Detroit Pistons: 3 positive stats that show signs of growth

Jaden Ivey #23 of the Detroit Pistons (Photo by Omar Rawlings/Getty Images)
Jaden Ivey #23 of the Detroit Pistons (Photo by Omar Rawlings/Getty Images) /
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Detroit Pistons, Killian Hayes
Detroit Pistons guard Killian Hayes (7) dribbles on Orlando Magic center Bol Bol Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports /

At the quarter mark in any NBA season, it’s usually time to start drawing conclusions on what we’ve seen so far and this year is no different for the Detroit Pistons.

The fanbase as a whole, myself included, had reasonably high expectations coming into the season, but so far the Pistons have shown many of the same pitfalls they had last season.

The team is young, struggles to compete without Cade Cunningham on the floor, and still hasn’t found their footing on the defensive end.

With a 5-18 record, the Pistons find themselves at the bottom of the NBA standings once again, fully in the Victor Wembanyana sweepstakes.

The main contributing factor to this poor record is injuries – all but two players on the roster have missed games due to injury. Key players like Cade Cunningham, Jaden Ivey, Saddiq Bey, Marvin Bagley, and Isaiah Stewart have all missed several games.

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These injures have now overshadowed a decent start for the team and tanked their chances at being competitive.

The stats reflect this. The Pistons are tied for last in the NBA in field goal percentage at 44.3 percent, in the bottom five of offensive rating, and second to last in defensive rating.

With all of this piling up, it’s easy to pack it in and look to future. More than that, it’s easy to be negative. It’s safe to say the overall tone of Pistons twitter is some combination of pessimistic and discouraged.

For our sanity, let’s focus on the journey. Believe it or not, I have found three encouraging stats amongst the muck that show some constructive signs of growth.

Detroit Pistons growth stats: Killian Hayes minutes per game

Killian Hayes is averaging 29.2 mpg in the last 10 games.

The Cade Cunningham injury is not a good thing. Let me first get that out of the way.

But if someone were to look at the current situation through rose colored glasses, two positives have come out of Cade missing games. The Pistons have a chance to get another top pick in the draft and Killian Hayes has proven he belongs in the NBA.

In Cade’s absence, Killian has started 10 games and has been looking much more comfortable on the court.

Just a few weeks ago, many were wondering if Killian was better served to try a stint in the G-League. It seems like all he needed was more opportunity for trial and error.

In the last 10 games, Hayes is averaging 10.8 points, 6.0 assists, and 3.1 rebounds per game. More notably, his three-pointers are falling at nearly 39 percent.

With many offensive sets beginning in his hands, Killian has looked much more confident and has played under control. At some point in each game, he strings together a steal, good assist, and a couple buckets within a minute or two.

That’s what it’s all about with Killian Hayes. We know he can play defense as well as anyone on team. He’s long, athletic, and has active hands on that end.

If he can combine positively on offense, hitting open jumpers or setting up others, with these possession-ending defensive plays, the Detroit Pistons have rotational player in Killian.

Oh, and let’s not forget he is 21-years-old.