Why patience is imperative for Killian Hayes and the Detroit Pistons

Detroit Pistons guard Killian Hayes Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports
Detroit Pistons guard Killian Hayes Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports /

It’s tough, but the Detroit Pistons need to be patient with Killian Hayes.

The Detroit Pistons suffered a huge blow when rookie point guard Killian Hayes went down against the Bucks.

One of the cruelest parts of a young player’s development is having their growth slowed due to injuries.

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After suffering a labrum tear in his right hip, Killian Hayes will miss an extensive amount of time (possibly the rest of the season), pausing a rookie season that has so far been inconsistent but filled with promise and reason to be optimistic for the future.

For the Detroit Pistons, Hayes’ injury and absence epitomize exactly what the Pistons will have to be with their new franchise point guard when he returns: patient.

Detroit Pistons: Giving Killian Hayes some time

It’s no secret that the point guard position is arguably the most difficult to learn in the NBA, with the steepest learning curve.

Particularly for a player as young as Hayes, who is the fifth-youngest player in the NBA this season. Without a summer league, training camp, and a short preseason, there was very little time for Hayes to get acclimated with his teammates or the Pistons’ offense.

For Hayes, the learning curve is even steeper, because his game is predicated upon his basketball IQ, skill level, and passing, which requires an intricate feel for the offense, and a savviness that comes along with experience and growth.

Hayes’ lack of strength and explosiveness from the point guard position has led him to struggle on both ends, but there have been definite reasons for optimism.

His ability to change speeds, play on or off the ball, finish in the lane, and make sound decisions out of the pick-and-roll have all been apparent so far.

While the struggles have been obvious, (27.7 percent shooting from the field, 25 percent shooting from three) there have been spurts of good basketball, and more importantly, Hayes has gradually looked more comfortable within the flow of Detroit’s offense.

In his last game against Milwaukee, he did an excellent job of getting into the paint out of the pick-and-roll and was aggressive looking for his shot early on.

While there’s no timetable on when Hayes will return, Dwane Casey did a terrific job of handing him the keys to the offense by placing him in the starting lineup and giving him significant minutes.

His experiences, struggles, and moments of inconsistency will allow him to continue to grow and give Detroit a good, hard look at their point guard of the future.

Franchise guards don’t develop overnight, and neither does team success. Even when Hayes returns, Detroit’s patience is imperative for him to continue to grasp the steep learning curve to being a successful point guard in the NBA.

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