Svi Mykhailiuk has had under the radar success for the Detroit Pistons

Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk #19 of the Detroit Pistons (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)
Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk #19 of the Detroit Pistons (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images) /

In a season that may now be lost, the Detroit Pistons can look back and reflect on one of their brighter spots throughout the season.

We still cannot definitively say whether or not we’ll see the Detroit Pistons return to the floor this season amidst the growing concerns over the coronavirus, which suspended the NBA’s season indefinitely.

Regardless of what the outcome is one thing is certainly true, Svi Mykhailiuk took a noticeable leap this season for the Pistons.

After being acquired from the Los Angeles Lakers at the trade deadline a season ago in exchange for sharpshooter Reggie Bullock, what exactly Svi’s role in Detroit would be wasn’t always clear, nor was the impact that he could potentially make.

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He wound up only appearing in three games for the Pistons and was never quite able to stand out. He attempted 8 shots in total, and only made 2 of them.

Then when he 2019 Summer League rolled around, Svi was added to the team along with Bruce Brown and new teammate Sekou Doumbouya. Both Brown and Svi dominated in the way that you hope to see from second year players.

Brown recorded just the second triple double in the history of the Las Vegas Summer League, and we were seeing significant progress from Svi as a play maker.

By the time the regular season rolled around, he didn’t play in five of the six opening games. After that he begun to see pretty inconsistent and ever-fluctuating minutes, playing 25 on some nights and 4 the next.

His scoring output wasn’t really there yet because he was seldom getting opportunities, but he made up for it by being a reliable defender.

Once Luke Kennard went down with bilateral knee tendinitis on December 26th, Svi saw a massive increase in usage. He became one of Detroit’s primary wings, and started to play upwards of 30 minutes per game.

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Through his first 11 games in his new role, he was scoring 13.5 points per game on 48.5 percent shooting, including 46.6 percent from three-point range.

When the Pistons initially traded for him, the main thing that everyone knew about him was how deadly he could be from the perimeter. In a league where your success is contingent on your three-point making ability, naturally this was an exciting acquisition.

However, what ended up being one of the most interesting parts about his game was his ability to put the ball on the floor and attack the basket. His ability to finish at the rim is vastly underrated and defenses make that pretty clear on a game-to-game basis.

That being said, he’s currently only shooting 57.1 percent at the rim. It’s definitely something he can improve on moving forward, but he’s shown us that he’s capable of pushing through some tough finishes.

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Leading up to today, Svi’s been hitting a bit of a cold streak from the perimeter, shooting just 31.4 percent in his last 11 games.

Despite this however, he’s proven that he’s capable of carrying some of the load offensively if need be. While he may never be Detroit’s number one option from three-point range, he’s most definitely a reliable option.

On January 18th he poured on a career high 25 points on 9 of 11 shooting (81.8 percent) and 5 of 7 from deep (71.4 percent) against Atlanta.

This can be used as an indication of potential.

If the Pistons don’t play another game this season, he’ll end the year shooting 40.4 percent from three, with his recent slump slightly weighting his average.

While this isn’t really an indication of his individual performance, it’s still interesting; 93.9 percent of his three-point makes were assisted. A quintessential embodiment of a catch-and-shoot player.

Detroit will go into next season hoping he can continue the glimpses of success that we saw this year.

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We’ll almost certainly see him play the same minutes he has this season, and there’s a chance that he could continue to thrive.