Detroit Pistons: Rookies show how this team is different

Jaden Ivey #23 of the Detroit Pistons (Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images)
Jaden Ivey #23 of the Detroit Pistons (Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images) /

Last season, the Detroit Pistons ranked 13th in pace in the NBA. If last night was a sign of things to come, expect them to jump into the top ten this season.

For the first time, fans got a glimpse of Jaden Ivey, the Pistons’ new electrifying guard, and Jalen Duren, who became the youngest player in Pistons history to record a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds.

Both players imposed their will in the Pistons’ victory over the Orlando Magic with their speed, athleticism, and aggression.

Detroit Pistons: Infectious athleticism and excitement from the rookies

Ivey was a terror on both ends of the floor, recording three steals and 19 points, filled with up-tempo plays and blow-by drives to the rim that Orlando couldn’t contain, often looking like a young Ja Morant in the process.

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Jalen Duren had a game-high five offensive rebounds for Detroit, keeping possessions alive and giving the Pistons valuable second chance opportunities.

This palpable energy infected the rest of the roster from start to finish. Players filled running lanes all night long on Ivey’s solo fastbreaks. Pick-and-rolls were run in attempts to get lobs to Duren, or to deliver the ball en route to him getting downhill.

An influx in pace may seem like a given for a team so reliant on its young stars, but it can certainly be beneficial when the increase in tempo stems from defense and rebounding, the way it did against the Magic.

Ivey’s skill set gives the Pistons another ball-handler, and floor spacer alongside his backcourt mate Cade Cunningham.

For a team that ranked near the bottom of the league in three-point percentage, Ivey’s drives and ability to collapse defenses should bode well for players such as Bojan Bogdanovic, who drilled six three pointers in his Pistons debut.

Detroit’s rookies will certainly have inconsistencies and struggles this year, but both have exhibited intangibles that should help ease their transition, and make for more games like the one we saw last night.

With plenty of athleticism between the two of them, coupled with their physical gifts, sizable improvements on both ends of the floor this season could be imminent.

Next. 10 good things and one bad in win over Magic. dark