The Detroit Pistons have reached one of the lowest points they’ve seen in the last decade, but hope could be on the horizon.
All-Star weekend has officially passed in Chicago, and it was a massive success. The Detroit Pistons did have one representative this season, as Svi Mykhailiuk participated in the Rising Stars Challenge.
The question becomes who will be next in line to receive the illustrious nod?
There’s a substantial chance that it could be Luke Kennard. While he’s possibly more equipped to be a lock for the Three-Point Contest, Kennard’s skill set has grown in a way that showcases how dangerous he could really become.
He’s been sidelined for a majority of this season for Detroit, on December 25th it was announced that he would miss a yet to be determined amount of time due to bilateral knee tendinitis.
Prior to his season being derailed, he was averaging 15.8 points per game, with 4.1 assists and 3.5 rebounds on 44.2% shooting. While these numbers aren’t anywhere near what’s required to become an All-Star, he had begun to take a significant leap in his play making abilities.
After scoring 30 points in the opening game of the season, it became clear that teams needed to scheme specifically against him. They needed to start devising a scheme on how to stop Kennard.
Opponents began sending double teams his way along the perimeter, and crashing multiple bodies on him when he drives to the rim to eliminate his crafty finishing ability.
Players stopped going under screens set for him, because whenever they do it results in an automatic bucket for Kennard.
This didn’t stop him from wreaking havoc, though. All it did was force him to utilize his aforementioned play making skills. Forcing Kennard into passing situations is arguably as dangerous as forcing him to shoot.
More from PistonPowered
- The unfortunate reality of the Detroit Pistons next draft pick
- When Charles Barkley was almost traded to the Detroit Pistons
- Detroit Pistons: Who will start at point guard next season?
- Detroit Pistons: Vinnie Johnson’s greatest playoff moments
- Detroit Pistons: Blake Griffin named “Blake of the Year” for second straight year
The way he’s able to locate shooters is effortless. They way he’s able to create for his teammates is remarkable from someone as young as he is.
Going into next season, Kennard will likely be a top-three scoring option for Detroit behind Griffin and Derrick Rose. This will give him even more opportunity to devastate defenders and let it fly from the perimeter.
His dribbling, finishing, and passing abilities continue to get better. If they’re able to transcend this Pistons’ team into a playoff contender next season then fans should expect to see a campaign for Kennard to make an All-Star appearance.
Becoming a primary ball-handler and a primary scoring option for Detroit, his numbers are going to continue to go up.
While again, it may be more within the realm of possibility that he makes an appearance in the Three-Point Contest, as it stands he’s the Pistons’ best young player who’s closest to an All-Star nomination.
Kennard has a chance to be elite in Detroit, and he could take the team to another level.