Ukrainian guard uses size to excel on defense

Ukrainian guard uses size to excel on defense
June 22, 2013, 10:15 pm
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Other than the San Antonio Spurs, most NBA teams have difficulty being consistent when it comes to evaluating international players.

For every Tony Parker or Manu Ginobili, there’s Darko Milicic and possibly Wizards forward Jan Vesely, the No. 6 overall pick in the 2011 draft who has yet to pan out.

Oleksandr Lypovyy, a 6-8 guard from Ukraine, could possess enough skills to avoid being listed among the latter.

Lypovyy worked out for the Wizards at Verizon Center earlier this week. While his spoken English isn't the best, he understands it clearly.

He’s hoping his game can translate as well.

"It's important to me," he said about working out. "It's important to my future."

Lypovyy is a point guard with good vision and instincts. He can finish through contact, and and unlike a lot of European players, defense is a strength, too.  He can guard multiple perimeter positions.

"I have long arms that helps me if I've got a small point guard. If I have some distance, its better than I could (defend) close to him," Lypovyy said. 

He was named MVP of the 2012 Eurocamp in Treviso, Italy. His favorite NBA team to watch is the Spurs, who lost in seven games of the NBA Finals to the Miami Heat last week.

Their emphasis on moving the basketball and excelling in half-court sets suits Lypovyy's style.

"NBA and Europe, its different basketball. If I'm coming to NBA I must work more on my handle, more dribbling," he said. "NBA, there's more fast breaks. In Europe it's more (half-court).