The Detroit Pistons lost a very winnable game last night to the Philadelphia 76ers.
While Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid both had fantastic games, Embiid battled both foul trouble and a minute restriction throughout the night, and the Sixers turned the ball over a heaping 21 times.
Besides, Philadelphia doesn’t have an extremely deep or talented roster. Robert Covington was the other Sixer to not have a bad game, but J.J. Redick shot 3-9 and finished with just seven points. The Sixers bench combined for just 20 points.
Part of the reason for Detroit’s struggles was the players and rotations Stan Van Gundy put on the floor on Monday night.
Jon Leuer is Not the Answer
Offensively, Leuer was basically a wash. He scored six points on six free throws, but was 0-2 from the field and committed a turnover. He played 15 minutes in the loss.
Defensively is where the nightmare really took place. Leuer has not been the at worst average defender that he was last season. This year, he has been beaten in nearly every matchup he has been a part of.
Before getting into last night’s game, take a look at this stat provided be Shameek Mohile of PistonPowered.
Kristaps Porzingis shooting when guarded by:
Johnson: 3-3, 6 pts
Leuer: 7-8, 17 pts
Tolliver: 1-5, 2 pts#TOLLIVEREFFECT
— SmarmSmarm God (@shamshammgod) October 22, 2017
Kristaps Porzingis shot 7-8 against Jon Leuer on Saturday night. Sure, Porzingis is an up and coming elite talent and is always going to be tough to stop, but he had to have a serious advantage over Leuer to score as efficiently as he did.
Now, last night.
Ben Simmons drives in and punches one down 😮 pic.twitter.com/2tFYGNZgwG
— Def Pen Hoops (@DefPenHoops) October 24, 2017
Yeah, so it was not pretty.
Bottom line, Leuer should not be the primary power forward or center off the bench. As of now, Leuer is the third-best power forward on the roster and might be the fourth if Ellenson continues to show the promise that he has in the limited minutes he’s received this year.
Tolliver should receive the backup power forward minutes. He is the best floor spacing option, a capable defender, and is a player with the ability to light a spark under his teammates. Players just seem to play harder when Tolliver is on the court.
Jon Leuer was great for the first half of the year last season, but since has been a complete disaster. It is best for Detroit to cut their loss with him and remove him from the rotation.
Stop Wasting Langston Galloway
Stan Van Gundy received a dose of criticism when he signed Langston Galloway to a three-year deal worth $21 million in the offseason. So far, Galloway has silenced those who questioned the deal. The problem is that Galloway has not been a mainstay in the rotation over the first four games of the year.
After making a few errors against the Washington Wizards last week, when Jodie Meeks was able to come off a screen and hit jumper twice in a short span of minutes over Galloway, Van Gundy decided to bench him. He sat the rest of the game versus Washington, playing just 12 minutes that night. He then registered a healthy DNP-CD the next day against the New York Knicks.
He was thrown back into action against the Sixers and quickly made an impact. Defensively, he was stout and made no mistakes versus the young team. On offense, he provided a desperately needed scoring punch. He shot 3-4 from the field, knocking down three triples for nine points.
Anyway, enjoy Langston “The Hardest Cap” Galloway’s c+s numbers. pic.twitter.com/LgqN1FzYz8
— Duncan Smith (@DuncanSmithNBA) October 24, 2017
All good, right?
While Galloway should have been able to ride the hot hand he had for a team that ended the game shooting 6-30 from deep, he only played 12 minutes in the contest. Luke Kennard, who didn’t play a bad game by any means, played 16 minutes, finishing the game with six points on 2-6 shooting.
The lack of continuity in the rotation so far this year has been underwhelming. I’m completely okay with Van Gundy giving different players opportunities, but he made too many mistakes yesterday in managing his rotation.
It is too early to overreact, but I hope Van Gundy stabilizes his rotation soon. Guys like Langston Galloway and Anthony Tolliver should be mainstays in his units because they provide the qualities he has preached to desire since becoming the Head Coach of the Pistons.
Featured Image: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports