Jaden Ivey helped the Detroit Pistons take control in the fourth quarter, before they ultimately fell to the Houston Rockets 117-114. In a season where wins and losses aren’t the barometer, seeing Ivey in this game situation provided another glimpse at who he is as a player.
What’s clear is he wants to win. What’s even more clear is he wants to be perfect while doing it. So Saturday night’s loss to the Rockets must have been particularly tough for him. Jaden Ivey is the type of player that wears his emotions clearly on his sleeve for all to see. Whether it’s a big dunk, or an untimely turnover, you know that he cares.
He’s had a good start to his rookie season, and currently surpassing preseason expectation. Both he and fellow rookie Jalen Duren both have been rated higher than their draft slots. So for Ivey who continues his pursuit of perfection, the six turnovers and missed opportunities during clutch moments will sting. He’s not as interested with the sixteen points, seven rebounds and five assists he had in just 28 minutes against the Rockets.
For Ivey, his mind will be on the end of game miss from three that almost tied the game. Maybe if his layup with nine seconds left should’ve been a three points attempt. Or if one less turnover could’ve made up the difference.
For a Detroit Pistons team with higher expectations for the draft, free agency and next season, this experience is invaluable.
Jaden Ivey has had the time and opportunity to focus on parts of his game. He probably doesn’t get that chance on a team better positioned for the playoffs. Head coach Dwane Casey has spoken about this a few times this season. Intimating that if this were a playoff team, a lot of guys who are playing now wouldn’t be getting as much time or opportunity.
I would believe that Jaden Ivey as the fifth pick in the 2022 NBA draft would still get playing time. But how much opportunity would he have gotten, to do what he is now?
The Detroit Pistons are getting good output from their rookies, young players and veterans. But it clearly isn’t enough. Pointing to an issue that the front office will have to solve. That though, will be greatly aided by nearly $60 million dollars in cap space and most likely a top 5 draft pick this coming summer.
For Jaden Ivey, he’s already showing great improvement to his mid-range game as well as playmaking. But it would be very good to see him get better in the turnover department. He came into the season believing he’d be the shooting guard. But with the unfortunate injury to star Cade Cunningham, he’s been thrust into a high usage ball handling role.
Ivey has handled the new found responsibilities in quick stride, showing areas for definite improvement. But leaving observers with the impression that he will have no problem perfecting his game.
The Detroit Pistons play the Dallas Mavericks, Monday, January 30 at 8:30 PM.
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