How Sekou Doumbouya can improve for the Detroit Pistons

Denver Nuggets v Detroit Pistons
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Denver Nuggets v Detroit Pistons
Denver Nuggets v Detroit Pistons /

The Detroit Pistons 2019 first round pick had a bit of a rocky rookie season, how can he improve moving forward?

Detroit Pistons fans crated a ton of hype around Sekou Doumbouya heading into the 2019-2020 season. After spending the first few months of the year with the Pistons G-League affiliate in Grand Rapids, he got his chance on the big stage.

Sekou’s quickness in transition, peskiness on defense, and near impeccable shooting mechanics were what people were the most excited about coming out of the draft.

He was only able to appear in one Summer League game and wasn’t acclimated enough to Detroit’s offense to make a significant impact.

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After playing small minutes in the preseason, he began the year in Grand Rapids and whenever he was with the Pistons he was only seeing time at the ends of games that were already decided.

Fans were anxious for more Sekou.

On January 2nd, fresh off of the Pistons shutting down Blake Griffin for the season, he finally got his chance. In a move that shocked seemingly everyone, he was put in the starting lineup on the road against the Clippers.

For his first three games he was tasked with defending Kawhi Leonard, Draymond Green, and LeBron James. He didn’t disappoint

In those games he averaged 12.3 points and 8.7 rebounds per game on 42.4 percent shooting. After recording his first career double-double in Golden State, it felt clear that Detroit had made the correct decision with drafting him.

His first two weeks as a starter in the NBA were fantastic. Sure, at times it was clear that he was the youngest player in the league and he often made some very “19 year old” type mistakes, but the potential was on full display.

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Through his first 8 games in the starting lineup, he was scoring 14.0 points and 5.3 rebounds per game on 54.4 percent shooting. He was also averaging around 30 minutes per game.

In the final game of that stretch, he scored a career high 24 points against the Celtics on the road. After that, his production began to slip.

In the 23 games he’s played since the, he’s averaging just 5.3 points and 3.1 rebounds per game on 30.8 percent shooting.

It’s worth noting that due to his struggles he was eventually pulled from the starting lineup, having only started 11 of those 23 games.

His three-point shot was struggling even when he on his incline, but once he began his slump it began to really drop. His usage has been slightly different as the season progressed as well.

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Sekou himself even pointed it out, he wasn’t a fan of the fact that he was relegated into a screen setter and someone who just stands in the corner. For the most part, he has a point.

While it’s true that it often felt as if he wasn’t given enough opportunity to score, he was often missing out on the chances he was given. This ends up hurting the confidence of both the player and the coaches.

In short, Sekou’s rookie season has been a bit of a whirlwind. He’s shown flashes of potential greatness, but he’s also struggled mightily.

So how can he improve?