The Detroit Pistons belief in rookie Jaden Ivey has appeared similar to their dealings with star Cade Cunningham. They’ve given Ivey the keys and let him drive the car with no restrictions. So far, so good! He’s averaged 15.3 points, 3.9 rebounds and 4.9 assists this year, while shooting just under 34% from three.
He’s showing traits of an alpha amongst all players on the court, teammates and opponents. But just like Cunningham, Ivey’s performance isn’t receiving the recognition it deserves. The lack of attention cost Cade Cunningham rookie of the year consideration last year, and it’s effecting Ivey’s rookie campaign too.
So where is the love for Jaden Ivey?
Fans have been quick to commend the output, but national pundits continue to be unmoved by the rookies performance. The latest NBA.com Rookie Ladder ranked Ivey fifth for the second week in a row. That’s in line with his draft positioning which would be fine if it weren’t currently behind players he’s clearly outperformed. Including fourth ranked Indiana Pacers guard Bennedict Mathurin who didn’t even play the last week.
Jaden Ivey has been one of the most consistent rookies along with number one overall pick and rookie front runner Paolo Banchero. Others who started fast, like Bennedict Mathurin, have seen production slow or up and down at best. But he still continues to be ranked ahead of Ivey, and in the case of the latest rankings they didn’t do much to say why.
NBA.com Rookie Ladder on Bennedict Mathurin being ranked #4, ahead of Jaden Ivey:
“Mathurin is one of two top Ladder guys to be sidelined as this edition posts. He was three minutes into his appearance vs. Houston Friday when he suffered a sprained right ankle on a drive to the hoop. He hasn’t played since and Pacers coach Rick Carlisle has indicated no timetable for his return.”
During that same time Ivey averaged sixteen points, three rebounds and six assists per game, but the Pistons lack of wins or competitiveness make them an after thought, meaning most observers won’t have the opportunity or time to watch him play. So they don’t get a true sense of just how good Jaden Ivey’s really been, and that it’s more than ’empty stats on a bad team’.
Jaden Ivey has rapidly improved throughout the season especially from three where he’s shooting 33.5% on the season, and playmaking. Ivey currently leads all rookies in assists per game and has looked like the best facilitator on the roster behind Cade Cunningham. Impressively Ivey’s had no real extended slumps, no extremely horrible stretches of basketball despite some where his defense has left room for growth. He’s improving as the seasons comes to a close, but defense is where I hope to see Ivey take the biggest leap forward next season.
Season vs Last 20 Games
Paolo Banchero is my current front runner for NBA Rookie of the Year, despite the charge OKC Thunder Jalen Williams has made of late for a winning team. Wins and losses have been a bigger factor in the awards voting over the past few seasons, which will hurt Jaden Ivey. It’s had an effect on how the national media views rookie Jalen Duren who was ranked tenth on the NBA.com rookie ladder.
Check out the stats below for a comparison between their season averages and their last twenty games averages.
Where would you rank Jaden Ivey?
Paolo Banchero 20 Points | 6.7 Rebounds | 3.7 Assists | 28.2% 3PT on 4 Attempts
Last 20 Games: 19.2 Points | 7.1 Rebounds | 3.8 Assists | 21.9% 3PT on 3.2 Attempts
Jaden Ivey 15.4 Points | 3.9 Rebounds | 4.9 Assists | 33.1% 3PT on 4.4 Attempts
Last 20 Games: 16 Points | 3.4 Rebounds | 6 Assists | 35.4% 3PT on 5 Attempts
Bennedict Mathurin 16.7 Points | 4 Rebounds | 1.4 Assists 31.8% 3PT on 4.1 Attempts
Last 20 Games: 15.2 Points | 4 Rebounds | 1.6 Assists | 28.8% 3PT on 3.3 Attempts
Jabari Smith 12.5 Points | 7.1 Rebounds | 1.2 Assists | 30.7% 3PT on 5.1 Attempts
Last 20 Games: 14 Points | 7.4 Rebounds | 1.7 Assists | 31.1% 3PT on 4.5 Attempts
Keegan Murray 11.9 Points | 4.6 Rebounds | 1.2 Assists | 40.4% 3PT on 6.2 Attempts
Last 20 Games: 12.3 Points | 4.3 Rebounds | 1.6 Assists | 31.1% 3PT on 4.5 Attempts
What’s Next for the Detroit Pistons
Jaden Ivey and the Detroit Pistons play the Toronto Raptors on the road, Friday, March 24th at 7:30 PM.
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Photo Credit: Allison Farrand-USA TODAY Sports
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