Przemek Karnowski was not getting any playing time in Charlotte - a pretty major problem for an undrafted player trying to crack his way onto an NBA roster. A fortuitous change of scenery brought Shem to the Orlando Magic, giving him a chance to showcase what he can do. So far the big man has not disappointed.
After dropping 14 points and 5 rebounds for the Magic on Wednesday, Shem outdid himself on Thursday, scoring 20 points on 6-9 shooting from the field and a very un-Karnowski like 8-8 from the free throw line. He added 9 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals, a block and only two fouls in his 25 minutes of action. His +4 was the highest on the team in their 86-78 loss to the Hornets.
As has been talked about a lot with Karnowski, his game does not translate as well into today’s NBA. While centers are now expected to be lean, athletic and strong outside shooters, Shem is a relic of a past era where centers were bruisers in the paint, rarely taking shots outside of the free throw line and instead using their size to score down low. However, just because the prototype has changed that does not mean Shem does not fit in somewhere. The change of scenery proves that. Charlotte may not have wanted to use a big bruising center, but Orlando has embraced him and the results, at least for the first two games, have showed what he can do.
By all accounts Karnowski still has a ways to go until he solidifies a spot on an NBA roster, but performances like today will help keep him in mind for teams looking for an authentic big man capable of scoring in the post. Hopefully he can continue to shine and catch a break as we inch closer to the start of the NBA season.
(TSSF Staffing report: please welcome Andy Patton to the community. Glad to have more voices on board and look forward to much more from him in the future.)