The refrain for Killian Hayes of the Detroit Pistons has been the same for two seasons now.
“Let’s wait until he’s played 82 games before we cast judgment”.
This phrase – or any other variation of the same message – has been echoed tirelessly by Killian Hayes truthers for the past two years. It’s almost become a meme at this point.
Maybe for good reason?
This of course refers to the number of games the 2nd-year guard has missed in his career due to injury. Only recently did Killian Hayes eclipse a full season’s worth of games. Interestingly enough, his six games since that 82 game threshold have been eye-opening, capped off by the best game he’s played in a Detroit Pistons uniform on Friday night.
In his dominant performance against Oklahoma City, Hayes slashed a line of 26/7/8, and got it done on the defensive end to the tune of five steals and two blocks. In fact, he is the first Piston to post a statline like this since another guy that Pistons fans may recognize:
This performance tied together what has been an impressive stretch of performances as the Detroit Pistons close out their 2021-2022 campaign. He’s playing the best basketball of his young career, and proving that the fans may have been right in cautioning the urge to label Killian a “bust” so early in his career.
The Pistons had no choice but to be patient with Killian, and is it starting pay dividends.