With the Detroit Pistons dealing with a new injury every week, the lineup has had to adjust as well. That has created some opportunities for others echoing the Dwane Casey-ism. “The best ability is availability” is something coach Casey has made a staple of his coaching ideology.
For Jaden Ivey, 5th pick in the 2022 NBA draft, he didn’t need extra opportunity to get playing time. But with Cade Cunningham and Killian Hayes, there was not seemingly a need.
After starting against the Brooklyn Nets, Jaden Ivey at point guard is something I need more. We all need that, more. He finished with sixteen points and a team leading eight assists. He also tied for the lead in free throws made, and one behind Burk’s six leading attempts at five.
Ivey was fast, confident, and nearly unstoppable to begin the game. He started off by scoring the Pistons first twelve points of the game. In a various different ways, on all three levels of scoring. A three, a couple mid range baskets and nearly unstoppable drives to the rim.
Most importantly? It set the tone for a Pistons’ team that has had a hard time finding an identity as a team. Especially with star Cade Cunningham out, who is the straw that ultimately stirs the drink. They’ve struggled even with leading scorer Bojan Bogdanovic scoring anytime he wants.
But with Ivey, the offense seemed deliberate and purposeful.
When analyzing Jaden Ivey during for Woodward Sports Network’s 2022 NBA Draft Show, several questions arose.
- Could he shoot the three? (32% on the year)
- Is he a reliable playmaker as a player needing a high usage? (4.4 APG)
- Is his defense any good? (Needs improvement but will be fine)
- Can he play in the mid range when the defense takes away the driving lanes? (Has been taking and making more shots from that area more recently)
He’s acquitted himself nicely on the season, especially over the last ten games. He’s seen season averages like assist’s per game go from 4.4 to 5.7 during the span. Showing he’s learning and growing despite the teams overall results.
All the stats back up exactly what’s being seen on the court. With Killian Hayes, he runs the offense to set up his teammates. That isn’t a bad thing. But when defenses know Hayes isn’t a threat to finish at the rim, it can stagnate or bog down the offense. The defense chooses to just stay home.
But with Ivey he puts pressure on the middle of the paint which draws defenders in more. Opening up better shooting windows for teammates, and cut lanes for Jalen Duren.
The most promising development has been how Ivey’s aggressiveness only adds to his game. It’s not just free throw attempts where you will see an improvement in Ivey’s stats. But assists, rebounds, blocks and steals as well. He had two STOCKS (STeals + blOCKS) Thursday night.
Proving the more Ivey, the better!
The Detroit Pistons play the Houston Rockets, Saturday, January 28 at 7 PM.
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