Killian Hayes of the Detroit Pistons would probably say that this is “just another game” but we all know he circled this matchup with Tyrese Haliburton and the Sacramento Kings.
Killian Hayes and Tyrse Haliburton will forever be connected as point guards who were taken in the lottery of the 2020 NBA Draft.
Some Pistons’ fans are obsessed with Haliburton and think he should have been the pick after he had a very good rookie season that saw him make the All-Rookie squad. This is the “Killian is a bust” sub-section of Pistons’ Twitter who obsess over Hayes’ struggles but ignore his progress.
The Pistons had two All-Rookies of their own, but neither of them was Hayes, who struggled mightily in his rookie season, only playing in 26 games after suffering an early-season injury.
Whether it is fair or not, the two guards are always going to be compared, so let’s take a look at how they are playing so far in their sophomore seasons.
Detroit Pistons: Killian Hayes vs. Tyrese Haliburton
I am the biggest Pistons’ homer out there and love the potential of Killian Hayes, but so far, Haliburton has been the more effective player.
Hayes is averaging 6.5 points, 3.7 assists and 3.3 rebounds while shooting 32 percent from the field overall and 43 percent from 3-point range, which has been a welcome surprise.
Hayes is swiping 1.5 steals per game and committing just 1.7 turnovers, so he has made some progress in those areas, though he is still struggling to score at the rim.
Haliburton is getting 13.1 points, 5.2 assists and 3.9 rebounds per game on 45/36 shooting splits while getting 1.4 steals per game and committing 1.4 turnovers.
It’s hard to argue against Haliburton being the better player so far, but there are some positive signs for Killian Hayes.
Hayes has still only played 37 games and is just 20-years-old. He has been getting better with every game and is currently leading the Pistons in 3-point percentage, and looks much-more confident in his catch-and-shoot attempts.
Hayes is also evolving into a lockdown defender and makes a lot of plays throughout the game that don’t show up in the stats.
I would also argue that Haliburton joined a better team with more weapons, so was in a better position to have a strong start to his career, even though the Kings aren’t that great either.
I really like both guys and its a shame that Hayes always gets compared negatively to Haliburton, but it’s still way too early in their respective careers to know what these guys are going to be.
Killian Hayes would love to get the better of Haliburton tonight at home to show the fans the team did not make mistake by taking him 7th overall in the 2020 NBA Draft.