I thought Steve Bulpett brought up an interesting (and obvious) comparison. Without much knowledge at all about Vitor Faverani, it was tempting to set our expectations low on him. In fact, we had another guy who's name sounds vaguely similar who managed to limbo dance under his already fairly low expectations.
That doesn't mean it will happen to Vitor though.
The immediate inclination is to compare Vitor Faverani to Fab Melo. Both are from Brazil and are within an inch or two height-wise, and, hey, those are some simple dots to connect even for a sportswriter. But after a brief look at this year’s model and several conversations with Celtics types at the first day of training camp, the notion was rejected. With authority. The two are said to be miles apart at this stage. “Vitor’s a player,” we were advised. “Fab’s a project.”
According to Mike Gorman, Faverani signed his first pro contract when he was 14 years old. So he's been playing professional basketball for longer than Fab Melo has been playing basketball at all (he played soccer till high school).
Vitor had a very solid game last night. Perhaps better than any that Melo had in a Celtics uniform all last year. He had two dunks to go with a three pointer for a total of 9 points just in the 2nd quarter alone. That brought praise from his coach.
"Did I think he would be able to do this on Day One in Newport? No," Stevens said. "He's getting more comfortable. He still has a little bit of a language barrier, but he runs what we want to run out of time-outs. He doesn't have any problem translating what we're trying to do on the court."
Teammates have praised his long-distance stroke throughout preseason practices and Stevens mentioned Wednesday that Faverani could potentially grow into more of a threat. “I think Vitor’s a good player. He’s got good feel. You can run a lot of stuff to him,” said Stevens. “He’s a better shooter than he’s shooting right now. I think he’s got a pretty good ceiling, and he’s the guy on our roster that’s a true center per se. He’s a guy that has to play, I think, as we move forward.”
Faverani may not be a finished product by any means, but he's a lot farther along in his development than a certain other Brazilian player that made his way in and out of Boston recently. And while Danny Ainge clearly whiffed on the pick, he's making up for it somewhat by bringing in the cheaper and more talented Vitor Faverani (without even needing to use another draft pick).
Looking forward to seeing more of Vitor in the near future.