Detroit Pistons’ patience with Killian Hayes is paying off

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Detroit Pistons, Killian Hayes

Detroit Pistons guard Killian Hayes (7) shoots against Oklahoma City Thunder guard Aaron Wiggins Credit: Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports

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.

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