Pistons news: 3 encouraging takeaways from win over Hornets

Detroit Pistons center Isaiah Stewart Credit: Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports
Detroit Pistons center Isaiah Stewart Credit: Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports /
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Detroit Pistons, Killian Hayes
Killian Hayes #7 of the Detroit Pistons (Photo by David Jensen/Getty Images) /

The Detroit Pistons entered last night’s game against the Charlotte Hornets with the worst record in the NBA and not a whole lot to cheer about.

They recently lost star Cade Cunningham for the season and have been the centerpiece of just about every trade rumor as teams try to pick the bones.

Instead of talking about a competitive young team and the development of players, we’ve been talking about the right price for Saddiq Bey, which is not a fun place to be in for fans of a rebuilding team.

But last night against the Hornets showed that the future is still bright in Detroit, as the Pistons held on to an overtime win with that future on full display.

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It’s been a mostly depressing season so far, but there were some encouraging signs in last night’s win even though it was against the NBA’s (now) worst team.

Detroit Pistons: Killian Hayes is no longer afraid

One of the real positives of this season has been the development of Killian Hayes, as he had a horrendous start but has since turned his season and career around.

It’s not just that Hayes is putting up numbers overall, but he is playing with confidence that we’ve never seen before. A couple of times last night I had to adjust my eyes to make sure I wasn’t watching a young James Harden, as Killian was taking and making some high degree of difficulty shots and doing it with poise and confidence

That included a dagger in the overtime period where he stepped back, pump faked, got the defender in the air and then drilled the 3-point shot to give the Pistons a four point lead. He’s controlling the offense, being the “quarterback” that Dwane Casey envisioned, playing tough defense and just doesn’t look like the same guy.

Losing your franchise player for the season sucks, but one of the positives that has come out of it is that Hayes has gotten increased minutes and made the most of them. He might now be the most promising player from the Pistons’ 2020 draft class, and when you look at where he was at the beginning of the season, this transformation has been nothing short of miraculous.