This terrific Zalgiris team was trapped into playing a slower pace than they probably wanted in the final game by CSKA Moscow, and one of the players whose game was harmed the most by this match-up was the Lithuanian point guard, Zygimantas Janavicius
The curly haired kid from Alytus had a dominant afternoon on Saturday against Barcelona, showing glimpses of brilliance when he was leading his team with an up-tempo rhythm. Running the floor pretty quickly, slashing also particularly well and definitely having a very good shooting touch, he was the best example of your typical Lithuanian point guard from the moment that Sarunas Jasikevicius appeared on court. Quick, athletic, with a good rhythm, pass-first-for the most part, team-oriented and terrific when it came to running set offenses, he was constantly providing his team with easy baskets and nice assists. He is also a steady shooter and a nice, patient ball handler, showing that he is a natural point guard talent. His court vision is above average and, although he was used at shooting guard for long stretches, especially against CSKA, he is definitely much more important as a playmaker than as a scorer. His alertness also makes him a nice defensive contributor. He can come up with many steals (leading the tournament in this category) due to his quick legs and hands, which he uses to overcome his relatively small size. Hell sometimes allow his opponent to start slashing, only in order to come up with a steal from behind, while he can be particularly effective in zone defenses, where he can cooperate with teammates.
However, his lack of size, leaping ability and physical strength limits his overall potential. Zygimantas has little moves except from the slashing and passing, while his use at shooting guard was like with Shved a move that cost his team a lot of creativity. Offensively, he may be patient and confident, but he is not the best player for creating easy shooting opportunities for his teammates. He prefers open defenses by passing the ball to the very creative Cepukaitis, with whom he been playing together with since childhood and knows very well. On defense, his frame is again too narrow, as most Lithuanian kids at this age seem to be. He is not big enough to prevent opponents from slashing towards the basket and is not good enough at defending spaces either. He may be a fine help defender, particularly in a zone defense (the reason Alexey Shved
was shut down in the final), but he cannot prevent the opposing point guard from moving relatively easily through space, filling the stat-sheet, dishing out many assists and coming up with rebounds.