The different developmental paths of Isaiah Stewart and Saddiq Bey

Detroit Pistons center Isaiah Stewart (28) and forward Saddiq Bey (41) Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports
Detroit Pistons center Isaiah Stewart (28) and forward Saddiq Bey (41) Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports /
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Detroit Pistons, Isaiah Stewart
Detroit Pistons center Isaiah Stewart (28) boxes out Brooklyn Nets forward Nic Claxton ( Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports /

Isaiah Stewart’s development for the Detroit Pistons

Isaiah Stewart had a promising rookie season that ended with a second-team All-Rookie selection, which was a pleasant surprise for Pistons’ fans, many of whom were not enamored with him during the draft.

After flashing a jump shot and 3-point range towards the end of last season, fans expected Stewart to add to his offensive game, expand his range and become more of a threat on the offensive end.

Stewart was apparently working on his perimeter game over the offseason, but once the season started, his shots and scoring were down.

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Part of this was by design, as Stewart was asked to simplify his game, to focus on defense and rebounding and not worry about taking shots.

You can tell it got into his head a bit at the beginning of the season, as he was hesitant and often passed up open looks. He wasn’t bombing 3-point shots like we thought he might and instead was starting to look more like a poor man’s Ben Wallace, who he worked with in the offseason.

Stewart was asked to be the defensive anchor of an undersized team and he has stepped up, focusing on those aspects of his game instead of worrying about scoring.

He has slowly built up his shots and scoring in recent weeks, and it now looks like simplifying his game early on is starting to pay off. It’s also important to note that Beef Stew was overcoming an ankle injury early this season that may have had some effect on his shooting.

But as Stewart’s game slimmed down, Saddiq Bey’s went in the opposite direction.