Over the past few games, the Memphis Grizzlies have struggled to stay consistent after appearing to get things under control. The biggest reason has been the absence of Marc Gasol in the middle due to a sprained MCL suffered November 22nd. Tuesday night, the Grizzlies were without both Gasol and Zach Randolph against the Phoenix Suns.
The Grizzlies could have easily gone under without their top two players, but instead an unlikely hero stepped up and delivered a big game for Memphis. Certainly, Ed Davis’ double-double of 21 points and 12 rebounds helped in a big way, but there was another role player that took advantage of significant minutes.
Forward Jon Leuer, who has bounced around since being drafted two years ago, came in for the Grizzlies and scored a career-high 23 points to go with nine rebounds and three blocks. Leuer shot 10-for-13 from the field including knocking down one of his two three-point attempts.
Memphis brought in Leuer to be a reserve player just in case they’re ever ahead by plenty enough to warrant giving out garbage minutes, but they never anticipated needing him to play a crucial part in a win. Tuesday night, that’s exactly what Leuer did for the Grizzlies. If he is able to play efficient like he did against the Suns on a game-to-game basis, Leuer could find himself playing meaningful minutes on a more regular basis.
On a team that normally is more of a defensive-minded squad, Leuer brings an offensive game to the floor that Memphis can greatly use. His shooting and aggressiveness that he learned to play with under Bo Ryan at Wisconsin is welcomed with open arms on the Grizzlies, and it looks like Leuer may wind up seeing more time on the court in the near future.