Detroit Pistons Video Analysis: Jordan Bone

Detroit Pistons Jordan Bone. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Detroit Pistons Jordan Bone. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /

The Detroit Pistons could find in Jordan Bone a lite version of Derrick Rose. Let’s analyze some film to figure out what his future with the team might be.

Jordan Bone is a 6’3″ point guard with lightning speed for the Detroit Pistons. While he falls on the smaller end of guards in terms of size and length, he’s one of the most agile explosive athletes to ever be measured, as Ben Rubin notes for the Stepien.

He reminds me a lot of Derrick Rose. He’s fast with the ball and knows how to change speeds in order to get anywhere he wants on the floor. And like Rose, his overbearing speed is often hindering his decision making and he relies too much on mid-range jumpers and floaters.

Good thing is, he’s much improved in the shooting department. This year in the G-League, Bone made 48.2 percent of his shots in the mid-range according to his shot chart. He also made 39.1 percent of his threes above the break showing great potential as a shooter.

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Bone scored 17.5 points in 31.8 minutes for the Grand Rapids Drive making 2.5 three-pointers per game. And he did so with a true shooting percentage of 54.5. That’s moderate efficiency but with some changes in his shot selection, it could go up.

Being a legitimate shooting threat in the NBA will do a lot to open other parts of his game. Defenders will have to go over screens to avoid pull up threes and they’ll have to close out hard on him to avoid spot-ups.

And that’s where Bone can use his speed to truly shine. Being a threat to pull up efficiently, not only makes his defender go over the screen but also makes the big man play up on him. That’s where he can use his arsenal of crossovers and hesitations to blow-by rim protectors and find open lanes to the rim.

He’s fast to turn the corner in those cases and even faster attacking off the catch. Being a spot-up threat ensures that defenders will be running at him, allowing him to blow by them before they can react.

Off the catch, he splits his feet on the air to explode as soon as he touches the ground and there’s just no way anyone can cut him off. Of course, he’ll have to prove himself as a shooter at the next level to open up that part of his game.

If he falls short in the shooting department, it will be tough for him to be effective. He’s not much of a finisher at the rim where his lack of length is really limiting. Only 13.1 percent of his shots came in the restricted area and only half of those went in.

Both those numbers are extremely low for a speedy guard like Bone, making him more of an Ish Smith than a Derrick Rose. But even Smith, after several years of struggling at the rim, has perked up his efficiency recently.

With Bone, that has to come way quicker. Defenders ignored Smith’s jumper for years making his way to the rim that much more difficult. It wasn’t until he became a pull-up threat before he could finish at the rim efficiently.

Fortunately, Bone is much ahead on that curve. He has been a capable spot-up shooter since college and his off the dribble game is quickly improving. Plus, he seems to have great touch around the rim.

The floater has always been a weapon of his. However, he needs to choose his spots a lot better. Definitely not a fan of right floaters when driving left, for example, a shot he often takes. Generally, he takes a lot of shots from weird places on the floor.

A lot of times, he’ll go full speed towards the rim and stop just short for a tough floater over the defender and he often tries to out jump rim protectors using his hang time to finish. That won’t cut it in the NBA.

He has to find shots that he can shoot efficiently in the NBA and clean up the rest. The floater can be a great tool when used correctly. Reggie Jackson and Derrick Rose could certainly attest to that.

But those guys are meticulous about getting middle penetration and shooting with body balance on the air. When rim protectors are hugging the basket, the floater is automatic for those two.

That forces the big man to play up, opening paths to the rim. Going straight up against an NBA blocker is not a good idea unless you’re vintage Rose. Instead, Bone has to learn to be more crafty.

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That’s where playing with Rose comes in handy, as he has a full bag of tricks to finish over length. He gets close to the basket before he can explode off two feet and he throws his body on the big man to throw him off balance and protect the ball.

That makes him very hard to block and gets him a lot of fouls. Applying those tactics would help Bone tremendously. Hopefully, he’s paying attention to his teammates. He got this one-step layup straight from Rose’s playbook.

That’s a great way to get the big man off his rhythm.

It’s apparent that much of Bone’s value comes from being a distributor as well. He completely took over the offense whenever he stepped on the floor for the Drive. He had a whopping 33.5 assist percentage and a team-best 110.1 offensive rating.

He made sure the offense ran smoothly and he did so with a 2.32 assist to turnover ratio, dishing 7.1 assists. It’s no surprise that he can distribute and protect the ball after running Tennesse’s offense for three years with similar numbers.

He’s definitely a capable playmaker with good vision and passing skills. He can make all kinds of passes out of any situation with both hands. I don’t think he’ll have a hard time adjusting to the next level. Of course, he’ll have to learn the intricacies of the NBA as everyone does.

Making decisions on the air, for example, is another trait he shares with Rose. While Rose pulls it off most of the time, not everyone can. Even for Rose it’s not the best option most of the time. Keeping his dribble alive in difficult scenarios will be another test.

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Playmaking is one of his strengths as far as I’m concerned. The important questions for him are seemingly revolved around his efficiency and effort on defense.

In college, he was a capable defender but his limitations in size could possibly prevent that from translating to the NBA. Hopefully, attention to detail and effort can make up for it.

If he commits to using his speed, constantly moving, he could transform himself to a formidable on-ball defender. We’ve definitely seen defenders of that type before, but it takes effort to always move your feet.

In the G League, he had the burden of the whole offense, so maybe slacking off on defense was more or less predictable but in the NBA he’ll have to prove that he can get up on people and bother them.

While he seems to have the tools to be a good point-of-attack defender, weak side defense will be more of a challenge for him. That’s where his lack of size could prevent him from being effective at all.

He’s a great sprinter, so he has to utilize that to cover as much ground as possible and be quick with his rotations. To do that, he has to be preemptive, which means he has to pay more attention.

Not having your eyes on the ball is unacceptable in a scenario like this. To react in time, you have to see that Bruce Brown is going for the double to know that Wayne Ellington is going to be open.

Of course, most rookies make the mistakes Bone makes. It takes time to adjust. Hopefully, with more time he can show that not only he’s worth a spot on the team but a spot in the team’s future plans.

The potential is there for Bone to be a real contributor on the court and a real asset for the organization.

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