Luke Kennard versus the ‘Sophomore Slump’

Detroit Pistons Luke Kennard. (Photo by Brian Sevald/NBAE via Getty Images)
Detroit Pistons Luke Kennard. (Photo by Brian Sevald/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Luke Kennard entered his second season with high expectations from the Detroit Pistons with in hopes to not get pounded by the so-called ‘sophomore slump’. When the season concluded it was evident that Kennard had beat those expectations.

If you had to pick one bright spot from the Detroit Pistons season, Luke Kennard would have to one of the headliners.

In his second season with the Pistons, Kennard averaged 9.7 points, 2.9 rebounds, 1.8 assists per game. If those numbers don’t do any justice for you, he shot 39 percent from three. And his field goal percentage was 44 percent. Luke’s shooting percentages from last year were better. But his attempts and minutes per game were higher this season.

In his rookie season, Luke shot 2.7 threes a game playing an average of 20 minutes. In Kennard’s sophomore season Luke put up 4.3 threes a game while playing 22.8 minutes a game. Not only that, but he drove to the basket consistently this past season.

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Yes, Kennard’s shooting percentage was down from his rookie season. But his intangibles this season were out of this world. One of the biggest games for Kennard this past season was against the Cleveland Cavaliers when he put up 26 points and hit six three-pointers on 6 for 7 shooting.

That night like any other night summed up his second season with the Detroit Pistons. Kennard showed what his future could potentially look like and showed the Pistons faithful that he isn’t a bust. ‘Cool Hand Luke’ was used often this season. And the truth of the matter is his name should not be used anymore in the same sentence as Donovan Mitchell.

Without Kennard, the Pistons would not have been able to clinch a playoff berth. Not only that, the Pistons would not have had a chance to win a playoff game. Granted the Pistons got swept by the Milwaukee Bucks. But Kennard’s presence in that series was beyond obvious.

Kennard averaged 15 points a game and shot 60 percent from three (9 for 15) in four playoff games. Kennard ruled the second unit and made a significant impact with the starters when Blake Griffin was out.

Luke beat the ‘sophomore slump’, and it wasn’t just because his numbers improved. Kennard showed that he wants to win and not only that, but he wants to succeed in Detroit. He loves the game just as much as any basketball fan does and it is showing.

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Kennard is what Detroit basketball is all about.