The Detroit Pistons started the 2022 Summer League with a win over the Portland Trail Blazers.
Summer League is a time to build chemistry and get rookies their first action against NBA competition and Ivey and Duren both looked up to the task.
In fact, they connected on the very first offensive possession of the game, a beautiful lob play that got Duren’s career started via thunderous dunk:
The two rookies connected a couple of times in the game, but this play shows how both of them can thrive in the NBA playing off each other’s talents.
Detroit Pistons: Jaden Ivey and Jalen Duren will benefit each other
In this play, you see Killian Hayes dribbling at the top of the key while Isaiah Stewart sets a screen for Ivey. Stewart’s shooting looked impressive in game one, so I expect he’ll be seeing a lot of high pick-and-pop action this season.
Ivey comes flying around the screen and you can see that the threat of his speed forces the defense to react.
Ivey takes one dribble to draw in the paint defender, and once that guy takes a step, it is over, as Duren comes sneaking in from the baseline for the easy lob and slam.
The Detroit Pistons have needed a lob threat like Duren, and this play shows exactly how he is going to help Ivey and the other young guards. Last season Cade Cunningham and Killian Hayes were adept at getting into the lane, but often drew double teams that they couldn’t take advantage of.
Duren is a much-bigger threat in the paint than Stewart, so having him there as an outlet for lobs out of double teams is really going to help the guards. And it’s going to help Duren too, as he is not much of an offensive threat, but certainly knows how to finish after the guards have drawn in defenders, leaving him open.
Duren didn’t have good guards at Memphis, but now he has three guys who can not only draw double teams, but know how to deliver the pass once they do.
This was only one play, but it shows a whole new offensive advantage for the Detroit Pistons that they didn’t have last season.