Alperen Sengun is a 19-year-old Turkish big man that was selected with the 16th pick in the 2021 NBA Draft. After gaining attention because of his unusual free-throw routine, Sengun is now being talked about because of his solid play with the Houston Rockets.

Alperen Sengun

Alperen  Sengun
Alperen  Sengun
MIN: 18.41
PTS: 9 (57.1%)
REB: 4.74
As: 2.63
ST: 0.89
BL: 0.86
TO: 1.94
GM: 35

Sengun is currently averaging 9 points, 4.8 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 0.9 blocks, and 0.9 steals over 18.4 minutes. But more importantly, he is showing flashes of greatness on the offensive end. More specifically, his post-up skills and point-forward passing ability have been impressive.

The 2.08 m Turkish big man has even drawn some comparisons with the reigning NBA MVP Nikola Jokic. Given Sengun's age, this comparison may seem like an exaggeration, but his outstanding passing ability and high basketball IQ resemble Jokic.

BasketNews' Augustas Suliauskas analyzed Alperen Sengun's early NBA success, showcasing exactly why the rookie's play reminds fans of Jokic.

Sengun is not your typical NBA big guy that every GM is obsessed about: his athletic abilities are below average, and he plays basketball mostly under the rim. Some may even call his playstyle strange, as some of his movements are unorthodox. However, Houston fans love him for his unique style and energy.

The 19-year-old has amazing skills with his back to the basket, especially while he's posting up on the left block. While defenders often expect a physical duel, Alperen's go-to move is a quick spin that leaves most defenders leaning in front.

He is also excellent at keeping his pivot foot down and is not afraid of spinning multiple times until the defender makes a mistake. When Sengun posts up against smaller and weaker defenders, he can showcase his strength and push them back to the restricted area.

While Sengun is a right-handed player, he is great at finishing with his left hand. Fortunately for him, Alperen is a backup center for now, so the defenders are often surprised with his ability to finish with his non-dominant hand.

Alperen Sengun

Alperen  Sengun
Team: Houston Rockets
Position: PF, C
Age: 19
Height: 206 cm
Weight: 109 kg
Birth place: Turkey

Even though Sengun doesn't possess great leaping ability, he doesn't get blocked often. This is because Alperen releases the shot quickly and is quite far from the opponent's body.

Apart from his prolific post-up game, Sengun is also effective while facing the basket. He often wanders around the 3-point line and leaves slower opposing centers in the dust when given the opportunity.

Moreover, Sengun is solid as a pick-and-roll player, setting screens and rolling to the basket. The rookie turns quick after screens or slips them, giving himself an advantage against the defenders.

Apart from his scoring ability, Sengun has some tricks up his sleeve when it comes to passing the ball. In fact, some of his passes wouldn't look bad on Nikola Jokic's highlight compilations.

Sengun loves to initiate the offense by playing hand-offs and re-screens with the guards. Whether it's cutting to the basket with Sengun dribbling the ball or waiting for a pass-out of the post, Alperen's teammates have already started to appreciate his distributing abilities.

Sengun's unique and wide skillset gives the Houston Rockets some much-needed diversity and versatility. With him on the court, you can expect less dribbling and more different ways of scoring. He offers an all-around play and easy points off fundamental skills, like passing, footwork, and vision.

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Points this season

Points made: 107,5
Accuracy: 45,1%
Place in standings: 19
Record max: 146
Record min: 85
Best scorer: Christian Wood