Luther Head normally makes his presence felt when he plays.
It's not always through a big shot or steal, but instead by consistently staying aggressive, looking to make plays and working hard at both ends of the floor. Coach Jim O'Brien never hesitates to turn to Luther when injuries, matchups or foul issues force his hand.
If I had a complaint about Luther's play with the Pacers it's that sometimes he tries to do too much. He holds onto the ball too long, trying to make something out of nothing instead of keeping the ball moving. On the other hand, when he is cutting to the basket and moving, the shots seem to come easily to Luther, often in the form of a layup.
The consistent level of play from Luther has suddenly thrust him into the starting lineup as others ahead of him have slipped and JOB looks for someone to step up. That starting role includes crunch-time minutes like those he played on Tuesday night when the Pacers upset the Orlando Magic.
After being on the fringe of the league this summer, here he was looking to make plays and close out a W against the Magic. That had to feel good.
"Great, actually, against a team like that, a team that's been dominating. A team that's proven themselves year in, year out. Especially with the players they had coming in here tonight," said Head following the win. "We feel good, definitely something to build on. A win we can really feel good about."
See what he did there, turned the personal question into a positive team response. When asked how comfortable he appears running with the ones, his answer revealed just what this means to the Pacers guard.
"I feel fortunate. Appreciative." The way he said this was more telling than what he said. There was a pause between fortunate and appreciative, like he was seeing his NBA playing days flash before his eyes, knowing there is a fine line between starting in the league and being out of the league.
"I like it, especially since where I've come from, almost being out (of the league) to now playing. It just feels good. I'm going to take advantage of every second."
So when caught up in a game like the win over Orlando, there's a part of Luther that doesn't want the moment to end.
"Man, just keep going. I can play all day, especially with this style and this offense. I love it. I told my agent before I came here, if I can get to that team I'll feel real good. I just know the style and I feel real comfortable and it's starting to show."
Yes it is.