Quietly and slowly, talented big man Erazem Lorbek is living up to the expectations he had created for himself at the junior level (at least up to a certain degree). Considering his performances over these last few months, very few people think that he won't become at least an important player in Europe now.
This season Lorbek has added some aggressiveness to his game, which allows him to live a better life inside the paint as a big man. As a result, his rebounding production has improved, his defense is more reliable, and he feels more comfortable when it comes to using his excellent various offensive skills, even shooting treys more frequently, although he might rely too much on jumpers to score sometimes.
But it doesn't end there. With Matjas Smodis (Bologna's main offensive reference inside the paint) sidelined since mid January, he has taken a big step forward, assuming the leading scoring role of his team's frontcourt. Indeed, in the last three games he has averaged 15 points, 7.7 rebounds, 1.7 assists, 1.7 steals and 2 blocks; although we have to consider that the importance of those games for the competition was rather limited.
While Bologna's GM Zoran Savic should be celebrating having bet on Lorbek when the Slovenian ran away from Michigan State, the way back to the States for Erazem still doesn't look crystal clear. His quickness remains the biggest concern about his game, and you have to wonder how well he would be able to translate his skills to the NBA level with that flaw.