There are not many great finishers in the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague, and Anadolu Efes Istanbul is fully aware of that. So it should come as no surprise that after two seasons together, the Turkish powerhouse re-signed center Tibor Pleiss to a multi-year deal. One of the tallest players in the competition at 2.21 meters, Pleiss has great hands and outstanding mobility for a player his size, and he is able to finish around the rim in many ways. He can use his length to catch an alley-oop pass and throw it down. But his smooth post moves – highlighted by a very effective jump hook – allow him to get a close basket the hard way, working for it in the paint. Pleiss is also an excellent mid-range shooter and throughout his career, he has managed to extend his range beyond the three-point line. And at age 30, Pleiss is right in the prime of his career.
Pleiss is the very definition of a hard-working player who has improved during his career, adding new weapons to his game over the years. Above all, Pleiss is hard to stop because he executes his moves quickly due to his high basketball IQ and endless hours polishing his moves. He has a quick release, even from downtown, and great hands to catch the ball and either throw it down or position his body in the right direction to execute one of his favorite moves, the jump hook. Pleiss knows that due his size and post skills, not many players can block that shot. Pleiss has blocked 175 shots in his career, ranking sixth all-time in the EuroLeague, but he has only had his shot blocked 58 times (48th overall). Pleiss has taken his game to the next level with Efes, where he has more space due to his many talented teammates. Coach Ergin Ataman has been able to make him a key piece of his team’s offense due to his overall effectiveness.
Indeed, Pleiss is a career 58.9% two-point shooter, but he has boosted that number to 65.9% (232-of-352) in his two seasons with Efes. In fact, his 232 two-point shots in the last two seasons rank him fifth overall in that stretch despite playing fewer than 17 minutes per game. In other words, when Pleiss is on the court, his teammates look for him as the elite finisher he is. Moreover, Pleiss has been deadly from the foul line, a rarity for a center. He made 61-of-68 free throws (89.7%) in the last two seasons. Pleiss is set to keep playing with the same core of players, who fully trust him, and giving opponents nightmares with his overall effectiveness, finishing strong or with great finesse down low.