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NBA Links: Leuer’s injury status, top five future beasts of the East

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Plus more in today’s links.

Detroit Pistons v Sacramento Kings Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images

Jon Leuer has no ligament, cartilage damage to knee

Not sure yet if he’ll be ready to go against the Kings Tuesday night.

Leuer was removed from Sunday's game after playing just six minutes while he nursed a sore right knee, but the team is optimistic that the 27-year-old won't miss extended time. The Pistons have yet to offer an official timetable for Leuer, so he'll be viewed as day-to-day in advance of Tuesday's game against the Kings.

Ranking the top 5 future beasts of the East

A question posed by FanSided is: Five years from now, which up-and-coming NBA stars will own the Eastern Conference?

Also for clarification purposes:

In the spirit of unpredictability and injecting some life back into a somewhat predictable NBA season, it’s time to take a look at five youngsters in the Eastern Conference who will own the league five years from now, with precedence given to the ones who will be in the middle of their primes, rather than on the tail-end of them.

Spoiler for you — Andre Drummond doesn’t make the top 5. He does however get an honorable mention spot. The other honorable mentions are Ben Simmons, Jabari Parker and Justise Winslow. Yeah, Winslow. I think a selection of Jaylen Brown, Dennis Schröder, Elfrid Payton or Bradley Beal are much more logical choices than Winslow.

Stats to know through week 12

Currently the Milwaukee Bucks sit at 18-18 (ninth in East) and I’d strongly assume they will be one of the Pistons staying competitors for the 5-7 seed in the conference come playoff time. Heck, the 4 seed isn’t out of the question either (4 seed currently held by the weirdo Hawks at 21-16) , especially for the Bucks as Middleton will be back in February it seems. Furthermore, if Jabari Parker continues his fine season, there’s no reason to doubt the Bucks moving up fast. As such, let’s check out Jabari’s improvement this season:

Jabari Parker is scoring 4.6 points per game in transition

...

Despite being ranked just inside the top 50 in the numberFire player rankings, Parker has improved nearly every facet of his game. His scoring has seen a huge boost from 14.1 per game a season ago to 20.4 this season. Much of that is due in large part to his 4.6 points per game in transition this season.

The increase has been team-wide, as Milwaukee’s pace is up to 97.7 this year, a jump from 96.6 last season. An uptick in pace and transition baskets has also helped Parker to up his three-point shooting. He averaged a paltry 0.1 threes per game last year to a respectable 1.4 per outing this year.

The only part of Parker’s game that has not improved by the quicker pace is his shooting percentage. On the year, his field goal percentage is up, but only 0.6% on the season, which is likely due to his increase shot totals from last year.

With Khris Middleton expected to return from injury in the next month, it will be interesting to see how Parker and Antetokounmpo are affected positively or negatively.

Draymond Green on DeMarcus Cousins: 'Best center in the game'

Knowing Draymond Green’s history, it’s entirely plausible to think that his comment is laced in some kind of sarcasm — or perhaps it’s a mind trick of sorts. Sure, Green might actually think that Cousins is the best center in the game, but Green could be buttering him up a bit too. The Warriors and Kings squared off a few days ago and Cousins didn’t have the best of games.

Green’s comments on Cousins via ESPN:

Green, who played alongside Cousins in the 2016 Olympics, continued, said of Cousins' manifold skills: "It's always interesting to watch, interesting to play against, interesting to play with, because he's so incredibly talented. He's skilled. He can shoot the 3 now; over the last couple years he added that to his game.

"He's always really had the midrange, he's taking guys off the dribble, he's pushing it full court, getting to the hole, getting and-1s, go to the post. He's dominant.

John Wall overshadowed in Eastern Conference All-Star race

Here we go, an article on every DBB regulars’ favorite NBA point guard, Mr. John Wall.

Okay, even if you are not feeling that last sentence, still read the article to know just how good of a season Wall is having — despite the high turnovers and less than sterling three-point shooting.

When we compare Wall to the other point guards in the East, it’s not meant as a put-down to studs like Irving, Thomas and Walker. They’re each enjoying highly-productive seasons and are worthy of All-Star consideration.

I’m simply suggesting that the attention and respect from both media and fans has been a bit lopsided. Wall has arguably outplayed every Eastern Conference point guard other than Lowry, yet he’s getting massively overshadowed.

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Whew, ten days into the new year already. Is time flying by for you?