Coming off the Pistons 111-107 come-from-behind win in New York over the Knicks Saturday evening, there’s a lot to be intrigued by regarding this Detroit basketball team. Most of the regulars in the rotation are playing well and so far in three games the entire team seems to have an energy level that, quite frankly, is on turbo compared to last season.
We could wax poetically about Andre Drummond’s offense against New York (and just enough defense), Avery Bradley’s tone setting tenacity (those fouls though), Tobias Harris as the smoothest bucket-getter around, the point guards making good decisions and Anthony Tolliver being a boss at everything in the second half, but we won’t right this second. Instead, sometimes you just have to tip your cap to a struggling member of the team who unexpectedly does something that makes you love them a little bit more.
Jon Leuer is that struggling player at this moment in time, as he’s certainly not rebounding the ball well (just six rebounds in 70 minutes..) playing good enough defense, or shooting from the outside anymore (two three-points attempts this season), but he sure did get our attention with a beauty of a pass to Drummond during Detroit’s second half run. Jarrett Jack subtly approved.
Jon Leuer over-the-head dime! pic.twitter.com/wrcM1hHWaJ— John Schuhmann (@johnschuhmann) October 22, 2017
Come to think of it, Jon isn’t playing all that poorly on the offensive end. While he’s not turning any heads, he’s blending in and converting just enough. In fact, I’ve come to notice that he’s pretty good at moving without the ball. Prior to his pass to Andre, Jon darted to open space in the middle of the key and received the sharp pass from Ish. That’s ideal. Scoring wise, a good number of his buckets this season have come from him shifting to open space around or under the basket at just the right time and converting on open looks via his teammates. Not everyone has this skill or foresight, and it’s wonderfully useful within any offensive scheme.
Now all Jon needs to do is move faster and stronger to the ball when it’s bouncing off the rim or backboard. Rebounds, Jon. You are a very tall human. Get more rebounds!