Maarty Leunen has really hit his stride for the Ducks this season, as his production and efficiency are up across the board. One area that really stands out for Leunen is True Shooting Percentage, where hes up from 59% to 68% this season, which is good for fourth among all draft prospects in our database
, and hes doing it against strong competition in the Pac-10. To put that in perspective, there is only one player in the NBA averaging at least 20 minutes per game with a True Shooting Percentage of 68% this season, that player being Portlands James Jones
Leunens outstanding three-point shot has a lot to do with his scoring efficiency, as hes shooting a career-best 46% from behind the arc thus far. His shot boasts a very quick release with good height and textbook form, while he isnt phased when he has a defenders hand in his face. Also, he regularly will step back to NBA three-point range, where his shot is just as effortless and effective.
As for the rest of Leunens offensive game, he relies heavily on a hybrid dribble-drive/post-up game, where hell put the ball on the floor from behind the arc, take his man down to the mid block, turn his back to the basket, and quickly go into a mini right-handed hook shot or a fade-away jumper. This works very well for Leunen, as he doesnt have the strength to really back his man down in the post, and he doesnt have the vertical explosiveness to take the ball to the basket and finish going into opposing defenders, so this method allows him to consistently score while not exposing his weaknesses. Leunen will also finish some of his dribble-drives on a right-handed floater in the lane, which hes also effective with. Leunens ball-handling isnt anything to write home about, but he does a good job getting past his man using the threat of his jump shot, and can go both right and left, though he heavily favors his left, despite being right-handed.
As aforementioned, Leunen doesnt really have the strength to body up in the post, nor the size or explosiveness to finish over opposing big men when matched up. When he does work on the low block, hes at his best with moves fading away from the basket, such as hook shots and turnaround jumpers. Leunen does finish at the rim fairly often, though, by using his excellent basketball IQ to cut without the ball and adeptly find open lanes to the rim, where he catches and finishes with his soft hands and soft touch around the rim. He even can get crafty around here, going reverse off the glass to avoid defenders when necessary.
Leunen is also strong on the glass, where he consistently boxes out with good fundamentals and shows good timing and pursuit for rebounds. On the defensive end, Leunen also shows a good fundamental base in the post, and will really work to force the opposition into tough shots, but hes prone to being beat by bigger and stronger opponents, as he can be backed down or shot over often. On the perimeter, Leunen also puts in a good effort and looks fairly competent when forced out there, but he can be beat here, too, by better athletes, and can be targeted on this end of the court in general, something thatd be even more of a problem at the next level.
Leunen has definitely improved his case for being an NBA prospect this year, with his improved efficiency and production and continued hard work and smart play (hes also a very good passer for a power forward), but he still has a lot of things working against him, most notably that he isnt very strong or athletic, and he doesnt have a frame that looks like it can naturally add much more bulk. Hell have a chance to prove himself at the pre-draft camps this summer, and his exceptional outside shooting is a skill that will definitely get him some looks, but how the rest of his game holds up against stronger competition will likely be what determines his future in the league. If he doesnt make it in the NBA initially, his game is very well-suited for the European game, where he should have a very successful career.