Detroit Pistons: Inside Saddiq Bey’s unusual season

Saddiq Bey #41 of the Detroit Pistons (Photo by Dustin Satloff/Getty Images)
Saddiq Bey #41 of the Detroit Pistons (Photo by Dustin Satloff/Getty Images) /

The Detroit Pistons are sitting at 3-11 after 14 games, and rank near the bottom of the NBA in offensive rating. One player who’s gotten off to an interesting shooting start this season is Saddiq Bey, whose numbers have taken a dive in certain areas, and risen in others.

Interestingly, Saddiq Bey is averaging a career high in points per game, on two fewer shots per contest than last season. However, the 6-foot-8 forward has gotten to the line more frequently, upping his free throw per game average from 3.1 last year, to 5.0 this season. Bey has maximized the extra trips to the line so far, shooting a career-high 91.4 percent from the charity stripe.

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Bey is also shooting 52.9 percent on 2-point shots, a career high, so he has made up for the lack of attempts by being more efficient inside the arc and by getting to the free-throw line. This is a good sign for his future, especially if Bey can turn things around from 3-point range.

Detroit Pistons: Saddiq Bey’s 3-point shooting

Much like the beginning of last season, Bey has struggled to shoot from long range. The former Wildcat is shooting 30.8 percent from 3-point range this season, and has connected on only three of his last 15 attempts from behind the arc. He’s shooting fewer of them as well, taking just 5.6 per game, lowest of his career. Some thought Bey would and should shoot more 3-point shots this season, but so far it is has been the opposite.

Last season, Bey shot 27.2 percent from behind the arc in the month of November. In six games this month, he’s shooting 27.8 percent from the 3-point line, so Bey is off to another slow start from long range.

While Bey’s struggles are certainly a part of Detroit’s ineptitude on offense, his numbers suggest that once he finds his 3-point stroke again, he could be in store for a breakout scoring year.

It’s important to note that so far this season, Bey has been more efficient in creating shots off the dribble. On field goals in which he takes between 4-5 dribbles, Bey is shooting 48.5 percent. He’s also shooting 62.5 percent within the restricted area, and is averaging 5.7 points per game in the paint, up from the 4.6 he averaged last season.

With a game on Monday against the Raptors, followed by a West Coast road trip starting Thursday, Detroit will be even more reliant on their third-forward, particularly with Cade Cunningham being ruled out. When Bey does break out of his slump, expect an increase in scoring, and possibly a career year.

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