Brazilian guard Raul Togni Neto's performance so far in 2013 FIBA Americas competition

Christopher Hanewinckel-US PRESSWIRE

We love Raul Neto, and light a candle every day for him -- we wowed us in Orlando and displayed traditional point guard skills. The Brazilian has had a pretty crazy summer so far. In June he got drafted by the Atlanta Hawks, then traded for on draft day by the Utah Jazz. Then FIBA did not clear him to participate with the team in any summer league practices, so he had to watch and watch and watch. And Jazz fans waited. Eventually FIBA cleared him to participate and he had a pretty solid summer league. He ended up playing in only three games in Orlando, and in 16.3 mpg he managed 3.7 ppg, 3.0 apg, 2.0 rpg, and made the NBA TV crew fans of his game.

After Orlando he went back to Brazil to get ready for the FIBA tournaments the team will be participating in in August. So far Brazil has played in the 2013 Tuto Marchand Continental Cup (4 games), and is currently in the middle of the 2013 FIBA Americas Championship. The Tuto Marchand is like a warm-up tournament for the Americas, and this year only five nations participated in it: Puerto Rico, Argentina, Brazil, the Dominican Republic, and Canada. Here Brazil went 2-2 (losing to Argentina and Puerto Rico).

The FIBA Americas tournament has Puerto Rico, Brazil, Canada, Uruguay, and Jamaica in Group A. And Argentina, Mexico, Dominican Republic, Venezuela, and Paraguay in Group B. After two games Brazil is 0-2, having lost to Puerto Rico (72-65) on Friday, and just got blasted by Canada today (91-62). To their credit, Brazil isn't playing with their "best" players right now. Leandro Barbosa, Nene Hilario, Tiago Splitter, and Anderson Varejao are all not playing right now. Furthermore, Lucas Nogueira isn't playing either (he was picked #16 in the NBA draft this year). There is one guy who IS playing . . . barely . . . and it's our own Raul Neto.

In the 6 games Brazil has played so far Raul has played in only 5. And at that, he has played in only 62 minutes total. There have been 6 games, so there has been 240 PG minutes to be played. So he's playing 25.8% of the available mins at PG so far. (I figure it's to prepare him for playing under Tyrone Corbin in a year) The logical reason for this is that Brazil brought in four point guards -- Marcelo Huertas (who could start in the NBA right now), Larry Taylor, Rafael Freire, AND Raul Neto. STILL, he's making the best of the situation.

He averages 15.5 mpg (40 min games), and in those minutes he's averaging 6.5 ppg (52.6 fg%, 25.0 3pt%, 71.4 ft%), 3.0 apg, 1.0 rpg, and 0.5 spg. That doesn't look too impressive. I know. But if you bump that up to 36 mpg you get a PG who is scoring 15.1 ppg, 7.0 apg, 2.3 rpg, and 1.2 spg. That's much better. And it's amazing when you consider his 3 to 1 assist to turn over ratio. He's doing pretty much what you want, playing smart, efficient ball; even though he's playing so few minutes per game.

Of course, his per 36 numbers were much better before the mighty Canadians wrecked Brazil's butt. Before the Canada game his numbers were closer to 16/9.

So what more have we seen from Raul with 2 more games to play in the first round of the Americas tournament? We are basically seeing more of what we already knew -- he's good, and we have few opportunities to see him play at all. He is smart and efficient, but perpetually on rosters with 3 or more other PGs. (Which is what he had to face in Orlando with Trey Burke, Jerel McNeal, and Michael Stockton)

Raul perpetually appears to be that sweet dessert that comes after a mediocre meal. That meal may very well be the 2013-14 NBA season.

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