The Detroit Pistons have made it through their first week of preseason basketball for the 2022-23 season. The team’s preseason action tipped off in a 117-96 loss against the New York Knicks. Detroit followed that up with a 107-101 loss to the New Orleans Pelicans.
It is only a small two-game sample size, but some trends are already starting to appear for the Pistons.
Turnovers have been an issue for this young team. Detroit turned the ball over 21 times against the Knicks and another 21 against the Pelicans. The Pistons have one of the youngest rosters in the league, so it is not a total surprise that ball security is an issue. However, the young players learning to take care of the ball better throughout the regular season is something to monitor.
Rebounding has also been an issue for the starting five. While as a team, the Pistons outrebounded the Knicks 44-42, the starting unit did not fair so well. New York’s starters outrebounded Detroit’s starters 16-13. The Pistons lack size in their starting five; none of their starters stand over 6-8. Inserting Marvin Bagley III into the starting lineup against the Pelicans helped the Pistons with size. However, New Orleans still outrebounded Detroit 47-45.
Individual performances have shown trends as well. Some Pistons are off to hot starts, others not so much.
In the first Pistons stock watch of the season, I take a look at which players are trending up and which are trending down after the first week of the Pistons’ preseason.
Stock Up: Jaden Ivey
Jaden Ivey’s preseason debut put the guard’s talent on display. The guard posted 16 points, four rebounds and two assists while committing zero turnovers.
He shot an efficient six-for-nine from the floor, and he sank his lone three-point attempt, a transition shot early in the first quarter. His second bucket put his speed on full display with Ivey going coast to coast for a layup through traffic. Ivey consistently displayed a combination of speed and control around the rim on his drive attempts.
Two assists against the Knicks do not do Ivey’s passing game justice. The 20-year-old displayed good court vision and accurate passing. He found cutters, including his second assist on a Cade Cunningham basket, and he found open shooters off drive attempts.
Ivey’s second game was nowhere near as good as his first. A two-for-12 performance, including shooting one-for-six from beyond the arc was a disappointing follow-up to his efficient first game. Ivey turned the ball over seven times as well against the Pelicans. Ivey still managed six assists and three rebounds in the game, and his nine-for-nine shooting from the free throw line boosted his scoring total to 14 points.
So with a mixed bag of games, why is Ivey’s stock up? Because he showed exactly the traits and talent Detroit hoped for from him during the first week of preseason. The turnovers and inefficient shooting performances are part of the growing pains of a young player. However, his passing ability and athletic talent flashed. It is a good sign for when he cleans up the turnovers and inefficient scoring nights.
Stock Up: Jalen Duren
It is going to be hard for the Pistons to not give Jalen Duren a more significant role in the rotation this season. In Summer League, the big man showed he had the size and strength to play NBA minutes early on rather than develop in the G-League. In two preseason games, he has shown he deserves regular minutes as well.
Duren grabbed 14 rebounds against the Knicks, including four offensive boards. He tallied a block as well, tipping an Immanuel Quickly three-point attempt when he was forced out on the perimeter.
Duren did not appear in Detroit’s matchup with the Pelicans.
Dominating on the boards was a great sign for Duren. If he can keep putting up high rebounding numbers he will be a mainstay in the rotation. His post-game will come along with time, but as he is now, Duren is going to be an exciting player to watch this season.
Stock Down: Cory Joseph
Cory Joseph was a reliable player for the Pistons last season. Replacing Killian Hayes in the starting lineup, Joseph shot over 40 percent from beyond the arc and provided a consistent secondary ball-handler to pair with Cade Cunningham. Entering this season, Joseph’s role is expected to be reduced, but it was also expected he would continue as a steadying presence when called upon to play.
In two preseason games, Joseph has not performed up to standard. He shot one-for-four from beyond the arc against the Knicks and one-for-five against the Pelicans. He only turned the ball over twice in two games, both against New York, but they came off poor reads.
Joseph can turn it around. However, these two games prove the value of Detroit acquiring Alec Burks to replace Joseph in the main rotation this season. Burks will provide a more reliable option off the bench, and Joseph can serve as a depth piece rather than a regular rotation player.
(Featured Image Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports)