EghtesadOnline: Centers are not usually known for their passing and playmaking, but Iran’s Hamed Haddadi has defied that in the FIBA Asia Cup 2017.
Haddadi, the 2.18m center for Iran, currently leads the entire tournament in assists, handing out an eye-popping 8.5 per game. That’s in addition to scoring 16 points, grabbing 8.5 rebounds and blocking 1.5 shots per contest as well, fiba.com reported.
According to IRNA, Haddadi seems to have really mastered the art of attracting opposing defenders and finding his open teammates in spots where they can easily score. Sure, he may have lost a lot of quickness and explosiveness, but Haddadi’s high basketball IQ comes to the fore when maximizes his court vision and puts the ball in the hands of his teammates who are scoring position.
This just makes things much more difficult for Iran’s opponents, which know have to craft a game plan around not just stopping Haddadi’s scoring but his playmaking as well.
Iran finished the group phase in style as Iranians outclassed India, Syria and Jordan to top the Group A of the competition.
The biggest test of the competition, however, is yet to come for Haddadi and his compatriots when Iran faces the host, Lebanon, at the quarterfinals of the Asia Cup in Beirut’s Nouhad Nawfal Sports Complex later tonight.