

Advantages:

  • Flexibility
  • Jumping
  • Defense
  • Scoring from any position
  • Speed
  • Intelligence
  • Strength

Disadvantages:

  • Rebounding
  • Passing
  • Assisting teammates

Comparison of the top Euroleague centers for the 2023-2024 season.

Let’s examine the individual statistics of the players to compare their performance:

Player NamePOINTSREBASTSTLBLKPIR
Mathias Lessort13.86.21.21.10.819.1
Nebo Josh11.07.20.60.50.816.6
Walter Tavares9.66.41.50.61.414.9
JAN Vesely13.04.51.31.10.516.3
Moses Wright10.02.50.61.40.912.1
Serge Ibaka12.66.81.20.51.215.8

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